Review: Into No Man's Land: A Historical Memoir

Into No Man's Land: A Historical Memoir
by Irene Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Into No Man's Land is an affecting and compelling true account of one young girl and her family's experiences during the Holocaust. Escaping Warsaw Poland after the Nazis invade, Mama and Tata Miller, and their daughters Irene and Halina wind up robbed of their worldly possessions and left as refugees in "No Man's Land" on the Polish border with the Soviet Union. What follows are years of hunger and deprivation, a narrow escape for the mother from a train bound for a Nazi death camp, time in a Soviet labor camp for the whole family, separation of the girls from their parents into an orphanage, death of the father, and then, after the war, resettlement back into Poland where they find all their extended family has been murdered by the Nazis. Irene and her mother eventually emigrate to Israel where Irene marries, and with her husband moves to the US.

I had the opportunity to hear Irene Miller speak to a community group at Temple Jacob in Hancock in 2017. Well into her 80s, she stood and spoke for over an hour in a plain and straightforward manner, relating many of the tales that are in this book. Like her speaking manner, so too this book has a matter of fact tone that draws you in and makes you feel Irene's experiences, and become a part of the family as they are buffeted by the war. At just over 300 pages this book reads quickly - I read it in two sittings. Highly recommended.

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