I haven't posted any blogs in a while because so many good things have been happening. I wanted to share some of the good news and a few current events. Thank you to everyone for your readership and spreading the word about HENRY.
If you are in the Phoenix area, please join me this evening, April 18, 2018 @ 6:00 pm at the Phoenix Public Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix, 85048. This is my last scheduled presentation for a while so if you've missed the others, don't miss this one.
Awards Won to Date Include:
2018 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award – Silver for Biography*
2017 The Wishing Shelf Book Awards (UK) – Gold for Adult Non-Fiction
2018 Reader Views Literary Awards – Winner in Four categories:
First Place Biography, First Place Regional, Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, Best Regional Book of the Year
2018 Feathered Quill Book Award – Second-Place for Historical
2017 Advice Books (Italy) – Voted Best of 2017
HENRY has received fabulous press coverage in the last four weeks including:
April 2018, Arizona Jewish Life magazine, Women Who Lead. Click here to read.
In March I visited Washington State where I visited friends and family in several cities, and gave seven presentations in nine days. My thank yous extend to many - you know who you are! The visit ended with a welcoming and interested crowd in the Timberland Olympia library. You can see a brief slide show and photos at this link. Click here.
March 27, 2018, My Book Place, Author Interview. Click here to read.
March 23, 2018, Ahwatukee Foothills News, “More Honors for Author’s Book on Nazis Camp Survivor” Click here to read.
March 21, 2018, The Foothills Focus “The Power of the Written Word.” Click here to read.
March 16, 2018, The Am-Pol Eagle (Buffalo NY) Click here to read.
Travels with HENRY
Shortly after returning from Washington, I flew to Austin, Texas for the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) Publishing University, where HENRY won The Benjamin Franklin Award - Silver for Biography. This seal will appear on future book covers as a mark of accomplishment.
The following week I was honored to be a presenter at the 6th Annual Genocide Awareness Week hosted by Scottsdale Community College. Kudos to John Liffiton of SCC for bringing in speakers for a broad array of topics from Jehovah's Witnesses during WWII to modern-day Syria. I got to meet author Sophie Knab who came up from Tucson for the event. I recently profiled her book on Polish Forced Labor in March. Click here.
Are we teaching History?
Several intertwined news threads have circulated on social media recently. In Illinois, a self-proclaimed Nazi and Holocaust denier ran uncontested for Congress in a Republican primary. This is clearly a de facto "it doesn't matter/it wan't that bad" attitude by those who voted for him (though even if he only received ten votes in an uncontested election he would have won.)
A survey of American adults commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany made news with its broad statements about fewer Americans and Millenials know about the Holocaust of six million Jews. I'm not surprised, even though the survey only reach 1,350 respondents. The reality of history is this: Each successive generation is more removed from the events of WWII. For Americans, WWII was fought on a different continent and we mostly hear stories that involved Hitler and/or the American military. Ask an 18-year-old today to remember 9/11? WWI? The Vietnam War? The Bataan Death March? The massacre at the Munich Olympics in 1972? Even with the emphasis on STEM, it is important to remember and teach the Holocaust . . . . and history in general if we are to pass down our cultural and human heritage to successive generations, especially as lessons of tolerance.
An increasingly conservative government in Poland passed a controversial law making criticism of the Polish government during WWII illegal. I have been asked my opinion of this law at every single book presentation since its passage in January. My basic answer? While the conservative move gives me great pause, we need to look beyond passion and pain to historical facts, for which Poland receives little recognition. I encourage the audience to buy and read HENRY for a different witness and viewpoint. Documented and unforgivable acts against Polish Jews, aided by other Poles did occur during and after the war. But, no country should be known and identified by only its ugliest history, while the acts of good Poles and survivors are ignored. The common enemies of all Poles and Polish Jews were Germany and Russia, and the only Polish government from 1939-1945 existed in exile.The post-war Polish government was communist operating Russian domination, a country that has been anti-Semitic for centuries. I want to be highly sensitive to this painful topic, and I readily admit my family was not impacted by the events in Poland. If you missed my February 8 blog on the topic, click here.
"The past actually happened, but history is only what someone wrote down."
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