I love to read books, edit books for authors, and participate in the wonderful blog tours for smaller authors who are still working on getting into the mainstream! I also tutor S Korean students online while being a single mom to my 12 year old daughter with Williams syndrome :) Perfect life!
We Survived...At Last I Speak by Leon Malmed Book Tour and Giveaway :)
Survived....At Last I Speak
is Leon Malmed’s true story of his and his sister Rachel’s escape
from the Holocaust in Occupied France. When their father and mother
were arrested in 1942, their courageous and heroic French neighbors
volunteered to watch their children until they returned. Leon’s
parents were taken first to Drancy, then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and
they never returned. Meanwhile their downstairs neighbors, Henri and
Suzanne Ribouleau, gave the children a home and family and sheltered
them through subsequent roundups, threats, air raids, and the war’s
privations. The courage, sympathy, and dedication of the Ribouleaus
and others stand in strong contrast to the collaborations and moral
weakness of many of the French authorities. Leon and Rachel each came
to America after the war, but always kept their strongest ties to
“Papa Henri and Maman Suzanne,” who were honored as “Righteous
Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem in 1977. Leon bares his soul in
this narrative of love and courage, set against a backdrop of
tragedy, fear, injustice, prejudice, and the greatest moral outrage
of the modern era. It is a story of goodness triumphing once more
is a summer day. My
father wakes up at dawn. Like every Sunday, he gets himself ready
without making any noise so as not to wake us up. He is waiting for
Marcel Ribouleau, our neighbor’s son, who accompanies him on his
expeditions throughout the countryside. Times are hard. Food is
scarce, so Papa exchanges clothes for poultry, butter, eggs, fruit
and vegetables. At
5:30 a.m. someone knocks at the door.
has often told me that my parents were ecstatic—especially my
father—when my mother gave birth to a son, a sweet-looking baby
with a lot of thick, black curly hair.
father was convinced that I was the most handsome and and
probably the most intelligent boy in the world!
Clausse was a nurse at the hospital of Compiègne. She was a very
kind and discreet person. Her husband worked at an auction hall. It
was a big warehouse with no heat in the winter and no ventilation in
work was a demanding manual job. Using a handcart, Mr Clausse
collected furniture and household items from residences, loading and
unloading heavy pieces all day long. He was a “down to-earth”
person always ready to help. Without knowing us, he gave my father a
hand when we moved into 17 rue Saint Fiacre. He
liked talking to my father. His wife recalls that he warned my father
many times about the dangers of ongoing persecution of Jews. She
remembers him saying: “You and your family should go in hiding
before it’s too late. People are disappearing, one family at a
time. You cannot trust these criminals.” While
he may not have been highly educated, Mr Clausse was a very wise man
who had both good common sense and vision. Even with his foresight he
did not know how demented the Nazis truly were. My
father would raise his shoulders and respond, “Where can we go? The
train stations and the roads are watched. Our I.D. cards show we are
Jewish. Jews are not allowed to travel. I do not know how to get fake
I.D. cards. Anyway, we are poor. The Germans are not interested in
us. They go after the rich Jews they can steal from.” Dark
clouds were accumulating.
January 19, 1944. They came to arrest us, my sister and me. I am six
years old and Rachel eleven.
Baugis implored the SS officerer
to let her keep Charlot: “He‘s
not even six years old. Look at him. Does he look like a criminal?” Monsieur
Baugis, like Yvette and his wife had done earlier, begged: “He
is just a child. He has not committed any crime. Take me instead. I
can be useful to the German army. Leave him with my wife.” Very
well, said the officer
in an arrogant tone: “All
of you get into the truck with the little Jew. You are all arrested
for hiding a Jew.”
was difficult to comprehend and believe that at last we were free. I
was too young when the war started to know how it felt to be free. People
who did not know each other fell into each other’s arms and kissed
and cried together. “Leon!
Our parents will be here soon!” My sister Rachel was screaming,
tears streaming on her beautiful face as she squeezed me hard against
held on to each other and sobbed for a long time, incapable of
holding our emotions any longer. We had endured so much. Finally, we
allowed ourselves to feel a happiness we did not know existed. “The
nightmare is over, my dear children,” said Maman Suzanne in a
reassuring voice. “We will live again. Your parents will be back
joy, the emotions were so strong, I could not stop trembling. I
shook from nervous laughter, blinded by tears. For
the firs time since our parents were taken away from us, July 19,
1942, I was not scared!
I was disappointed; they had not come back yet. Where are they?
They would come home tomorrow or the day after for sure. What
would I do when I saw them? Should I run to them and jump in their
arms? No, I should not do that. They would be exhausted from their
long trip and two years of hard work and depravation. Yes,
I know. I would approach them slowly. I would encircle both their
legs with my small arms and snuggle against them. We
would stay like that, my eyes raised to watch their faces.
have found a pearl, son” said Papa Henri, hugging me.
deserve happiness,” added Maman Suzanne with a huge smile.
Malmed was born in France on October 4th, 1937.
is a Holocaust Survivor.
immigrated to the U.S, in 1964. He lived 18 years in New York.
was a resident of the San Francisco Bay area for 30 years. He and his
now live full time in South Lake Tahoe.
graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Paris. He
is a graduate of the Finance Senior Executive program at UCLA and the
Executive Institute for Management of High Technology Companies at
Stanford Business School.
worked in the High Tech industry in Silicon Valley where he held
executive positions for over 30 years. He served on Hi-Tech companies
Board of Directors and is currently on the Board of the Lake Tahoe
Community College Foundation.
60 years of total silence about his childhood during the Holocaust
and aftermath, Leon decided to publish his memoir. He is the author
of “We Survived…At Last I Speak” available in English, French
books are available at Amazon.com, Lulu.com, Kindle.com and
speaks about the Holocaust in Schools, Colleges, Universities,
Churches, Synagogues, Book clubs and Men and women’s clubs in the
US, in Europe and South America. He has been interviewed on TV and
writing books, he loves riding bikes, skiing, sailing and golfing.
participated last year in the Dancing with the Tahoe Stars and won
one of the two trophies.
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