Dancing On A Powder Keg
Product Code: 019
Dancing on a Powder Keg
The Story of ‘Wiegala’ Songstress Ilse Weber – In Her Own Words
NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN LETTERS DETAIL A YOUNG MOTHER’S LOVE, SACRIFICE & ARTISTIC LEGACY UNDER THE LENGTHENING SHADOW OF HITLER’S THIRD REICH
Before Hitler’s Third Reich annexed and occupied Czechoslovakia, Ilse Weber was a young wife and working mother of two living in her ancestral town of Vítkovice, known throughout the German-speaking world for her extraordinary songs, theatre pieces, and books for children. A gifted poet, musician, and writer, following the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939, Ilse and her husband, Willi, were able to get their oldest son, Hanuš, to safety via a ‘Kindertransport’ to London – where Hanuš would be cared for and protected by the daughter of a Swedish diplomat and friend of Ilse’s, Lilian von Löwenadler.
A carefully translated, painstakingly constructed collection of letters exchanged between Ilse and Lilian during the years 1933-44 while the lengthening shadow of the Nazi regime bore down over Europe, Dancing on a Powder Keg – set for release on January 15, 2017 via publisher Bunim & Bannigan, Ltd. – tells a one-of-a-kind, viscerally powerful story of unique friendship, dire historical circumstance, and the courage of a gifted woman in the face of unimaginable evil.
From Ilse’s time in Prague’s Thersienstadt Ghetto (where she worked in the children’s infirmary, entertaining her young patients with songs on her contraband guitar) to her voluntary transportation to Auschwitz (where she and her son, Tommy, were ultimately killed in the gas chambers in 1944), the publication of Dancing on a Powder Keg has only been made possible by discovery of Ilse’s letters in a London attic. The poems were hidden in Thersienstadt, and later retrieved and preserved by Ilse’s husband, Willi, and son, Hanuš, who were reunited in the autumn of 1945.
Yad Vashem – Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust – has endorsed Dancing on a Powder Keg as a singular and incredibly important addition to the canon of Holocaust documents and literature.
“The literature about Theresienstadt and the fate of Czech Jewry during the Holocaust is voluminous, but Ilse Weber's story is unique,” writes Yad Vashem academic advisor and world-renowned Holocaust scholar Prof. Yehuda Bauer. “I have read many accounts, but this account by someone who did not survive, and whose story has been reconstructed, is exceptional.”
As deeply intimate as The Diary of Anne Frank, rich with breathtaking prose as the fiction of Irene Nemirovsky, and historically illuminating as Eric Larson’s In The Garden of Beasts, Dancing on a Powder Keg is an enthralling and evocative window into the life of a brilliant, charismatic, immensely gifted and influential Jewish artist – and a not-to-be-missed arrival to bookstores across the English-language world in 2017.
About the Author:
Ilse Weber (January 11, 1903 – October 6, 1944) née Herlinger, was born in Witkowitz near Mährisch-Ostrau in northern Czechoslovakia. A Jewish poet, she wrote in German, most notably songs and theater pieces for Jewish children. She married Willi Weber in 1930, and from 1933 onward she and her family were persecuted by the Nazis. In 1942, Ilse and her family were deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, where Ilse worked with sick children. In 1944, refusing to abandon the children, she voluntarily registered to the transport to Auschwitz with the children of Theresienstadt, where she was killed in the gas chambers, along with her son, Tommy. Her most popular book was Mendel Rosenbusch: Tales for Jewish Children (1929), and her songs – most notably Wiegala – continue to be performed by musicians around the world today.
About the Translator:
Michal Schwartz studied literature and philosophy in Frankfurt and Jerusalem, and received her PhD in German-Jewish philosophy from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After receiving a Max-Planck scholarship and spending two years of research and teaching in Germany, she moved with her family to Canada, where she completed a Masters in Studies of Law and taught philosophy of law at the University of Toronto. Her book, Metapher und Offenbarung. Zur Sprache von Franz Rosenzweigs Stern der Erlösung, was published in Berlin in 2003. Along academic articles and translations, she has enjoyed exploring and writing on Kabbalah and contemporary culture.
Peace, Justice, and Jews - Reclaiming Our Tradition
Product Code: 011
Edited with an Introduction by MURRAY POLNER and STEFAN MERKEN
Reflections, by thinkers and activists on the Jewish tradition of non-violence and compassion.
The Jewish tradition of justice, first expressed by the prophet Isaiah and nourished during two millennia of Exile, has placed Jews at the forefront of struggles for civil rights, labor rights, anti-militarism, and compassion for the most vulnerable: the poor, the hungry, and the oppressed.
In this landmark collection of contemporary Jewish thought, editors Murray Polner and Stefan Merken have drawn on the work of a wide variety of thinkers and activists in Israel and the United States, including charity workers, political demonstrators, conscientious objectors, prison workers, animal rights advocates, mothers and fathers, refuseniks, rabbis, soldiers, journalists, and academics. Their diverse voices demonstrate a depth and range of thinking and commitments among Jews seeking justice today. Perhaps most urgently felt are the essays related to the Middle East, where Israel appears to rely increasingly on military superiority as a response to its complex political and territorial problems. These American and Israeli Jews deal with a profound moral crisis: whether to support Israel unconditionally as a bulwark against anti-Semitism, or to insist on a fair and peaceful solution with the Palestinians. They believe that only when human rights are respected for all, can Jews find true equality and security.
ABOUT THE EDITORS:
Murray Polner, an editor and publisher, was founding editor of Present Tense magazine and served as editor of Fellowship, the organ of the Fellowship of Conciliation. He served in the U.S. Army. He is the author of: No Victory Parades: the Return of the Vietnam Veteran; Rabbi: the American Experience, and Branch Rickey: A Biography. He co-authored Disarmed and Dangerous: The Radical Lives & Times of Daniel & Philip Berrigan, and edited When Can I Come Home? A Debate on Amnesty for Exiles, Anti-War Prisoners, and Others. He has regularly contributed to newspapers and journals.
Stefan Merken an activist, short-story writer, and novelist, was an American Fulbright Scholar in Japan, a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, a draft counselor and West Coast representative of the Jewish Peace Fellowship from 1978 to 1995, he also served on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation for more than twenty years. He and Polner co-edited Wrestling with Your Conscience: A Guide for Jewish Draft Registrants and Conscientious Objectors and updated and expanded Allan Solomonow’s Roots of Jewish Nonviolence. With his wife, Betty, he has written two books: Wall Art and Three Plays for Quarter. He lives in Seattle, WA.
"unabashedly left-leaning, but by no means homogenous, this literate, thought-provoking collection examines from all angles, in some four dozen essays, the idea that editors Polner and Merken believe "reflects the most basic attitude in our Jewish heritage:" Shalom, "much more than the absence of war… [it encompasses] wholeness, grace, and truth." Covering everything from scriptural imperative to Israel to Arab-Jewish relations to animal rights, this is an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms... There is much to learn here for anyone, Jew or Gentile, interested in global issues of peace and justice." - Publishers Weekly
Show Me the Way to Go Home
Product Code: 012
AUTHOR: DOROTHY JANE CULLEN SCHWARTZ
Show Me the Way to Go Home, is the memoir of a 1940s-1950s girlhood in the area around West Orange, New Jersey. Dependent on a pretty but feckless single mother, boarding with relatives and acquaintances, attending many different schools, Dorothy Jane survives sharing beds with not always happy relatives, a spell in a night-care home, playing poker in smoky rooms, and her mother`s raffish companions; recalling adored teachers with clarity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dorothy Jane (Deejay) Cullen Schwartz, a retired kindergarten teacher, lives with her husband of fifty years in a small town in New Jersey. They have two daughters and two granddaughters. In contrast to her wandering childhood, she has lived in the same house for more than forty years. Deejay is a life-long anti-war activist.
"I read Show Me the Way to Go Home over a period of several days, and each time I picked it up to read, it was hard to put down. The photos were a great help. Dorothy Jane’s ability to recall so many details from the past impressed me throughout this remarkable memoir. I can only thank her for sending it to me." - With gratitude, George Anderson , S.J., America Magazine, assoc. editor
"In Dorothy Jane Cullen Schwartz's exceptional memoir, Show Me the Way to Go Home, the author takes us deep inside the little girl Deejay was at six and seven and beyond. The author’s troubled – and at times joyous – childhood is powerfully recorded because of her ability to make us see, hear and feel very clearly what she experienced as a child. There is an extraordinary sense of immediacy that stays with the reader long after she puts the book down. This memoir is not only a story about privation and love; it also takes us on a young girl’s journey to find "her rightful place in the world." Deejay's encounter with the Catholic Church, rendered so humorously and movingly, as she struggles to have something in the world that is her own, and so discovers her "self," is really quite profound." - Dr. Judith R. Berzon, author of Neither White Nor Black: The Mulatto Character in American Fiction, 1978 Gotham Library of New York University Press
" I often watched Dorothy Jane D.J. Schwartz with my own and others’ children. I watched in awe. From whence came this insight, this ability to connect so deeply and personally with each one?
I thought I knew D.J., but Show Me the Way to Go Home opened the doors to a story I never knew, to suffering I could not have imagined. The book caused me to understand that, deprived as D.J. was of all that made a child feel safe, loved, happy, challenged, good – she devoted her life to ensure that each child with whom she came in contact would know that, if she were near, if she had any input into what might happen, that child would be safe, loved, challenged, nurtured, cared for – with all the love and insight D.J. gained in her life and in her adult career.
It is clear that D.J. paid in spades throughout her young life for her ability to reach the hearts of children and then, to be able to encourage those children to embrace life and to be builders of a better future for the children to come after them. " - Elizabeth McAlister, Johan House, Baltimore
The Grieving Time
Product Code: 014
The Grieving Time - A Year's Account of Recovery from Loss
By: ANNE M. BROOKS
More than 150,000 copies sold.
A modern classic on the subject of death and dying. The late Anne Brooks looked desperately for something to read that would offer comfort after her husband’s death. Finding nothing that moved her, she began a monthly journal about the personal side of her loss, her loneliness, and her struggle to come to terms with her independence, with her new self.
Day by day, The Grieving Time recounts Anne Brooks gradual recovery. It endures as first choice for grieving spouses, f or anyone facing the loss of a loved one through death or divorce. Counselors, psychologists, social workers, health care providers, ministers, and hospice workers have found it to be one of the most helpful books in their libraries.
"This slender; heartfelt book will linger in the mind and give comfort for a long time." - The New York Times Book Review
"I have rarely seen anything as direct and, in this way, as effective." - Family Circle
"...captures in surprisingly few words the depth of her emotion..." - The Baltimore Sun
"...startling in its candor will linger in the mind..." - The Atlanta Constitution
"...deeply and personally painful, which is why it succeeds." - The Florida Times Union
Product Code: 016
Withdrawal Symptoms - Light Verse for All Weights
BY: WILLIAM WALDEN
Preface: William Walden
Over the past fifty years William Walden’s poems—collected here for the first time—have been widely published in the United States and England. In the tradition of Ogden Nash, Walden appeals to both literary and popular sensibilities. His poems elevate the humble and deflate the pompous, celebrate quotidian truths and debunk accepted ones. Incisive and humorous, Walden is a conversational and companionable poet, a wry observer who brings everyman’s eyes and ears to the complexities of modern life and culture while offering a wink and a nod to the literati.
In this debut collection Walden delights with a splendid repertoire of self-effacing thoughts, mordant reflections, and puckish jabs on a variety of topics: the conundrum of gender and relationships, the fruits and ravages of time, the vexations of travel, the ordeal of aging and death, the pretentiousness of art and literature, the joys of language and word play, and many other subjects weighty and whimsical.
SOME SAMPLE SYMPTOMS:
More irksome than the person who
Is someone who agrees with you
When you describe your faults.
You’re young in mind and heart
As long as you can dart,
Like an intrepid gladiator,
Without a downward glance
Or instant’s hesitance
Onto a moving escalator.
HOW DRUDGELIKE WASHING DISHES!
(Not from the pen of Emily Dickinson)
How drudgelike, washing dishes!
But yet the pure
Can, with resourcefulness,
Escape this chore.
As souls resist temptation
And strive for good,
So may aspiring bodies
He’s a chamber-music hater,
He’s an abstract-painting foe,
He is anti-decorator,
He detests punctilio.
He disparages quick lunches,
He objects to strong cigars,
He’s contemptuous of hunches,
He distrusts rear-motored cars.
He is cool to Method actors,
He dislikes Italian shoes,
He dismisses chiropractors,
He belittles experts’ views.
Droll remarks will not divert him
From his targets as he strikes,
But you’ll plainly disconcert him
If you ask him what he likes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
William Walden was on the editorial staff of The New Yorker from 1942 to 1983. His verse has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Punch, The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Saturday Evening Post, The New York Times, The Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Look, Poetry, Georgia Review, and Indiana Review. He lives in New York City.
You Are as Young as Your Spine - How to prevent and relieve backaches and other pain
Product Code: 017
AUTHOR: EDITHA HEARN
Illustrations by Charlotta Adlerova
A concise home manual on how to relieve back ache and prevent it. Explains why back problems are so common and the role of the spine. Hearn tells how to recognize the early warning signs of spinal disc trouble and how to relieve and prevent disc problems by taking care of your spine by performing corrective movements. These simple movements take about one minute and should be done at least three times a day, especially when the spine begins to feel tired, stiffens up, or aches. Hearn also recommends a ten minute daily exercise regime that strengthens the trunk muscles. Most valuable are several chapters of practical information on avoiding or easing back pain while sitting at a desk, driving a car, carrying packages, lifting a child, or lying in bed. With Adlerova's copious graphics, all routines are easy to follow.
Editha Hearn is a physical therapist who for more than twenty years directed her own clinic. A member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, she trained under Dr. James Cyriax, considered to be the father of modern orthopedic medicine.