Download Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed eBook
by Leslie Maitland
Blocked at the time by landslides of war, it had twisted throughout a lifetime of dreams while she went in another direction.
Lyrics from J’attendrai by Louis Potérat, 1938. Blocked at the time by landslides of war, it had twisted throughout a lifetime of dreams while she went in another direction. With its pitfalls concealed, too late to turn back, it seemed cruel and ill-timed to make her confront where the path she had lost might have led her. Was that the gift I would bring her from France at this uniquely terrible moment?
Includes bibliographical references (pages 489-492).
This is an amazing book. It records the events and results of one German Jewish family's experience during the Holocaust and for decades afterwards. It is hard to believe she was able to find out so much!
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Maitland used all the skills she acquired as reporter to tell the story of how her German Jewish mother, born Johanna Gunzburger in Freiburg, Germany, in 1923 managed to flee the Nazi killing machine in 1938, with her father, mother, sister and brother, landing first in Mulhouse, France, moving as the Germans defeated the French in June 1940, finally leaving on the last.
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Maitland includes a treasury of old family photographs and documents to enhance this incredible story of the gauzy intersection of memory and fact. with insight and honesty.
It traces the love story of two young people, Janine and her French Catholic lover, Roland Arcieri, caught up in war-torn France. This love is sustained throughout their lives, even though they have no contact for over fifty years.
On a pier in Marseille in 1942, with desperate refugees pressing to board one of the last ships to escape France before the Nazis choked off its ports, an 18-year-old German Jewish girl was pried from the arms of the Catholic Frenchman she loved and promised to marry. As the Lipari carried Janine and her family to Casablanca on the first leg of a perilous journey to safety in Cuba, she would read through her tears the farewell letter that Roland had slipped in her pocket: “Whatever the length of our separation, our love will survive it, because it depends on us alone. I give you my vow that whatever the time we must wait, you will be my wife. Never forget, never doubt.” Five years later – her fierce desire to reunite with Roland first obstructed by war and then, in secret, by her father and brother – Janine would build a new life in New York with a dynamic American husband. That his obsession with Ayn Rand tormented their marriage was just one of the reasons she never ceased yearning to reclaim her lost love. Investigative reporter Leslie Maitland grew up enthralled by her mother’s accounts of forbidden romance and harrowing flight from the Nazis. Her book is both a journalist’s vivid depiction of a world at war and a daughter’s pursuit of a haunting question: what had become of the handsome Frenchman whose picture her mother continued to treasure almost fifty years after they parted? It is a tale of memory that reporting made real and a story of undying love that crosses the borders of time.