Warsaw, Poland

elirab KehilaLinkshttp://elirab.me/kehila






This memoir, which encompasses the true story of Bella and Chaim, the author’s parents, with the intergenerational trauma of being a child of survivors, is of love, loss, gratitude and a testament to the human spirit as well as a call to rise above: ashes, victimhood, and generalizations.

Bella and Chaim were born in Warsaw and met and fell in love in the Warsaw Ghetto where they witnessed the destruction of a way of life; sole survivors of both their families, they survived the ghetto then endured entombment for eighteen months before rescue, liberation, and immigration to begin anew in Australia.

This book embraces and mingles survivor-memory, recorded and analyzed historical context, and memory-fragments of Melbourne in the 1950s, with real-time musings on the light, dark and potential of being alive. Honoring the murdered and the righteous, reminding us that our choices matter, ever present are the dilemma’s and challenges facing us today. Augmented with photos, maps, a chapter on sources, bibliography, endnotes and an index, this book can be read as an inspirational story and/or utilized as a well-researched resource for in-depth study.

Sara Vidal is an Australian writer, graduate of Melbourne University, Architect, Victorian Public Service Manager; she was born in a refugee camp in Italy in 1945. In 1992, aware that her parents’ generation were beginning to die, and at a time of holocaust denial, she began writing on several fronts: childhood memories of growing up in Melbourne in the 1950s  – The Making of Plans (unpublished),  a journal of political and familial observations during the 1990s, extensive researching and writing of her parent’s story; these writings mingle in Bella and Chaim and two more works on the way. She has two children and four grandchildren and lives in Melbourne, Australia.

This book is available online, in bookstores and in libraries throughout Australia and internationally including those of Yad Vashem, Berlin Holocaust Museum, Stanford University, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – check it out at https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/bib261856

And here are some of the wonderful reviews:

PICK OF THE WEEK’: “Sara Rena Vidal's imaginative story of her parents' war …”

Steven Carroll in Spectrum (The Age (Melbourne) & Sydney Morning Herald) 9/12/2017

“… the author has used the power of multiple sources of words to conjure the immediacy of a vanished world.  I haven’t read anything quite like it before.” Lisa Hill ANZLitLovers. For full review click on: https://anzlitlovers.com/2018/01/26/bella-and-chaim-the-story-of-beauty-and-life-by-sara-rena-vidal-bookreview/

“Wonderful book; deeply researched, scholarly, heartfelt and well written.”

Emeritus Professor Roger Fay, University of Tasmania

‘This memoir ... refuses to defer to hate and yearns to inspire a more humane future.Emeritus Professor Richard Freadman, LaTrobe University. For full review click on: https://hybridpublishers.com.au/media/sample/Launch%20ofBella%20and%20Chaim.pdf

“…  a beautiful way to end, so full of a sense of our common humanity and our connection to everything on this planet if we are open to it.” India Bell, Sydney

Sara Rena Vidal

July 2018