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Confronting the Silence: A Holocaust Survivor’s Search for God by Walter Ziffer (65,000 words, 13 illustrations)

In this memoir, Walter Ziffer, a Holocaust survivor born in Czechoslovakia in 1927, recounts his boyhood experiences, the Polish and later German invasions of his hometown, the destruction of his synagogue, his Jewish community’s forced move into a ghetto, and his 1942 deportation and ensuing experiences in eight Nazi concentration and slave labor camps. In 1945, Ziffer returned to his hometown, trained as a mechanic and later emigrated to the US where he converted to Christianity, married, graduated from Vanderbilt University with an engineering degree, worked for General Motors before becoming a Christian minister. He taught and preached in Ohio, France, Washington DC and Belgium. He later returned to Judaism and considers himself a Jewish secular humanist.


“The compelling story of an unfolding life carried by an insatiable search for meaning.” —
Mahan Siler, retired Baptist minister

“In Walter Ziffer’s beautifully written new book, you will learn of Walter’s complex life journey, and you may experience, thanks to his skillfully told story and clearly articulated questions and insights, a sense of his presence, the presence of a great man who finds in his own story lessons important for the rest of us, especially now.” —
Richard Chess, Director, The Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville

“A powerful and unique addition to the literature of the Holocaust. Walter Ziffer’s memoir not only recounts his own personal resilience and survival of the camps, but also his own unusual spiritual journey in which he both becomes a Christian minister while retaining his quintessential Jewish identity. This is a learned, well-crafted, and fascinating new dimension to this literature.” —
Michael Sartisky, President Emeritus, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

“The Holocaust portion [of this memoir]... is as true and chilling as a parent’s last words. His tale-telling prowess makes as strong a mental impression as it makes a factual one.” — Rob Neufeld,
Asheville Citizen-Times