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Reviewed by Renee Taylor for Readers' Favorite
Yearning to Breathe Free: My Parents' Fight to Reunite During the Holocaust by Murray Jack Laulicht and Peter Weisz is a sad yet inspiring Holocaust true story. On February 1, 1940, thirty-three-year-old Jewish Ernestyna Goldwasser traveled to the United States while pregnant with her first child. Her father was a U.S. citizen, so Ernestyna received a special status that allowed her to emigrate from Poland during the German invasion. Unfortunately, her husband was not allowed to journey with her and was forced to stay in Germany. Ernestyna was alone and afraid in this new country while her husband watched his country get torn apart by hate and violence. Their struggle to reunite was preserved in the many letters between the couple, pieced together in this first-person account by the very child Ernestyna fled Poland to save.
Yearning to Breathe Free is an emotional tale of a Jewish family's struggles. It is a story with historical context, making it an educational story that I really enjoyed. I appreciated the historical background and really felt as if the authors worked very hard to make sure this story was as true to the times as possible. They wrote a historically accurate tale filled with sad and dark emotions. It is also a poignant story that made me sad for the characters' heartaches and losses. Yearning to Breathe Free is a non-fiction tale that combines an honest look at Jewish history with a very personal and emotional story. The language is beautifully written and tells of the horrors as well as the high points of a family struggling to find each other during the terrifying time of World War II.