Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crossing The Borders of Time A True Story Of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed. Written by: Leslie Maitland

"Our Sole enemy is time! 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.... You see, ma cherie, fate has sent us a test so that our love will achieve its full greatness. You are everything for me, and I do not want to speak here of all my pain in letting you leave, going so far from me, but know that if I had to lose you, nothing good would come of my life. You are my goal..."

                    " They had never seen each other again. And my mother had never forgotten. "
Well readers from all over the world. I feel like this book has touched my heart in such a way it has scared it forever with its tragic beauty. Most children now of days especially in the United States learn of that crime against all that makes us human the Holocaust. We learn of peoples stories visit graves, visit memorials, and even at certain memorials are given little booklets with victims photos and a small biography in it. The story that Leslie Maitland tells is so detailed so gripping I found myself slipping into her families story and found myself wishing I could become untangled from the tale. I kept reaching out to my own husband to anchor myself to the land of now. Even as I write this my eyes fill with tears and my heart swells. This story I heard about on NPR on the Diane Rehm show Maitland was promoting her book which is mostly the story of her mother and her love of a young man called Roland in the book. I was so caught up with the tale she was telling us about I knew I had to read this story even if just to know do they meet again after having been separated by the war!  This story goes back generations previous to Leslie's own mother the heroine of the tale Janine, but it is not only her mothers story though her mothers tale of love inspired Leslie this story goes back generations and branches out to so many people over so many continents. I expected the story to be one of love, trial, and happily ever after, but...well this was real life and during such a horrendous time it could not be so simple. In fact it seems like fate, family, and the world were against Roland's and Janine's love. It seemed as if the world could not let something so pure exist when there was so much upheaval and chaos in the world around them, as if their love was a fitting sacrifice rather than have their lives taken, it would be their love.

This book is non-fiction it is so true and has so many facts and historical data as well as maps, pictures, and copies of official documents I poured over the text. I am also again ashamed for how humanity behaves first to start something as insane as the Holocaust and second to profit from such evil deeds and then to not instantly realize action, compassion, help must be given. I learned some things they do not teach in school. Perhaps since I was not always American I wish our teachers had told us the follies of our country during this time, or perhaps I just think the truth needs to be taught so newer generations never forget and never repeat what their previous generations did. For example the book states this fact. Lake Geneva is the setting. "May of the thirty-two participating countries offered sympathy. Very few offered asylum. Although a quarter of Germany's six hundred thousand Jews had fled its orders since 1933, France had accepted only 1 percent of them. With Austrian Jews now swelling the ties of refugees, the British not only tightened restriction for England but also refused to accept Jews into Palestine. Americans viewed Jews negatively and believed them to be a threat to the nation. Those who sought  curb immigration argued to President Franklin Roosevelt that the Depression still demanded putting domestic needs first. As a result, between 1933 and America's entry into World War II eight years later, only about one hundred thousand Jews were admitted." I was just ashamed and sickened I know I wasn't there, but in school we are taught how great America was how compassionate how we fought back evil and said no more! Yet, we are guilty of crimes against humanity no? Even today American's claim certain races, minorities, people of faith, people lacking faith, sexual preference, people not Native to America are a threat to the American's way of life. I just do not understand how we can witness time and time again such crimes and still pose such arguments in the present day of life.

But I go off topic. I found much desire in Leslie's writing it was clearly full of love and traveled through time so dynamically. The way a family is affected and how it evolves and how though her relations suffered they were some of the few who would be deemed lucky compared to their peers and those who sympathized for them. I loved this book I will read it again someday I will read it to future generations in hopes to prevent hate. I know I say this a lot readers, but I just do not understand hatred. I have a love that is great and I hope to hold onto it forever like Janine does, because at the end of the day my love makes me human. If you can handle needing three box of tissues and do not mind a hard read, a hard read due to the topic of Jewish persecution during World War II, and you have a thirst for knowledge this book is for you.

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