From Solly Kaplinski
Over the last few years I have been preoccupied on and off with writing a story which is both fictitious and, at the same time, has personal dimensions to it.
I am pleased to say that after obsessively thinking about it on my daily 5.00 a.m. walks on the hills of Jerusalem (sometimes with Leonard Cohen in my ears!) and after constantly making of notes at 30,000 feet, finally, I am the proud parent of our “fourth child!”
“A World of Pains” is a novella which focuses on repressed memories of brutal crimes committed more than 50 years ago.
Weaving back and forth from war-torn Lithuania during the Shoah and New York in the late 90’s, the historical context of the Holocaust is the backdrop of the dastardly deeds and the turbulent emotions of the protagonist who is forced to put the shards of his past together to try and get his life back.
Quoting from the blurb on Amazon, “The narrative begs the question, can there ever be forgiveness? And also, what are appropriate punishments for unimaginable crimes? Could you forgive someone that you love who had done such a thing? But more importantly, if it were you, could you forgive yourself?”
I am excited and honored to add that Stephen D. Smith who is the Executive Director of the University of California Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles (associated with Steven Spielberg) has written a foreword.
This novella is a memorial to family members who perished in the forests of Vilnius.
If you would like to read the book, it is available as an eBook (self- published) on Amazon at

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My Dear Hindalla

What was everyday life like in the late 1930’s before World War II and the Holocaust? How did friendships endure?  
 Meet Hinda Zarkey and Nochum Berman. Hinda is a teenager trying to adjust to her new life in Cleveland, while Berman remains in Lithuania, hoping to come to America. Through his letters to her, their friendship unfolds – a friendship based on shared values and hope for the future. Their correspondence is a refuge from everyday trouble and challenges as the comfortable life they once knew is unraveling.  
This book is a tribute to their friendship and a testament to the rich heritage of a world that is lost, but not forgotten.
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We Are Here

Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust

A personal journey into the Jewish heartland of Lithuania leads to a larger quest. A rich account, full of insight and hope for a more tolerant future.

Ellen Cassedy set off into the Jewish heartland of Lithuania to study Yiddish and connect with her forebears. Then her uncle, a Holocaust survivor, told a surprising story about his experience in a Lithuanian ghetto, and an elderly man in her ancestral town made an unsettling request. Old certainties began to dissolve, and her Jewish heritage tour took on new meaning.  Read more.

University of Nebraska Press, March 2012

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