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Preview — Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson
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Once We Were Brothers (Liam and Catherine #1)
Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as prepos ...more
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That quote says it all, and Ben Solomon vowed to follow through on this edict, and he definitely was following through.
ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS is a powerful, well-researched first novel that will have you glued to the pages as Ben tells his story of hatred, horror, and the annihilation of his and other Jewish families during WWII.
Telling the story of the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Poland was stressful for the 83-year-old main character, Ben ...more
At a very public event Ben Solomon, an 83-year old Polish concentration camp survivor living in Chicago, attacks Elliot Rosenzweig, a Chicago philanthropist. Solomon claims that Rosenzweig is really Otto Piatek, a Nazi who stole Solomon’s family’s treasures. To complicate matters, Piatek was Solomon’s adoptive brother, left with Solomon’s Jewish family by Piatek’s down-on-their-luck gentile parents. In spite of hundreds of witnesses, Rosenzweig ref ...more
WARNING … POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW
,,, Ben hates his former friend and "brother" Otto for failing to save his parents and others from Nazi torture and murder but gives no credence to the enormous risks Otto did take to save Ben and his wife, the unsuccessful but still substantial efforts Otto made on behalf of others, and the numerous warnings he made for all of them to ...more
The book's premise is extremely compelling, and the shifting events from present-day Chicago to war torn Poland and back create an interesting narr ...more
Well, for starters, some pretty bad writing. For example, violation of what I call the "guffaw principle," by which I mean that if an author latches onto a word like "guffaw," or maybe it's some unhappy phrase that's repeated, it is going to be an irritant. Then there are characters who are more types than individuals and who are made to give voice to ...more
It took me a while to get into this novel. The characters were not coming across with any authenticity. The story at times seemed unrealistic. The present day setting ... not the historical past. However, at about the midpoint this turned into quite "I cannot put it down" and "one more chapter" book.
Elliot Rosenzweig is a wealthy Chicago philanthropist and is attending the opening night at the opera when Ben Solomon, a retired Polish immigrant, makes his way through t ...more
About five years ago I stumbled across a wonderful little Jewish Deli in Pittsburgh, PA. I chatted with the elderly spitfire of a clerk behind the counter before deciding on my order. When I saw his hand reach for the cash register, I winced. For the first time in my life I saw the obscene green numbers tattooed on the inside of someone’s forearm. I immediately knew what they were. I’d read about them in school but seeing them on a living, breathing, human bundle ...more
What might be a great premise is bogged down. Catherine must not have taken any history classes in her formal education allowing Ben to not only tell his story but the story of many Polish Jews to increase her unders ...more
I was a little surprised with the way the story was told. Actually, it was like there was a story within the book. The story part is narrated by Ben Solomon, a Holocaust survivor suing a man named Elliot Rosenzweig, a proclaimed Holocaust survivor as well; however, Solomon claims that Rosenzweig is actually Otto Piatek, a German boy who was raised as a member of the Solomon household and later, after donning the suit of the Reich, brought about the deaths of the family members and took their mon...more
There are two timelines, and the historical narrative is by far the better of the two, though the device of having it told in the present does not always work well. The c ...more
E’ più che evidente che Ronald H. Balson è un dilettante della ...more