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From Broken Glass

From Broken Glass

My Story of Finding Hope in Hitler's Death Camps to Inspire a New Generation

From the survivor of ten Nazi concentration camps who went on to create the New England Holocaust Memorial, an inspiring memoir about finding strength in the face of despair.

On August 14, 2017, two days after a white-supremacist activist rammed his car into a group of anti-Fascist protestors, killing one and injuring nineteen, the New England Holocaust Memorial was vandalized for the second time in as many months. At the base of one of its fifty-four-foot glass towers lay a pile of shards. For Steve Ross, the image called to mind Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass in which German authorities and civilians ransacked Jewish-owned buildings with sledgehammers.

Ross was eight years old when the Nazis invaded his Polish village, forcing his family to flee. He spent his next six years in a day-to-day struggle to survive the notorious camps in which he was imprisoned, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau among them. When he was finally liberated, he no longer knew how old he was, he was literally starving to death, and everyone in his family save for his brother had been killed.

Ross learned in his darkest experiences–by observing and enduring inconceivable cruelty as well as by receiving compassion from caring fellow prisoners–the human capacity to rise above even the bleakest circumstances. He decided to devote himself to underprivileged youth, aiming to ensure that despite the obstacles in their lives they would never experience suffering like he had. Over the course of a nearly forty-year career as a psychologist working in the Boston city schools, that was exactly what he did. At the end of his career, he spearheaded the creation of the New England Holocaust Memorial, a site millions of people including young students visit every year.

Equal parts heartrending, brutal, and inspiring, From Broken Glass is the story of how one man survived the unimaginable and helped lead a new generation to forge a more compassionate world.

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Genre: Nonfiction / History / Holocaust

On Sale: May 15th 2018

Price: $13.99 / $17.99 (CDN)

Page Count: 288

ISBN-13: 9780316513081

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reader reviews


"A timely and beautiful book."
Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Little Failure

"From Broken Glass is a captivating and deeply personal story of a
young boy's experience in the Holocaust, and the ways that event shaped
his life as an adult in America. Ross's remarkably detailed account
stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.
It is
relevant to this day, a reminder of what can happen when we lose sight
of the humanity of others in society."—Senator Dianne Feinstein

"While Ross's is a work of history, it feels timely....Donald Trump's presidency has coincided with a marked uptick in
anti-Semitic crimes, including the smashing of two glass panels at the
memorial in Boston last year....One of the most striking things about the book is how [Ross] manages to maintain hope."—The Boston Globe

"Striking, fierce, and ultimately uplifting, From Broken
is the moving story of how one man found his moral purpose in the
crucible of the Holocaust and waged a life-long war against prejudice in all
its forms. Just when we need it most, Steve Ross offers our nation a rallying
cry for how we can overcome the hatred that divides us.
"—Robert Trestan, New England Regional Director, Anti-Defamation

profound and compelling addition to the literature of the Holocaust at a time
when it is more critical than ever
to understand both the horrifying depths to
which its perpetrators sank and the astonishing capacity for generosity and
compassion of the heartbreakingly few survivors. No matter how many
memoirs of that terrible time you have read, you will find something new in
these pages. There are scenes--a Ukrainian child's shiny black boots
spattered with blood, a father eating his beloved small son's mouthful of bread--that
will haunt me forever. And there are moments also of inspiring tenacity,
nearly incomprehensible open-heartedness that I hope never to forget."—Ayelet Waldman, bestselling author of Love and Treasure

"Steve Ross emerges as a resilient
character who is determined not to allow the enemies of the past to re-emerge
in the present unchallenged; his book opens with a cri de coeur on
Charlottesville, and it ends with a defiant testimonial: 'I am a
survivor.' A worthy memoir of dark times, full of practical lessons for
resistance and community organizing today.
"—Kirkus Reviews

"From Broken
reminds us of the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights
that the human spirit can reach.
Steve Ross tells a remarkable story of
survival and shows us how a person of good will and character can persevere
through unspeakable tragedy and live a life of generosity and kindness."—Frank S. Holleman
III, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education

"Throughout his
childhood, Steve Ross was given every reason to hate, fear, and withdraw, but
instead he has spent his life building a kinder, gentler, more hopeful world.
You cannot read Steve's story and resist his contagious optimism for a better
"—Congressman Joe
Kennedy III

"Steve Ross's
tireless work has helped ensure that the horrors of the Holocaust are never
repeated."—Israel Arbeiter,
survivor of Auschwitz

"Steve Ross is a quiet leader for our city in the things we
care about--helping people overcome obstacles, mentoring youth, providing the
power of example....As he did this work, Ross brought people together across all
kinds of historic boundaries--neighborhoods, races, religions. From Broken Glass is inspiring beyond words."—Marty Walsh, Mayor of Boston

"From Broken Glass is
an opportunity to spend time in the presence of an extraordinary man. No one I
know of has ever responded to unimaginable brutality with such generosity of
deed and spirit, recounted here with understated eloquence."—Congressman Barney
Frank, New York Times bestselling author of Frank: A Life in Politics
from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage

"Bearing witness became a sacred obligation [for Ross]...Interspersed with the nightmares of trying to survive in a world of
extermination are Ross's accounts of his work in some of Boston's
toughest neighborhoods and his efforts to establish a memorial for the
victims of the Holocaust."—The Washington Post

"This moving memoir recounts how Ross, who was born
Szmulek Rozental in Poland in 1931, created meaning for himself after the
Holocaust..An inspirational account of hope overcoming horror."—Publishers Weekly

"An introspective memoir about the power of perseverance and compassion....This account will inspire others to work in their communities to help the 'forgotten.'...a necessary and timely addition to Holocaust memoirs."—Library Journal