About the book
In 2004, three years after her father’s death, Annette Berkovits was going through his things and found a box of tapes—several years’ worth—recounting his spectacular life, triumphs, and tragedies one last time in his baritone voice.
Nachman Libeskind’s remarkable story is an odyssey through crucial events of the twentieth century.With an unshakable will and a few drops of luck, he survives a pre-war Pol- ish prison; witnesses the 1939 Nazi invasion of Lodz and narrowly escapes; is imprisoned in a brutal Soviet gulag where he helps his fellow inmates survive, and upon regaining his freedom treks to the foothills of the Himalayas, where he finds and nearly loses the love of his life. Later, the crushing communist regime and a lingering postwar anti-Semitism in Poland drive Nachman and his young family to Israel, where he faces a new form of discrimination. Then, defiantly, Nachman turns a pocketful of change into a new life in New York City, where a heartbreaking promise leads to his unlikely success as a modernist painter that inspires others to pursue their dreams.
With just a box of tapes, Annette Libeskind Berkovits tells more than her father ’s story: she builds an uncommon family saga and reimagines a turbulent past. In the process she uncovers a stubborn optimism that flourished in the unlikeliest of places.