|| Dateline: Istanbul
Author: Joseph Friedenson
Publisher: Artscroll Mesorah
Dr. Jacob Griffel's lone odyssey through a sea of indifference.
Officially neutral, Nazi-leaning Turkey during World War II -- a beehive of intrigue, espionage, diplomacy, bribery, and bureaucratic opposition to almost every attempt to save Jewish lives.
Into this morass came Dr. Jacob Griffel, a Polish Jew whose young wife and children died in the blitzkrieg of Warsaw. He was an unusual combination: successful lawyer, astute businessman, devout chassidic Jew -- and a man who despised red tape, “office hours,” and “procedure.”
His mission and obsession was to save lives during the war and bring back the survivors -- especially the children -- when it was over.
He was a man possessed. He didn’t sleep. He didn’t eat. He didn’t tolerate small-minded opposition. He wouldn’t talk about himself, and because of him thousands of people are alive today.
This stirring saga is an important contribution to the knowledge of the period and an inspiring lesson in how much one man can accomplish.
* * *
About the Author: Joseph Friedenson was born in Lodz, Poland, and was weaned on a family tradition of religious journalism and Torah-community service. Ordained at the famed Lublin Yeshiva and an “alumnus” of six concentration and slave labor camps, Friedenson came to the U.S. after the War and resumed the family tradition. He is co-author of ArtScroll’s Heroine of Rescue, contributor to many Hebrew and Yiddish publications, and since 1953 has been the founding editor of the world’s leading Orthodox Yiddish magazine Dos Yiddishe Vort.