100 Cigarettes and a Bottle of Vodka: A Memoir

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Doubleday Canada, Dec 3, 2010 - History - 272 pages
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Winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award 2000

100 cigarettes and a bottle of vodka – the reward in German-occupied Poland for turning in a Jew.

Arthur Schaller was eleven when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Along with the rest of the Jewish population of Warsaw, he and his family were confined in the Ghetto. His father had escaped to Soviet-occupied territory, so Arthur, his mother, and his brother struggled to survive in increasingly desperate conditions. When Arthur’s mother was rounded up by the Nazis, a family friend orchestrated Arthur’s daring escape to the other side of the Ghetto wall, where, until the end of the war, he posed as a Catholic orphan, working as a cowherd, moving from farm to farm to avoid detection. Drawing on his love for his family, his passion for music – his mother’s legacy – and his simple yet powerful faith, Arthur Schaller found the strength to endure.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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About the author (2010)

Arthur Schaller immigrated to Canada in 1948 and settled in Toronto. It was only after fifty years had passed since the events described in the book that he was able to come to terms with his past through this affecting and powerful story. Arthur Schaller died a few months after the publication of the book.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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