Monday, August 30, 2010

The Net of Dreams: A Family's Search for a Rightful Place by Julie Salamon 1996

 New York Times Notable Book and winner of Ohioana Book Award 1997

In this engaging memoir written by a journalist who is the child of Holocaust survivors, the author seeks to understand more about her parents who she felt she never really knew. Like the children of many survivors, Julie Salamon grew up in an environment of silence. Her father never talked to her about his experiences and her mother never went below the surface in telling abbreviated versions of what happened to her. What confused Salamon in particular was her mother’s cheerfulness in the face of having been a prisoner in Auschwitz where she had lost both of her parents as well as having lost other relatives in the war.

The memoir opens with Julie Salamon and her now-widowed mother and her mother’s second husband, also a survivor, making a trip to Auschwitz and to her mother’s childhood home in Huzst, formerly in Czechoslovakia, coincidently when Steven Spielberg was filming Schindler’s List. Salamon is concerned the entire time that the trip would be too traumatic for her mother, that her mother will be sorry she came, but the trip does prove to be a catalyst for conversation and the author taped her mother as she narrated in bits and pieces the story of her life, both while they were in Europe and once they were home.

Her mother’s story includes her father’s story. She had known him before the war in Huzst when he already was a doctor and married to another Huzst girl. He lost his first wife and young daughter in the war, a fact that Julie Salamon found out by accident when she was a child. Throughout his life his father never mentioned it. Her mother described their stay in post-war Prague and then their trip to America, only made possible because an uncle was already established in New York. Her mother explained how they ended up in Seaman, Ohio, south of  Cincinnati near the Kentucky border where they were the only Jews in town and where Salamon was born and lived for the first eighteen years of her life. There her father had a rewarding career as a small town doctor. Her mother liked small-town living as well; they felt safe. They felt they had a future.

It’s clear that through learning more about her parents’ lives the author has gained a better understanding of what they had been through. This in turn helped her to better understand her upbringing and seems to have brought her closer to her widowed mother.

For information about the Jewish history in Khust click here.

To read a 2/18/11 New York Times article on current thoughts about the need for new kinds of exhibitions at Auschwitz written by Michael Kimmelman, click here.



Author’s mother’s family
Julia Weiss – author’s great-grandmother
    Berthe Weiss – Julia’s daughter; married Nathan Rapaport; author’s grandmother
    ? Weiss – Julia’s daughter; married ? Frischmann
    Herman Weiss – Julia’s son
    Matyi (Marty) Weiss – Julia’s son; married Anna
Gedalya Rapaport – Nathan’s father; author’s maternal great-grandfather
        Erzsi Rapaport – Berthe and Nathan’s daughter; married Laci
        Rozsi Rapaport – Berthe and Nathan’s daughter; married Franz Winkelsberg
            Ilana Siman-Tov– Rozsi and Franz's  daughter
        Gyula Rapaport – Berthe and Nathan’s son
        Lilly “Szimi” Rapaport – Berthe and Nathan’s daughter; author’s mother;
        Alexander (Sanyi) Salamon – Lilly’s first husband
            Julia Marlene – Lilly and Alexander’s daughter; married Bill Abrams; author
                Roxie and Eli – their children
            Suzanne Eva – Lilly and Sanyi’s daughter; married Alan Einhorn
                Alexandra and David – their children
        Joseph (Hilu) Rapaport – Lilly’s brother
    Arthur Salcmon – second husband of Lilly Rappaport; author’s step-father
    Zhoffka Salcmon – Arthur’s sister; author’s step-aunt
        Otto –her son; married to Marcella
Olga Krofta – a cousin

Author’s father’s family
Marcus Salamon – married Sally Salamon; author’s grandparents
    Louis Salamon– Marcus and Sally's son
        Pityu Salaway (formerly Salamon)– Louis’ son
    Jani Salamon – Marcus and Sally's son
    Bela Salamon–  Marcus and Sally's son
        Mark Salamon - Bela's son
    Fanci Salamon – Marcus and Sally's daughter
        Erzsika – Fanci’s daughter
    Alexander (Sanyi) Salamon – married Anna Lazarovics (1st wife)
            Eva – their daughter
    Lilly Rapaport – married Alexander Salamon; author’s parents (see above)
        Aliska – Alexander Salamon’s niece
            Marsha – Aliska’s daughter
        Miki Hermel – Alexander’s nephew; married Erzsi
        Baba Feierstein– Alexander’s niece (daughter of a sister); married to Michael Schlanger
            David and Tommy–their sons

Bernie Adler – Steven Spielberg’s step-father
Arnold Spielberg – Steven Spielberg’s father
    Steven Spielberg – married and divorced Amy Irving; married Kate Capshaw
        Max – son of Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving
        Sasha, Sawyer, Theo (adopted) - children of Spielberg and Kate Capshaw
Leopold Schragge
Miri Fabian
Branko Lustig
Bozsi Landau
Olga, Tibor, and Otto Mermelstein - siblings
Willie Schwartz
Nadia Heinrich
Zeldi, Baszi, and Jossi Schafar – siblings
Pityu Klein
Sam Gendelman


Auschwitz, Poland
Dachau, Poland
Mauthausen, Austria
Bergen-Belsen, Germany
Buchenwald, Germany
Birkenau, Germany
Huszt (Khust), now in Ukraine
Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Podkarpatska Rus, former Czechoslovakia
Skarzysko, Poland
Lager Novaky, former Czechoslovakia
Topolcany, former Czechoslovakia
Volove, Ukraine
Satu-Mare, Romania
Uzhhorod, Ukrain
Brno, former Czechoslovakia
Beregszaz, Ukraine
Prague, former Czechoslovakia
Kiskoros, Hungary
Kamenets-Podolski, Ukraine
Kassa, (now Kolice), former Czechoslovakia
Zittau, Germany
Szigetvar, Hungary
Homok, Hungary
Kis Begany, Hungary
Nagy Begany, Hungary
Long Beach, New York
Miami Beach, Florida
The Milky Way, Hollywood, California
Seaman, Ohio
Manchester, Ohio
Avondale, Cincinnati, Ohio
Lima, Peru

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I was born in 1927, in small village, in Vlachovo, Czehoslovakia.

    I am looking for some information about:
    • The village - Vil'chivka (Ölyvös, Вільхівка, Ольховка) in Ukraine.
    • The district of my village: - Irshavsky Raion (Іршавський район, Іршаўскі раён) in South West of Ukraine (Zakarpattia Oblast, Закарпатська область, Закарпатская область).

    The information that I am looking for, is history of the place, maps of the village. Moreover, I am looking for people from this place.

    David Hershkovich

    Map of the Area (48°16' N, 23°04'E):

    Zakarpattia Oblast: