A World Erased

Reviews for A World Erased

As a youth, Lederman was only vaguely aware of the history of his grandparents as Holocaust survivors. In Lederman’s close, loving extended family in America, questions to his grandparents on the topic were usually deflected. As an adult, a trip to Holocaust-related sites in eastern Europe triggered an intense interest in Lederman for his family’s experiences. His now-widowed grandmother, perhaps as a form of therapy, slowly but with vivid detail finally revealed her story, and the result is this harrowing and deeply shocking if sometimes uplifting account. This is a wide-ranging memoir, covering the vibrant, prewar Jewish life in Poland, the Nazi-imposed Jewish ghetto and subsequent extermination camps, the postwar confinement in displaced person camps, and the move to America. In passionate and sometimes hate- filled invective, his grandmother lashes out at her Nazi persecutors but also at many goyim, Poles whom she describes as viciously anti-Semitic. If there is a hero here, it is Lederman’s grandmother, who consistently displays remarkable courage and resilience in the face of horrible traumas. This is a vital contribution to Holocaust collections. -- Jay Freeman, Booklist

Noah Lederman . . . offers a compelling third-generation perspective on the Holocaust, the survivors, and their families. He craves the details about death camps and ghettos that gave his grandparents nightmares. Part travelogue into the Europe of former concentration camps and his grandparents’ native Poland, part quest for the ugly truths he was shielded from as a child, Lederman’s narrative opens with the death of his grandfather, and the urgent need to learn, delicately, from his grandmother what he can before her stories die with her., The Philadelphia Inquirer

Have you ever read a memoir that you couldn't put down? They are rare, but I've found one: A World Erased.... Noah Lederman is an excellent writer, and not only shares family memories, but his journey to understand the lives of his grandparents—what they survived during the Holocaust—and how that affected the rest of their lives. It is powerful, moving, and I have never read a memoir that held my attention so much that I couldn't sleep; turning out the light at 6am when the sun was rising, as I turned the last page, I felt bereft at finishing, awe at Lederman's words and story, and love for his family.... Highly recommended., Wandering Educators

In A World Erased, author Noah Lederman seeks to find for himself the stories of his survivor grandparents who are reluctant to tell him anything but the most gentle versions of what occurred. After a fact-finding trip to Europe, what transpires unlocks the full narrative: the unrelenting horror during that period but also the extreme resilience which gives the author a whole new context to his family., Southern Jewish Life Magazine

Lederman makes us both laugh and cry as we read, and this may very well be the Holocaust book of the year., Reviews by Amos Lassen

Lederman’s dogged persistence in getting his grandparents to recount their memories of the Holocaust pays off brilliantly. In A World Erased, he rescues their stories—and the stories of so many who survived, and so many who didn’t—and turns their experiences during the Holocaust into an enduring monument for his own generation and those to follow. -- Wayne Hoffman, executive director, Tablet Magazine, and author of Sweet Like Sugar and An Older Man

Noah Lederman’s superbly written memoir has the emotional impact of a great novel but resonates with the truth of his own experience as the grandson of Holocaust survivors. It’s the story of a young man coming to terms with familial memory as he travels the world and finds his own place in it. This is a moving and important book. -- Phyllis T. Smith, Author of I Am Livia

A World Erased is a book of dark tales that is suffused with tenderness on every page. As the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles, Lederman's journey of remembrance makes for urgent reading. -- Sam Apple, author of Schlepping through the Alps

This gripping book traces the evolution of a young man's quest to uncover the stories of his grandparents’ harrowing past—a riveting journey through repressed memory, unspeakable trauma, and the landmarks of European genocide that lead the author to a fresh understanding of his family's wartime past and his own identity. A determined historian, dogged sleuth, and gifted storyteller, Lederman flecks his memoir with black humor and refreshing candor, illuminating how the horrors of the Holocaust are transmitted through the generations. -- Andrew Jacobs, director of Four Seasons Lodge