When Relli was just a baby, the Nazis occupied Poland and she, together with her parents, were imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto, a way station before death. This is the amazing story of Relli Robinson, who, thanks to kindhearted, courageous people and a tenacious capacity for survival, was able to get through the most difficult times in the history of humankind. An orphan girl, the sole survivor of her entire family.
The way Robinson chose to write her life story - in short episodes - was perfect. She has an amazing memory, and each episode is described in enough detail to bring the scenes and the people around her to life. Anita Weiner, Ph.D. and Senior Lecturer, School of Social Work, University of Haifa, 2011 Relli Robinson was able to write this book on multiple levels: as a child, as an adult, as a historian of her own life, and also as an observer - all with captivating human simplicity. A ground-breaking way of writing about the Holocaust. Prof. Rachel Hertz-Lazrowitz, Faculty of Education, University of Haifa, 2012 The writing is intimate and strong without becoming sentimental. An incredibly fascinating read. Yona Ben-David, Library Director, Kibbutz Lahav, 2011 I was spellbound from the very first line. I felt that this life, depicted so artfully, was getting right under my skin. I could feel the joy, the pain, the sorrow, the loss, the hope, the determination and the resilience in the face of adversity. What a perfect name for this book. Nurit Zach-Shahal, Bible Studies Scholar and Lecturer, Haifa, 2011 "Grandma, how is that possible? Such a little girl, without a mother or a father?" my granddaughter, Shahak, asked me when she was four years old. This book is my attempt to answer Shahak's question. As I weave my personal story into a patchwork of documented facts, painful memories of a deprived childhood and the recounting of core-shaking events, I too reflect Shahak's question, "How is that possible? Such a little girl, without a mother or a father?" In this book I translate the reality of the Holocaust into emotions and then through those emotions I echo the reality of the Holocaust. I try to widen the horizon of the memory of the Holocaust while focusing on the human aspects rather than on the evil and the suffering and the cruelty. I believe in the importance of carrying the torch of memory of the Shoah (Holocaust) in different ways - not only the tragic and cruel facts which are beyond human understanding and even belief, but also in focusing on the human aspects: humanism, bravery, courage, love, determination to survive, to fight for life, to help others. I hope that some of the messages in my book will touch the readers and inspire the younger generations to carry the torch of memory when we, the survivors, will not be around to tell and retell. As it says in the Bible, Psalms, chapter 78, verse 6: "So that the final generation may know; children yet to arise will tell their own children."
Relli Robinson was born in 1939 in Warsaw. Living under an assumed identity with her Polish rescuers, she was the only member of her family to survive the Warsaw Ghetto. She immigrated to Israel in 1950, where she lives today, in the city of Haifa. She is the mother of two and a grandmother of six. Robinson studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and in Los Angeles, California at UCLA. For over thirty years, she held senior academic administration positions at the University of Haifa in Israel, the last of which was administrative head of the Welfare and Health Sciences Faculty. Her first novel, Raking Light from Ashes was published in 2011 and printed in three editions. It was awarded a translation into English grant by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and has been covered extensively in Israeli media. From the time of its publication, Relli Robinson has been touring the country non-stop, giving talks and running seminars about the book at universities, colleges, high schools, and cultural centers across the country.