56 letters from 1949 re-introduced Eleanor Reissa to her parents and her past
In 1986, when her mother died at the age of sixty-four, Eleanor Reissa went through all of her belongings. In the back of her mother’s lingerie drawer, she found an old leather purse. Inside that purse was a large wad of folded papers.
They were letters. Fifty-six of them. In German. Written in 1949. Letters from her father to her mother, when they were courting. Just four years earlier, he had fought to stay alive in Auschwitz and on the Death March -- while she had spent the war years suffering in Uzbekistan.
Thirty years later, Eleanor finally had the letters translated. The particulars of those letters send her off on an unimaginable adventure into the past, forever changing her and readers.