From Under Her Wings

Narrative Category:

In From Under Her Wings, Michel Werber shares his almost unbelievable autobiographical story. Born in Brussels, Belgium, in December 1938, the Nazi invasion takes place a year-and-a-half later. Michel flees with his family to the South of France, where they stay for a few months. Following their return to Belgium, he is hidden with a Christian family until after the liberation, thus sparing him from Nazi persecution and sheltering him from the horrors of the Holocaust; moreover, he is pampered by his “war maman” (war mother) and is considered as her son. The author also recounts the life story of his outstanding war maman and reflects upon the unusual bond that sprang up between her and the little Jewish boy she was raising as her own a bond that was to last until her death, about fifty years after the war, and would influence the man he would become. He then goes on to describe his own life, firstly when he returned to live with his parents in Brussels for six years, before being sent by himself to a kibbutz in Israel. There, he spent ten years in very trying circumstances, mainly because of his difficulties in adapting to a completely different style of life and society. There follows a brief account of his adult life, including his academic career. The author reflects upon the particular challenges he faced in developing resilience to the extraordinary turns of fate to which he was subjected, and discusses how a small boy, brought up during his crucial developmental years in a Christian household where he established such strong bonds to his war maman - with no idea that he was even Jewish - came to regain his Jewish identity.

Author 1: 
Michel Werber

The author was a hidden child in Belgium and describes the upheavals, traumas and triumphs of his life’s journey.

Independently published
Pub Date: 
Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - 17:00
Next Generation: 
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