This is a book about, Chaskel Tydor, an Auschwitz and Buchenwald survivor, who was at various times a bookkeeper, metallurgist, kibbutz founder, Hebrew book publisher, uranium mine manager, and travel agent. Spanning close to ninety years of life, his story takes the reader through three continents, two marriages, and one Holocaust. At the same time, it is also the story of much of the Jewish people during the twentieth century, or at least those who found themselves wandering between countries, learning to function in new languages and societies, building and joining various Jewish communities, and continuously adopting different outward ways of life while trying to maintain their Jewish beliefs and practices.
Through the story of one, albeit unique man, we learn the history of an era: Jewish life in Eastern Europe before the First World War, events in Weimar and Hitler's Germany during the 1920s and 1930s, the struggle for survival in Nazi camps, the creation of the State of Israel, Jewish life in the United States after the Second World War including in far-flung areas such as Montana and South Dakota, and finally, the events in Israel following the Yom Kippur War and up to and including the first Intifada (1987). This a book of Jewish survival and triumph chronicling the transformation and rebirth not only of one man but of an entire Jewish world. Throughout the book Dr Baumel-Schwartz provides substantive Further Reading lists and bibliographic information which allows readers to source and compare other scholarship and writings on the places and historical circumstances presented.