Publication Date: July 11, 2023
Print Length: 384 pages
Curious to learn more about her family’s Polish history, Judy Rakowsky joins her uncle Sam, a Holocaust survivor, as he returns to the small Polish town where many of his family members were killed during World War II. After hearing that one of his cousins may have survived, Sam sets out, with Rakowsky’s help, to learn whether she is still alive.
Their quest lasts three decades, as they make repeated trips to Poland, research archival records and search out all possible clues. In the process they uncover the heroic ways in which Polish citizens protected their Jewish neighbors while also learning about the antisemitic death squads that form a tragic wartime history many in Poland were unwilling or were unable to discuss.
Evans, Richard. “The Holocaust in Poland and the erasures of the past.” The New York Times. July 12, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/12/books/review/jews-in-the-garden-judy-rakowsky.html.
Lebovic, Matt. “’Jews in the Garden’ uproots Poland’s homegrown Holocaust perpetrators.” The Times of Israel, October 23, 2023. https://www.timesofisrael.com/jews-in-the-garden-uproots-polands-homegrown-holocaust-perpetrators/.
NPR. “In ‘Jews in the Garden,’ a Holocaust survivor tries to uncover uncomfortable truths.” NPR Book of the Day, September 19, 2023. https://www.npr.org/2023/09/19/1196977795/in-jews-in-the-garden-a-holocaust-survivor-tries-to-uncover-uncomfortable-truths.