A child survivor, a child of survivors and a grandchild of a survivor, Sidney Zoltak is all these things. His story about a family that struggled and endured, the generosity of those who saved them against all odds, and a vow never to forget is a remarkable journey through the Holocaust into a rich and full life. At eight, Sidney loses a middle class home and goes from the slow death of the ghetto into the terror of hiding in forests, barns and finally, a hole in the ground provided by a Polish family farm. But when war ends, there is no going back. We follow the Zoltak family as they make their way to Italy where young Sidney encounters a generosity of spirit that helps to heal war's wounds and prepares him for life in Canada. Sidney Zoltak's chronicle is a lesson in the importance of honouring your story for the generations to come.
In the middle of the night, I was awoken and told by my parents to leave the house and head towards the barbed wire fence not more than 200 feet away. My father, whose job in the Ghetto was to inspect and repair the fence, took out the wire cutters and began to open a number of holes in it. He pushed me through and followed. My mother was to follow him. It was two o'clock on a pitch-black night.
A moving and memorable eyewitness memoir -- a riveting and revealing read -- Sidney Zoltak's silent pledge never to forget the horror of the Shoah -- that 'every former Jewish community is an unmarked Jewish mass grave' -- must be our pledge as well.
Today Sidney Zoltak is 82 but he tells his story through the eyes of the child he was during the Shoah. From ghetto to DP camps this is a haunting tale of survival. Through luck, guile and courage Sidney survives the inferno and gives us a small bitter taste of evil mixed with the sweetness of redemption. Powerful and evocative I urge you to read My Silent Pledge
Bernie M. Farber, ex-CEO, Canadian Jewish Congress