As I Am Presently Known

As I Am Presently Known

by Leon Rubinstein, Emily Rubin


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Months after World War II officially ends, a 15-year-old boy still hides in a potato field. The horror of the Holocaust is followed by the horror of survival. The question “Why me?” haunts survivors for the rest of our lives. For some of us, life is only possible under the anesthesia of silence. After 63 years, Leon Rubinstein has broken his silence with this book. As I Am Presently Known is a remarkable story of life’s victory over death and about one generation passing the torch to another.

Marian Marzynski

Holocaust survivor, documentary filmmaker, author of acclaimed film Shtetl

The story of the Jewish people in the twentieth century is one of the great dramas of modern times. It has everything, from the searing tragedy of the Holocaust to the heroic creation of the State of Israel to the emergence of the Jewish community in the United States as the largest and most successful Jewish community in the world. Most people, when they search for the human dimension to these epochal events, come to know the Holocaust through the writings of Anne Frank or Elie Wiesel. They see Israel through the eyes of David Ben-Gurion or Golda Meir. When I look for the human story of what it must have felt like to be a Jew in the twentieth century, I think of my friend and congregant Leon Rubinstein.

Leon experienced it all. Born into the comfortable security of a loving family in a small town in Poland, he would see his world fall apart when the Nazis invaded. He saw his parents led away to be murdered, he experienced the kindness of a Polish Christian and the cruelty of other Polish Christians. After the war, he made his way to Israel, served in the Israeli army and then found a new life and family in America.

Harold Kushner

Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel of Natick

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632100399
Publisher: Plain View Press, LLC
Publication date: 05/04/2018
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

Leon Rubinstein was born in the town of Koretz, Poland in 1930. Leon's life was cast into turmoil by the Second World War. Hidden on a farm, Leon miraculously survived the Holocaust. Following the war, he fled Eastern Europe for Palestine and eventually emigrated to the United States. He pursued a successful career as a mechanical engineer and small business owner. A tireless inventor, he has 35 patents in the fields of optics, plastics and electronics. Father of two and grandfather of five, he lives with his wife in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Emily Rubin's writing has appeared in anthologies, magazines and newspapers. She lives with her family in Concord, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Foreword 5

Preface 9

Note to Readers 11

I. Childhood in Poland, 1930-1945

My Family Home 15

Meals and Holidays 21

My Parents and Grandparents 27

Raising the Children 29

Wolf’s Work 33

The Community of Koretz 39

Education 43

The Russian Invasion 47

The German Invasion 53

The Ghetto 57

Hiding in Richk 61

Discovered by the Red Army 67

Novograd Volynsk 73

To the Orphanage 77

Displaced Persons Camp 81

II. Teenage Years in Palestine, 1946-1950

Smuggled into Palestine 89

Kibbutz Yagur 93

The Koretzor Society 97

Unrest in Palestine 101

War of Independence 105

Haifa 113

Bound for America 123

III. Young Man in America, 1951-1954

Transatlantic Crossing 131

Settling in Winthrop 137

The American Lifestyle 143

Overstaying My Welcome 149

Learning a Trade 157

Dating 159

Newlyweds 165

Back in Israel 167

Home 177

Looking Back: A Conversation with Leon Rubinstein 181

Epilogue 203

Glossary of Terms 205

About the Authors

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