“A testament, a pilgrimage, a journey of discovery and redemption, a beautifully crafted tapestry of stories of suffering, bravery, death, and survival. Oral history does not come better than this beautifully written book, a daughter's labour of devotion to her Holocaust survivor mother and a gift of love to her children and her readers.”—Yiannis Gabriel, PhD, Professor at the University of Bath, author of Myths, Stories and Organization
“Baruch recounts in fine details a family story which leads from the shtetl Mihaileni in north-eastern Romania in the 1930s to the horrors of the labor camps of Transnistria and from there to a new life in Israel. Based on oral history, this book offers very personal insights into the Holocaust perpetrated by Romania. It is sad and moving, but also carries a message of hope.”—Dr. Simon Geissbühler, historian, political scientist, and diplomat, Switzerland
“Frozen Mud and Red Ribbons offers a true work of love in honor of her parents and all survivors, a work that deserves to be read, considered, and reread. Her masterful narrative moves across Romania to Cyprus and Israel, capturing the voice of generations that experienced the Holocaust and those who grew up in its shadow.“—Maura Hametz, PhD, Professor of History at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, USA, Co-Editor of Jewish Intellectual Women in Central Europe, 1860-2000
“This is not just another book about the Holocaust or the history of the Jews in Romania, Bessarabia and Bukovina. It is a testimony written by a member of ‘The Second Generation’.
This book has a special meaning for me, being part of this generation. My family suffered a similar ordeal, losing some of its members. My aunt and my cousin where killed in a concentration camp in Transnistria and others survived the evacuation to Siberia.
Reading it gives not only an insight to what happened during and after the war, but also a voice to those who could not speak before. It reveals the hidden past, filled with pain and sorrow, of an entire generation, as they were reluctant, in many cases, to talk in public about what they went through. Nevertheless, it is also a story of hope and eventual happiness.
Avital Baruch as the author does a marvellous job in being partly historian and partly a story teller, presenting that part of Jewish history with a clear vision and great personal dedication.
This book is a must for all those who study that period of time and are trying to understand what happened in Europe in those dark years of WWII. It brings another piece of the puzzle from that region in a perspective that was not covered that much in the past.”—Ambassador Alexander Ben Zvi, PhD, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel
“The time is near when there will be no more survivors –and witnesses – of the Holocaust. It is therefore of the highest importance that the generations of children and grandchildren make every effort to collect and safeguard documents and testimonies – and that they reflect on the question what this memory work means for their own lives. With ‘Frozen Mud and Red Ribbons‘, Avital E.M. Baruch has set an example for this painful and yet rewarding task. In addition, her book sheds light on one of the lesser known territories of destruction, despair, and hope in Europe.”—Professor Joachim Schlör, Professor of Modern Jewish/non-Jewish Relations in History at the University of Southampton, Director of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations
"This profound story has etched its impression greatly on my mind. Such memoirs from the Second World War must not be forgotten. The book is full with sensitive touches of the Second Generation, as reflected by a daughter, the narrator. Avital Baruch puts in the spotlight the heroes of incurable lost childhood, engaging us with their journey of survival and struggle for new life and hope."—Dr. Dorit Zilberman, author, literary scholar and critic, Vice Chair of The Israeli Society of Authors
“Reading this book brought back old pains and feelings that will never be forgotten. Avital vibrantly describes those dark and difficult times, from being expelled from home through the agony in Transnistria. It is a great contribution to the memory of Jewish communities that perished. For a daughter to recount such horrors is not obvious. Avital merits great appreciation and gratitude for bringing these memories to light. I hope that the result of her endeavour will inspire others, so that Holocaust remembrance will be saved and passed on from generation to generation.”—Iosef (Iulku) Klein, Chair of The Jewish Association of Kimpolung-Bukovina and the Surroundings, Retired Lieutenant Colonel
"Avital Baruch’s flowing self-assured writing, takes the reader to dark worlds caused by hate and fear. This is not ancient history, it happened not long ago, in the generation of our parents. 'Frozen Mud and Red Ribbons' is a chilling literary and biographical evidence that all human beings should remember."—Michel Haddad, author, retired senior Police officer, council member of The Israeli Society of Authors