[T]his terse immediate memoir of a Polish Jew is a gripping read, with the haunting personal detail of what Small witnessed and what he escaped....the narrative as a whole, based on talks to audiences across the country and to coauthor Shayne before Small s recent death at age 91, is unforgettable, particularly the account of meeting with the American who saved Small in Mauthausen, when he weighed less than 70 pounds.
Remember Us is a look back at the lost world of the shtetl: a wise Zayde offering prophetic and profound words to his grandson, the rich experience of Shabbos, and the treasure of a loving family. All this is torn apart with the arrival of the Holocaust, beginning a crucible fraught with twists and turns so unpredictable and surprising that they defy any attempt to find reason within them. From work camps to the partisans of the Nowogrudek forests, from the Mauthausen concentration camp to life as a displaced person in Italy, and from fighting the Egyptian army in a tiny Israeli kibbutz in 1948 to starting a new life in a new world in New York, this book encompasses the mythical "hero's journey" in very real historical events. Through the eyes of 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Martin Small, we learn that these priceless memories that are too painful to remember are also too painful to forget.