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The official website of Until Our Last Breath: A Holocaust Story of Love & Partisan Resistance published by St. Martin's Press and maintained by author Michael Bart.
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UNTIL OUR LAST BREATH
A Holocaust Story of Love and Partisan Resistance

Author

Nominated by the American Library Association for a Sophie Brody Medal
a national award for the most distinguished contribution to Jewish literature published in the United States

Winner of the 60th Annual Christopher Award!

Michael Bart

Michael Bart
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Growing up I had a hard time facing my family's history, and for the most part blocked it out. In school I excelled in the study of world history, and especially World War II. However, I studied around the Holocaust--it was too painful for me. I only knew what my parents had told me. Growing up my dad told me about my mother's losses, and my mom told me about my father's losses. Neither could bear the pain of telling about their own, and that is how I learned about my family who were murdered in the Holocaust. My father shared his partisan experiences with me because that was what he was most proud of. My parents felt that all the Jews in the Vilna ghetto were treated like animals. With my mother's initial prodding, and my wife's encouragement I began a 10 year research project into my family's history. I began contacting Holocaust survivors who knew my parents and relatives. Where there were gaps in my parents' story, survivors who knew them well helped me fill in the gaps. By going back and forth between my ever growing list of contacts, I was able to piece together a more complete story about their lives. Getting the story from a third person gave me another perspective of my parents. It also, gave me a much fuller story because it included the story of yet another person who experienced the same events in the ghetto, and in the forest. Hearing their stories helped me develop a better understanding of my parents.

The Holocaust is a difficult subject for the children of survivors; also known as the Second Generation. Many of us have either heard or felt the Holocaust our entire lives. Other Second Generation often ask me how was I able to find the strength to research and write a book about such a horrific event. My answer to them is, sometimes I wanted to quit, sometimes I needed a break, but in the end I was encouraged and supported by my wife who always said this story is too important not to be told. What gave me the greatest strength was something my dad always said, "Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it's always right."

As a son of survivors, I feel a great responsibility to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive. It is very important to remember and teach future generations about the six million Jewish men, women, and children who were killed in the Holocaust.

Since 2005, I have chaired the annual Community Holocaust Commemoration in San Diego. My planning committee includes survivors, children of survivors, professionals from many of San Diego's Jewish organizations, and members of the community who deeply care about the Shoah. My goal is to honor the victims of the Holocaust, honor the survivors, and to honor the memory of my parents. It is very important that we remember and teach our history, because if we don't, who will?

Michael Bart



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Until Our Last Breath - represented by Barbara Braun & Associates


Until Our Last Breath - published by St. Martin's Press


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Michael Bart