In the Unlikeliest of Places: How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism

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$34.99  $32.54
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.0 X 1.0 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

Annette Libeskind Berkovits was born in Kyrgyzstan and grew up in postwar Poland and the fledgling state of Israel before coming to America at age sixteen. In her three-decade career with the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, she spearheaded the institution's nationwide and worldwide science education programs. Her achievements include the first-ever agreement to bring environmental education to China's schools. The National Science Foundation has recognized her outstanding leadership in the field.

Daniel Libeskind is an internationally renowned architect, known for the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and the Dublin Performing Arts Center in Dublin, Ireland. His practice is designing commercial, residential, and cultural buildings around the world. His Master Plan for rebuilding the World Trade Center site in New York City was selected in 2003 and has served as the blueprint for the entire site, including the Freedom Tower, the Memorial, the Museum, and the PATH Terminal.


Annette Libeskind Berkovits's In The Unlikeliest of Places is an incandescent biographical tribute to the author's father, Nachman Libeskind, an eternally hopeful survivor.... Berkovits relates her father's story in elegant and shifting prose....Though this is, inescapably, a Holocaust survivor's biography, it is not dominated by those horrors; rather, it celebrates the ingenuity with which one man made his time less about enduring than about living vibrantly.

In the Unlikeliest of Places honors the life of an artist, a father, and a survivor who maintained his sense of identity with gentility, despite the historical challenges he endured.

--Michelle Anne Schingler "Foreword Clarion Reviews "
"Berkovits, Libeskind's daughter and the author of this cinematically gripping debut biography, does a masterful job weaving together a coherent narrative, culled largely from tape recordings that her father left behind. She has a rare gift for storytelling ... the prose is lively and direct, and the story is deeply affecting ... A moving tale that's emotionally powerful and historically edifying."--Kirkus Reviews
"The deeper I went into In the Unlikeliest of Places the more I found my eyes tearing up--not from the suffering of victims of the Holocaust but from the beauty of the extraordinary courage and success of Nachman Libeskind. It is, of course, the success of a whole family, a whole people refusing to accept defeat, but it's especially the defiance and joy in his spirit that is so moving. When he goes to Berlin to see the Jewish Museum, designed by his son, Daniel Libeskind, and when he takes up painting in his eighties, not as an old man's busywork but with craft, power, verve, and a brilliant sense of color and composition--those victories moved me more than any recent book on the Holocaust and survival. That man! You're going to love him and love the people who supported and believed in him, especially his wife Dora and his children--Annette and Daniel--and his grandchildren."--John J. Clayton, author of Many Seconds into the Future (2014) and Mitzvah Man (2011)

"This is a beautifully written saga of a Jewish family before, during and after World War II. The Holocaust must never be forgotten. The historical value of survivor testimonies is important to preserving the collective memory of humanity."

--Hanna Davidson Pankowsky, author of East of the Storm: Outrunning the Holocaust in Russia
"This is a book that works on so many levels: as the biography of a Polish Jew who narrowly escapes two murderous totalitarian systems, as a personal journey that leads to a new life in the United States marked by optimism and accomplishment--and, above all, as the beautiful, heartfelt tribute of a daughter to her remarkable father."--Andrew Nagorski, author of Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power (2012)