Charles and his family are Polish Jews, living in France during World War II. After the German invasion in May 1940, Charles’s father is taken away. Soon after, his mother is taken as well, and for the next five years, Charles and his brother will have their lives saved—again and again—by a series of small miracles. Some of these miracles happen by chance, but most occur because of the concern and care of people who simply decide to do what is right, at exactly the right moment, at great risk to themselves, at a time of great evil when doing nothing would have been the safe and easy thing to do. This is the message Charles brings as he tells his story of perseverance and survival, and about the dangers of hate, especially during today’s troubled times when hate is again on the rise. He is a witness to the greatest crime against humanity; he is the evidence—the living proof of that crime—and when Charles retells his story, we, too, become witnesses. - publisher's marketing (emphasis added)
About the Authors:
David Austin teaches seventh grade world history at Demasi Middle School in Marlton, New Jersey, where he also lives. He has a Masters degree in English/Creative Writing from Rutgers University, and his poetry has been published in a number of very small literary magazines. His book reviews appear regularly in Friends Journal. Small Miracle is his first book.
Charles Louis Middleberg was born November 4, 1929, in Warsaw, Poland, and immigrated to Paris, France, at the age of 2 with his parents. He remained in France until March 1950. On September of 1939, Germany invaded France, where they lived. In 1940, Charles's father, Robert (Reuven), was taken away by the Nazis occupying France. In 1942, Charles and his brother, Victor, were separated from their mother, Berthe, and never saw her again. Charles and Victor were taken in by a family and remained there until they were reunited with their father in August of 1945. Both brothers returned to school, which had been forbidden during the Nazi occupation. Charles met Mathilde at that school. She too was a survivor, also as a hidden child. Her father was murdered in a concentration camp, but miraculously, her mother and siblings survived. Charles, with his father and brother, came to the United States in March 1950 and lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mathilde joined Charles in June 1951. Charles and Mathilde were married in June 1952. Charles went to school at night and learned English well enough to enter Temple University. He graduated from Temple with honors as an electronics engineer. Charles and Mathilde have four children - two sons and two daughters, twelve grandchildren and now three great-granddaughters. They moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in 1988 and became involved with the Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center. As survivors, they have dedicated much of their lives to speak to so many people in schools, universities, churches, civic groups and others, of the horrors of their experiences during Holocaust. Mathilde passed away in 2009. Charles continues to tell his story in order to teach everyone to stand up against hate, like those that saved him, to promote tolerance and to know that this really happened.
Publisher: Barclay Press, May 2020
Paperback, 184 pages