From Prisoner to Partisan: My Holocaust Story
While many Holocaust memoirs have flooded the market in recent years, Leon Gleicher's "From Prisoner to Partisan" is a unique contribution that encompasses the complete story of the Holocaust generation. Gleicher begins with the story of everyday life in his small Galician village, comparing it to the more open society of the larger nearby city of Turka. He then covers his life under the Soviet occupation, a relatively benign time compared to the horrors to come. Gleicher's life under the Nazis is divided into three sections: The Sambor ghetto, with its starvation, disease, and murders; his year hiding in the forests near his home, being aided by his Ukrainian neighbors; and his transformation from a fleeing fugitive into a partisan fighter. As varied as those experiences were, Gleicher goes beyond that to describe the post-War activities of the survivors, a topic now being given special emphasis at Yad Vashem. Gleicher discusses life in the Fohrenwald Displaced Persons Camp, and, more importantly, how he immigrated to the United States and built a new life there. A fascinating coda to the book is his return to his birthplace and the ghetto over 50 years after the War accompanied by his wife and children. A bibliography gives the reader resources to delve further into Gleicher's story.