A World After This: A Memoir of Loss and Redemption by Lola Lieber.
This is the story of one woman, Lola Lieber, a Hungarian-Polish Jewess who survived and has chosen during her lifetime to tell the story of the ordeals of her survival and the strength of her faith and courage against all odds. It is also the memoir of a marriage that was a true working partnership as well as a marital bond of extraordinary depth. With her husband, Mechel, beside her, Lola defied authority, confronted the devil Eichmann in person, never giving up her faith in God and her belief that she and Mechel would be together at the end. The title of this book comes from a comment Mechel made at a bittersweet time in their lives. His words: There will be a world after this, thankfully, would turn out to be true.
You are about to embark on a journey that begins in Hungary, in the town of Munkach, goes forward into Krynica and on into Krakow, Niepolomice, the Bochnia Ghetto, Kosice, Budapest, Debrecen, Bucharest and finally Munich. It is an adventure of harrowing events and many close calls. It is, in the end, the story of the survival of a woman who will go on in her life to help repair the lost tapestry of Jewish life and to become a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, as well as an accomplished artist.
Lola [Leser] was a privileged sixteen-year-old in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. The horrors of the Holocaust overtook her almost immediately when she moved to Krakow, Poland, after living for years with her maternal grandparents in Munkach, at that time in Czechoslovakia. It was there, in her grandparents enchanted garden, that she discovered her artistic talents.
Before she had a chance to fully mature, Mechel Lieber swept her up into a marriage that was to turn into a loving partnership. That union saw them through years of hiding, of fleeing from shelter to shelter and from city to city, often escaping capture by a hairsbreadth. During those horrid war years, which included weeks of starvation and periods of imprisonment, they lost almost all of their loved ones and witnessed firsthand the unbelievable bestiality and depravities of the Nazis.
Through six harrowing years Lola clung both to her husband and to her staunch faith in the One Above, Who granted them both many miracles. It is that faith and her traditional upbringing that propelled Lola to uphold her Jewish values and traditions under the most adverse conditions. Lola was ever conscious that she was a link in the eternal chain of Jewish survival and continuity against all odds.
Today in her eighties, Lola still paints and is a successful artist. Her work has been exhibited in many art galleries throughout the United States and is in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Art. Her paintings are part of the Yad Vashem archives in Jerusalem and are in a number of private collections. She still maintains a gallery in the heart of Chassidic Boro Park in Brooklyn, New York. Lola is well-known and is often commissioned to paint portraits. Her works encompass a wide range of styles including traditional, impressionistic as well as modern.
April 30, 2010