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Hanging Hitler's Long Johns

Ratings:
Length: 265 pages4 hours

Summary

In 2010 my new friend Roman Ward (nee Wisniewski) asked me
to look at the journal his mother kept during their six-year
odyssey of dodging the Nazis, Polish bounty hunters, neo-Nazis and
G.I. bigots during and in the aftermath of World War II.
Roman had promised his mother, Jadwiga, on her deathbed that
he would have her journal published in his lifetime. Three writers
had attempted to make a book of her journals but Roman felt all had
failed utterly. I would learn that Roman himself had never read his
mother’s writing and, like many Jews who survived the Holocaust,
Roman and Jadwiga had never even talked about the dangers they
faced, the horrors they witnessed or the loss of over a hundred family
members.
Reading the journal made it obvious why the other writers had
disappointed Roman: The best story was his. In fifty years as a working
journalist it is the most astonishing personal narrative I have ever
heard; how a 12-year-old boy was entrusted by his father with saving
his older sister and mother. “You are the only one who will survive
this war,” Roman’s father told him in the Polish ghetto before Roman
fled wearing a Hitler Youth uniform.
This then is the story of Roman Ward from his birth in Poland,
through the War and DP camps, through his service in the fledgling
Israeli Air Force to finally reuniting with his mother in America. He
has honored his promise to his mother; each chapter begins with her
account of what happened and the book is filled with her accounts
wherever Roman could confirm and expand them.
It’s a true and amazing story.
Frank Feldinger
Los Angeles, 2016

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