Reviews

JANUARY 2015   Rotary Member of Highland Park            I just finished reading DESCENDANTS OF RAJGROD last night and I was moved as well as inspired by the message.... your story and your viewpoint are making me evaluate my own perspective and approach.  I come from a passionate Italian-American family with its own tendency to catalog and retain “transgressions”.  Coupled with being raised Catholic, through which we were always reminded that we were unworthy of those whose saintly suffering came before us, there’s a tendency to feel guilty or naïve about letting go of the past.

I cannot even begin to comprehend the brutality and hopelessness of your father’s childhood experiences.  I can appreciate how the circumstances created the man and I find his story inspiring yet tragic.

I can fathom how difficult it must have been for you to grow up amid the challenges related by the examples in your book.  That said, I apologize for appearing presumptuous enough to draw any parallels to my comparatively charmed upbringing.  Your message of forgiveness resonates with me.  Genuine forgiveness is about letting go of everything....and opening up my possibilities of greater things for my future.

Thank you so much for sharing your story and for writing the book.  I wish you nothing but peace and joy in your life.  I am sharing your book with my family and I want to thank you for inspiring me to go further and purer in my own personal and professional life.

Warmest regards,

Rotary Member of Highland Park

April 2015  A review from Greece
Dear karen,
what you went through  was not just a transformation. To me, it looks like a trip to hell. ........... Thank God you are back, alive and well. And thanks for sharing.
The book is not a simple memoir, in an era where pseudo-memoirs are in abudance. Your book is what I call in greek "katathesi phychis" or "soul submission" according to Google translation, though another exprssion such as "bare of soul" maybe more appropriate..........  
Txxxx
 
   
"Those who do not forgive are those who are least capable of changing the circumstances of their lives".

July 11, 2016 The Cornelia Street Cafe with Karen Kaplan and Robin Hirsch

Interesting evening at Cornelia Street Cafe.....What brought my friend Renee and I to the Village was Karen Kaplan discussing her book about growing up in a family of Holocaust survivors & why forgiveness was crucial to "moving on and living a healthy, productive life.....And to the remnants of my extended family, who have risen from the ashes of the Holocaust, I say that I'm a work in progress & am ever hopeful that our current reality evolves.                 -S. Levin 

January 2016     Herbert Quelle,  German Consul General

“Karen Kaplan’s memoir "Descendants of Rajgród"  has moved me deeply. The author permits an intimate insight into her soul and the psychological burden that she has carried along as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She freely shares her family story, especially the difficult relationship with her father, embeds it into the history of the Jewish people constantly confronted with anti-semitism, and shows the reader in a carefully meditated way how she overcame her traumatization. Her private solution lies in forgiveness. Her effort of soul-searching is painful. Not everyone may come to the same conclusions. At any rate, reading her journey to freedom is inspiring and time well spent.”

Herbert Quelle,  German Consul General in Chicago

MAY 17, 2016 Review from Warsaw, Poland
Dear Karen,

MAY 18, 2016   A review from my speaking engagement at North Shore Senior Center

................We had a speaker yesterday who brought a message of forgiveness which was riveting and memorable. Karen L. Kaplan is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor who inflicted on his family the suffering he had experienced. She wrote and self-published her memoir of a traumatic life and her escape from the torments of untold millions of Jews over the millennia. Her journey into wellness was successful because she learned to forgive. An important theme of her story is the epigenetic effect of those centuries of evil oppression on the DNA of a people. If you don’t know Karen, get in touch with her. The healing message she brought us is one which will greatly bless the people at Trinity. She lives in Highland Park and her email is karenkaplan@att.net. Her webpage is www.KarenLKaplan.com. She is a compelling and articulate speaker who brings a message which all the world should hear. 

John F Swenson

FEBRUARY 2015     Rabbi Len Zukrow   

 While Karen Kaplan writes very personally of her journey – growing up as the child of a survivor, suffering from her father’s ill will toward her and the terror of a robbery she brings us to forgiveness – the most challenging of human behaviors and emotions. She brings us her story that ultimately becomes our story as we share through her forthright openness her lesson that forgiveness does have the power to overcome tragedy and heartbreak. Her presentation to our community was moving and powerful. A moment of transformation that all of us will long remember as we consider her story when we are called upon to forgive, repent, repair and move forward toward a life of purpose and meaning with kindness and generosity of spirit.

Rabbi Len Zukrow, Temple Beth El of Munster Indiana

  • Rook Reviews

    MAY 2016  I Highly Recommend “Descendants of Rajgrod!” I read quite a bit of history and  I don’t usually read memoirs. But I am so glad I read this… you wrote it from the heart, it was hard hitting and very honest. Forgiveness is one of the toughest subjects for people to deal with, because of ...more

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