Jacob Apelberg was just boy when the Nazis invaded Poland.
“Ein, zwei, drei!” they shouted, marching into the village where he lived. The soldiers spoke German, but Apelberg thought it was Yiddish. In his innocence, he ran to tell his mother that a Jewish army had come to the town.
“This is not Yiddish,” she told him.
Within a few years, his mother, along with millions of other Jewish people living in Europe at the time, would be dead. Apelberg was an orphan, fleeing to Kazakhstan and then Israel before eventually coming to the United States.
“The pain is too much when you begin to talk about it,” he said, dabbing his face with a cocktail napkin as the tears poured...