TCNJ Magazine - Spring 2019

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39 SPRING 2019 Kyrgyzstan. When the war ended, the family moved through Poland and Berlin to a displaced persons camp from which they were sent to America. Growing up, Friedman was conscious of anti-Semitism, both near and far: None of her mother's family survived the Nazis; when her parents returned to Poland after the war, people threw stones at their train; and in America, Jewish immigrants, including her cousin, were beaten up. Writing the book made her realize her family's flight across so many borders had marked not only their lives, but her own. "I was shaped by the fact that they had to flee their own country, that they were always in danger — by all the thousands of miles that they had to flee," she says. Grappling with the memories was meant to be cathartic, but it only amplified Friedman's sense of separateness. "I always felt like an exile," Friedman says. "I still feel like an exile. I think you never lose that sense of un-belonging." Friedman believes each gener- ation is responsible for keeping these stories alive. She recently noticed The Seven beside her grandson's computer. It turned out he was writing about the family's history for his college entrance essay. "So, the story is pushing its way forward into the future," she says. ■ Liz Leyden is a writer in New Jersey. " I STILL FEEL LIKE AN EXILE. I think you never lose that sense of un-belonging." Ellen Friedman holds a photo of her mother, Lola. "I wanted their story out," Friedman says. "They were brave in ways I can't imagine myself being." "The Seven" was the nickname given by other refugees to the members of Friedman's family — her parents, uncles, and aunts — and their friend who escaped Warsaw together. The group landed first in Soviet-controlled Brest (now in Belarus) before being sent to a gulag in northwest Russia. Friedman was born after their release in

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