Under the Yellow and Red Stars

Under the Yellow and Red Stars


By Alex Levin

“I feel my brother's hand, trembling but strong, grab onto mine. I hear his words, urging me to run, take hold of my body and move my legs. We run, his hand holding mine... to me it feels like freedom.”

Under the Yellow & Red Stars is a remarkable story of survival, coming of age and homecoming after years as a stranger in a strange land. Alex Levin was only ten years old when he ran deep into the forest after the Germans invaded his hometown of Rokitno and only twelve when he emerged from hiding to find that he had neither parents nor a community to return to. A harrowing tale of escape, endurance and exceptional emotional resilience, Levin’s story also draws us into his later life as an officer and eventual outcast in the USSR, and as an immigrant who successfully builds a new life in Canada. This poetically written memoir is imbued with loss and pain, but also with the optimistic spirit of a boy determined to survive

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About the Author

Alex Levin was born in 1932 in the shtetl of Rokitno, Poland, not far from the Soviet border. In 1944, after the region was liberated by the Red Army, Alex Levin was sent to the USSR as a war orphan and enrolled in military cadet school. He became a professional engineer in the Soviet army until he was forced out for being a Jew. He married his wife in 1957 and their daughter was born in 1961. Alex decided to build a new life for himself and his family in Canada in 1975, where he worked first as an engineer and then as a successful builder. He continues to live in Toronto and speaks tirelessly to students about his experiences in the Holocaust.

Product Information

  • Release: June 1, 2009
  • $14.95 Paperback
  • 150 Pages
  • 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781897470077

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The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

Since the end of World War II, over 30,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors have immigrated to Canada. Who they are, where they came from, what they experienced and how they built new lives for themselves and their families is an important part of our Canadian heritage. The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs is guided by the conviction that each survivor of the Holocaust has a remarkable story to tell, and that such stories play an important role in education about tolerance and diversity. Millions of individual stories are lost to us forever. By preserving the stories written by survivors and making them widely available to a broad audience, the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs series seeks to sustain the memory of all those who perished at the hands of hatred, abetted by indifference and apathy. The personal accounts of those who survived against all odds are as different as the people who wrote them, but all demonstrate the courage, strength, wit and luck that it took to prevail and survive in such terrible adversity. The memoirs are also moving tributes to people – strangers and friends – who risked their lives to help others, and who, through acts of kindness and decency in the darkest of moments, frequently helped the persecuted maintain faith in humanity and courage to endure. These accounts offer inspiration to all, as does the survivors’ desire to share their experiences so that new generations can learn from them. Recognizing that most survivor memoirs never find a publisher, the Azrieli Foundation established the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program to collect, archive and publish these distinctive records.