Good Blood: A Journey of Healing
by Irit Schaffer
MSI Press

"My name is Irit, and my sister's name is Edna, but in Hungarian, grown-ups add –ka to the end of names as a sign of affection. It always makes me feel good inside when my dad calls me 'Iritka.'"

This Schaffer's Good Blood: A Journey of Healing is an addition to the growing number of accounts on one of the history's darkest moments—the Holocaust and the struggle for survival of the European Jews. Schaffer retells and relishes her parents' story of survival. From the concentration camps to Israel to Canada, she details their struggles, especially her Dad's. After trying to sneak into a Russian labor camp, Schaffer's father Zoli had to endure a surgical procedure to remove the bullets in his body without anesthesia. When the family migrated to Canada, Zoli had to put up with Frank's cruel treatment of them. Frank was the husband of Edith, Alise's sister, the author's Mom. Five hours after arrival at Montreal, he sent them away to an apartment amid a snowstorm. According to Frank, the Schaffer kids were sick, and he did not want his three children to get infected. As dark as some seasons may be, the author's parents lived a full life with positivity. Zoli died in 1984 while his wife Alise followed 30 years later.

The book brings to life the devastating conditions in the concentration camps during and after Germany's reign of terror. It affords readers the opportunity to see the inhumanity happening in Hungary and Czechoslovakia and the challenges Jews endured. The book encourages readers to step back and think why the Holocaust happened, why would people treat other people in an inhuman manner and what drives these same individuals toward unquantifiable hatred to another. Textbook learning about the Holocaust and the Jewish struggle is one thing, but being able to read a personal account with strength and life is another. This book will be ideal for students of culture and history. Time and again, it promotes respect, resilience, and optimism.

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