Jewish Life and Death in Warsaw

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Europe, Somewhere | 1 Comment

Jewish Life in Warsaw Zookeeper's Wife House
The first two times I had visited Warsaw, I was underwhelmed by the sites dedicated to the murdered Jews. The former bunker at Mila 18, where Analewicz and his men had fought to the death, was just a mound. The Jewish cemetery was locked. The last remaining segment of the Warsaw ghetto wall was in an apartment courtyard where residents paid more attention to their laundry drying on lines. And as I stood before the powerful testament to the resistance fighters, a man sidled up beside me and allowed his dog to urinate on the steps that led up to the statue. Read more

The Food of an Extant People

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Europe, Somewhere | Leave a comment

Jewish Restaurant in Lublin
When I was a kid, I had once gone to a Native American ceremonial event. I was young, but I had known that something was not quite right. Perhaps the caucasian-looking men toying around with blunted hatchets, with strikes of face paint, had links to a massacred people. But they were smiling too much and seemed to be having an inappropriate amount of fun; a stark contrast to the man in the background sitting somber and astute. Was he watching his people respectfully reenact some historical event, or examining a bunch of white guys flippantly revise his history? I’ll never know the answer, but when I visited a thematically Jewish restaurant in Lublin, Poland, last summer, I thought about that man and the pow wow. Read more

Win a Copy of A World Erased (and Other Prizes)

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Books | Leave a comment


My memoir, A World Erased: A Grandson’s Search for His Family’s Holocaust Secrets, hits shelves today. This book, which took about a decade to research and write, is a story about traveling to uncover a hidden past, and it’s a story about a relationship strengthened by remembering. The Philadelphia Inquirer named it one of the best books of the year and Booklist called it “a vital contribution to Holocaust collections.”


I’m excited about the book and its message. I hope you’ll read it, and I hope it resonates with others. To help spread the word, I’m giving away a few prizes. All you need to do to qualify for a prize is one of the following two things (though you can do both):


1). Write a review of the book on Amazon and/or Goodreads.


2). Share the book on social media. Some ideas:


  • Take a photograph of the book cover.
  • Link to the book’s page.
  • Quote your favorite line/excerpt.
  • Share your stories about your family.


(Please tag me in social media posts, so I can keep track for the contest. I’m on Facebook at Noah LedermanAuthor: Noah Lederman, and Somewhere Or Bust. I’m on Twitter @SomewhereOrBust or @NoahLederman. And I’m on Instagram @SomewhereOrBust.)




A). A signed copy of the book. (But since you already own one–right?–I’ll make it out to whomever you’d like. It’ll make for a nice present.)


B). A short story about my grandparents that has never been published before.


Since you’ll want some time to read the book before posting or writing a review, the deadline for this contest will be March 15, 2017. Winners will be announced thereafter.


Thanks for your support.

Jews in Germany and 500 Years of Beer Purity Laws

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Lost In Translation, Or Bust | 6 Comments

For years, any time my father saw someone crack open a Miller High Life, he felt obliged to tell one of his preferred stories about the stupid tour guide at the brewery who, to this day, irritates him greatly. Here’s how my father tells it:


“This kid was showing us around the Miller brewery and pointed up at six-pointed star on the building. He asked us if we knew what the star represented and I answered, ‘The Star of David.’ The stupid tour guide told me that I was wrong; that it represented the six ingredients. The founder of Miller left Germany. He was probably a Jew in hiding. That kid: what an idiot.” (My father probably meant anti-Semite.) Read more

Driving in Germany

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Lost In Translation, Or Bust | 1 Comment

Driving in GermanyI’m not a big fan of driving. So I wasn’t thrilled when I discovered that I needed a rental car to get around Germany.


As a commuter in New York, I notice a common trend: every sixth driver is a moron, and every fifth driver an asshole. (I’d say I’m probably underreporting and also not taking into account douche bags.) In my daily data collection, the morons and assholes typically drive German cars: Audis, BMWs, and Mercedeses (that doesn’t sound right). (The douche bag will usually drive a pick-up truck, which are no longer purpose-driven, or a Lexus.)

Read more