MCC professor describes the Holocaust’s effect on her family
BY KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

Blima Weisstuch

EDISON – When Shirley Wachtel was growing up, the big bad wolf was Adolf Hitler and the fairy godmother was Frau Gizella.

Wachtel’s parents, Blima and Chiel, were two of the 100,000 Holocaust survivors who came to the United States after the war.

Wachtel, 54, decided to write a memoir of Blima Weisstuch’s life for her doctoral dissertation at Drew University in the spring of 1999.

The first part of her dissertation, “The Story of Blima: A Holocaust Survivor” by Townsend Press, was published in May 2005. It is written in her mother’s voice.

Wachtel eventually hopes to get her entire dissertation published, which she named “My Mother’s Shoes.”

The second part of the dissertation deals with Wachtel’s experiences as a child of Holocaust survivors. It alternates between her voice and her mother’s.

“I had tremendous help from my Aunt Rucsia, who was married to my mother’s brother, Victor,” said Wachtel. “Without her help, this novel would not have been written.”

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