Against All Odds is the first comprehensive look at the 140,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors who came to America and the lives they have made here. William Helmreich writes of their experiences beginning with their first arrival in the United States: the mixed reactions they encountered from American Jews who were not always eager to receive them; their choices about where to live in America; and their efforts in finding marriage partners with whom they felt most comfortable—most often other survivors.
In preparation, Helmreich spent more than six years traveling the United States, listening to the personal stories of hundreds of survivors, and examining more than 15,000 pages of data as well as new material from archives that have never before been available to create this remarkable, groundbreaking work. What emerges is a picture that is sharply different from the stereotypical image of survivors as people who are chronically depressed, anxious, and fearful.
This intimate, enlightening work explores questions about prevailing over hardship and adversity: how people who have gone through such experiences pick up the threads of their lives; where they obtain the strength and spirit to go on; and, finally, what lessdns the rest of us can learn about overcoming tragedy.