The Persistence of Memory

My Father’s Ukrainian Shtetl - A Holocaust Reckoning

by Arthur Kurzweil


This item will be released on April 18, 2023.

About this book

Arthur Kurzweil grew up hearing his father’s tales of Dobromyl, the small town—a shtetl — in what is now Ukraine, which his father had left behind as a child when his family emigrated to New York in the 1920s. As a young man in the 1970s, Arthur obsessively sought to rediscover this lost world, researching in the New York Public Library and tracking down the shtetl’s surviving emigrants. This research led him write his best-selling book, From Generation to Generation: How to Trace Your Jewish Genealogy and Family History, but his obsession with Dobromyl didn’t abate.

In The Persistence of Memory, Arthur brings us along on his quest to find his father’s ancestral home in Dobromyl — a quest that covers physical and spiritual ground. Join him on a frustrating trip to Soviet-held Ukraine in the 1970s to multiple return trips to a free Ukraine in the 21st century, in a quest that brings him to the height of elation and to the depths of despair. His search for his father’s roots leads him down paths that are wondrous, heartwarming, and heartbreaking.

Advance Praise

Unlike most of us, who are merely curious about our own pasts, Arthur Kurzweil is obsessive about his. In Persistence of Memory, he takes us on an emotional journey to the birthplace of his father, a man who seems to hold the keys to both Kurzweil’s sense of identity and connection to a deeper faith. As we travel with Kurzweil, we can’t avoid a burgeoning obsession with the discovery our own pasts. Such is the power of this intimate and timely read.”

Peter Himmelman