Letter from a Polish reader who is remembering my grandparents today, on the anniversary of the Warsaw uprising.

I have just read an email sent last night from a Polish reader of SALA’S GIFT and — call me crazy and call me naive — but surely the world is a better place for this woman, who is lighting a candle today, on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising, in honor of my grandparents, Chana and Jozef Garncarz, and my mother Sala.

My family was from Sosnowiec, but I am imagining that for this reader, the Warsaw uprising is one of the dates that marks the shuddering end of 1,000 years of Jewish life in Poland.

Remarkably, some of today’s activities will be streamed live from Warsaw on Facebook:

Here is her unedited email:

Few days ago I have read Sala’s Gift.  It’s no first time that I read stories or films about holocaust – I’m Polish, I live in Poland. I should to be  accustomed, I visited Auschwitz many times, but I’m not. Each time I go to know a war story of somebody, I’m shocked and I suffer with him . Specially with your nation during II war, and after it.

Tomorrow is a special day in Poland, in 01 August 1944 it was Warsaw Uprising. So we remember all victims  – I will remember tomorrow with candel your grandparents Chana and Józef Garncarz and your mother Sala. I will pray for them.

I would like to propose you to see polish film from 2012 –  POKŁOSIE –  directed by Władysław Pasikowski. It touch a difficult topic of the murder of the Jews in Poland by polish people during II war. It’s difficult for Polish to accept the true. But true is true. We should know how it was. Maybe you just have seen it?

Anyway – I’m glad that I have read Sala’s Gift – now my daughter is reading it. And I’ll recommend it at friends.



  1. suzanne rothstein says:

    how wonderful for you….

  2. Rosie Ramos says:

    Hi Ann! My name is Rosie and I live in San Antonio, Tx. I agree with how the person from Poland feels. I came across Sala’s Gift by complete surprise. I knew the Holocaust was a bad thing but never read about the details of what went on there. As I read this book I am reminded that these are not just stories, these are real people and real peoples lives, real sadness, real heartache and in the end real perseverance, real joy! I don’t know why fate brought me to this book. Is there something in it that God has for me or was it just chance that I came across it? I don’t know how this book will affect my life but I do know that now your moms memories, her sisters memories and your memories are now also my memories and I too will carry them with me because something like this should never be forgotten. I don’t want to close the book! I don’t want to stop reading. I don’t even know any of these people personally and I feel like I do. I think that says how well written this book is. I feel as if I knew your family, as if I’m connected to this story, to the people. That is very powerful! I’m so grateful to have found this book because it enriched my heart. How exactly I can’t say but I can feel it. It has compelled me to want to read other stores, to keep alive other stories(maybe even write my own). Before reading this book I knew that a lot of lives were lost because of the Holocaust but it never occurred to me that a lot of experiences were had, if that makes sense. I knew that lots of lives were ended but never knew or thought of the journey…. So many people. I too keep asking ‘why did Ala decide to do what she did? Did she have no clue that help was coming soon? Or is that why she did it? Did the thought ever cross her mind that thank God Sala was never able to go with her when she transferred? Would Sala have taken part in the up-rise or even just been guilty by association?…..Three weeks and a day. I too think had she not participated she would have been liberated. I stare at the book not wanting to let it go. It’s such a strange feeling to have such an attachment to something that’s not even mine. I guess I feel as though letting the book leave my hands means letting the people and the stories leave me…..no, that’s not possible, this will stay with me. Thank you to Sala for being so brave to share this! Also thank you for writing it in such a way that no one else could have! God Bless to you and your family!