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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Aledo, IL - As the world notes the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in Europe, author Deb Bowen announces the release of her first book. A Walk With Esther shares the journey of a Christian woman, Deb Bowen, and her teenage daughter Cassie, who befriended three Jewish Holocaust survivors-each named Esther. Determined to preserve their stories, Deb recruited young authors and illustrators to create books for young readers. The project, now known as A BOOK by ME, includes a Holocaust Series, a Human Rights Series and a Heroes Series.

Today, over a decade later, the Holocaust Series includes 90+ book titles, all written by children for children. Both the authors and illustrators are 18 or younger. Cassie, now a teacher, creates matching curriculum for each book. A Walk With Esther shares fascinating stories from the World War II generation that Deb and Cassie have discovered, right along with their students.

Today Deb honors the life of her mentor Ida Kramer, a local Holocaust historian, and three Jewish Holocaust survivors named Esther. Bowen's book describes Ida's life and her discovery that her father's twin sister perished in the Holocaust. It shares the stories of three beautiful women, each named Esther, who survived Nazi Germany and later raised their families in the Quad Cities.

In A Walk With Esther, Bowen decided to tell "the stories behind the stories," relating how the project was created and spotlighting the individuals who inspired it. The book also tells about World War II veterans who saw the horrors of the Nazi camps. Another snapshot of the war is of brave people who risked everything to save Jewish lives. Bowen found two men from Davenport, Iowa who grew up in Europe and rescued Jews during the war.

The book launch will be held at a local pub owned by one of those rescuers. Jeno Berta was born and raised in Hungary. His Catholic family hid and saved a Jewish family of four. Bowen's first book signing is planned at Jeno's Little Hungary at 4908 North Pine Street, Davenport, Iowa, on Friday, February 6 from 4-7 pm. Instead of "happy hour," we will have "history hour," but our hero, Jeno, sure hopes you come thirsty!

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