The University of Wisconsin Press

Fiction / Judaica / Holocaust


The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto
Book Two: From the Depths I Call You, 1940–1942
Chava Rosenfarb
Translated from the Yiddish by the author
in collaboration with Goldie Morgentaler

Library of American Fiction

"A work that rises to the heights of the great creations of world literature and towers powerfully over the Jewish literature of the Holocaust."
—Jury decision for the Manger Prize for Yiddish Literature

This volume describes the lives of the novel's protagonists in the Lodz Ghetto at the beginning of World War II. Chava Rosenfarb, herself a survivor of the Lodz Ghetto, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen, draws on her own history to create realistic characters who struggle daily to retain a sense of humanity and dignity despite the physical and psychological effects of ghetto life. Although horrendous experiences are depicted, the light of faith in the human spirit shines through this novel's every page.

"You give artistic meaning to an epoch of Jewish experience that is so unbelievably brutal that it is not possible for those who were never there to grasp the full breadth of its horrors. Your manner of conveying the ghetto life is, however, of such scope and literary power that the reader feels himself to be living with you."—Jury Decision for the J. J. Segal Prize for Yiddish and Hebrew Literature

Chava Rosenfarb (1923–2011) was a Polish Holocaust survivor who published poetry, prose, and drama in both English and Yiddish. Her English titles include Bociany and Of Lodz and Love. From 1950 until her death she lived in Canada. The Tree of Life trilogy won the international Manger Prize for Yiddish Literature, the John Glassco Prize for Literary Translation, and the Georges Bugnet Award for fiction from the Writers Guild of Alberta.

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The UW Press also publishes:
The Tree of Life, vol. 1 is illustrated with an old photo from the Lodz ghettoThe Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto
Book One: On the Brink of the Precipice, 1939

cover of The Tree of Life, Book 3, features the same sepia photo of the Ghetto, over a blended background of a wine color.The Tree of Life: A Trilogy of Life in the Lodz Ghetto
Book Three: The Cattle Cars Are Waiting, 1942–1944

cover of Rosenfarb's second book in the Tree of Life series has the same sepia photo of a bridge in the Lodz ghetto, but the background color on this book is a fire-like red rising to yellow

October 2005
LC: 2004053592 PJ
408 p
p.   6 x 9   map, glossary

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Paper $21.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-20924-7
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The Terrace Books logo is designed in the shape of a book with a Union chair in silhouette on the cover. The words Terrace Books, Madison, Wisconsin appear also.
A trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

Read these fantastic articles by Goldie Morgentaler about writing with her mother, Chava Rosenfarb:
Love & Translation:
Mother and Daughter Became Their Own Literary Enterprise
and My Mother’s Life: How Chava Rosenfarb survived the Lodz ghetto to write a masterpiece about the experience.

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Updated May 30, 2012

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