With the publication of her final book in her trilogy about the Holocaust, local author Irene Levin Berman has completed a personal journey. In The Price of Survival: Marcus Levin, Norwegian Holocaust Humanitarian, the Bloomfield resident born and raised in Norway, tells of her father’s humanitarian efforts that impacted the lives of thousands of Norwegian Jews.
Berman’s father, Marcus Levin, worked with recovery organizations during and after World War II, to document, fund and help resettle Norwegian Jews, refugees and stateless Jews. He was ultimately awarded Norway’s highest civilian award, the King Olav Gold Medal of Merit, for his achievements.
This book completes Berman’s trilogy of Norway and the Holocaust. In her first book, a memoir, We Are Going to Pick Potatoes (2010), Berman exposed the untold story of the Holocaust in Norway after Nazi Germany invaded in 1940. Her second book, Norway Wasn’t Too Small (2016) was a fact-based story of the fate of two Jewish families through and their struggles to survive.
Irene Berman moved to the United States as a young bride. Her first recollection of life back in 1942 was how, as a child, she had to escape with her family to Sweden, a neutral country. Germany had invaded Norway and the persecution of the two thousand Norwegian Jews had started. Seven hundred and seventy-seven persons were deported and annihilated by the Germans, including seven members of her father’s family.
Since publication of her first book, Berman has gained a large following of readers, many of whom were uninformed about the Holocaust in Norway. Her second book grew her readership nationally and since then she has traveled around the U.S. speaking with many organizations and universities, including people of many different nationalities and faiths, particularly among Norwegian Americans.