When my grandpa was only ten years old, Nazis invaded his village and murdered his entire family. Having narrowly escaped, he was left utterly alone to wander the forests, only to end up in a sealed ghetto awaiting his death. Through a sequence of unlikely events, Grandpa managed to escape the ghetto only to wander the forests once again, hungry and cold, until the end of the war. Yet, despite his past, Grandpa is, without a doubt, the happiest person I know.
This has always been a mystery to me. I have often felt that the trials and tribulations that I have suffered in the past detract from my happiness today. Yet compared to his life, my life is but a box of chocolates!
Three years ago, I had my first glimpse of hope at solving this mystery. My dad asked me if I would write a book about Grandpa’s life. After two years of writing and interviewing Grandpa Srulik, I was still nowhere near solving this puzzle. Indeed, I’ve learned that his life was even harder than I previously thought.
So, I decided to cut to the chase and ask Grandpa directly. The following interview has been translated from Russian.