[Guest Post] The Polski Affair’s Leon H. Gildin

Posted 1 December, 2010 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in / 0 Comments

Hey, everyone! I would like to take a minute and welcome author Leon H. Gildin to my blog today! He is the author of The Polski Affair, which by the way is a really awesome book! I’m handing it over to Leon now…..

From Leon:

What’s in a name?
by Leon H. Gildin, www.leongildin.com

I was first introduced to the story of what took place at the Hotel Polski some thirty years ago. The Hotel Polski was a second rate hotel situated just outside the ghetto in Warsaw, Poland. When the ghetto was destroyed by the Nazis after the uprising in 1943, the Hotel Polski suddenly became the center of an ill-conceived plot wherein the Nazis promised those Jews who survived and were living in hiding–if they emerged and came to the Polski–they could buy their way out of Poland.
What the Nazis were trying to accomplish with this nefarious scheme remains not only a mystery today, but is the issue which I’d love for the reader to resolve. Was it just another way of trapping the Jews and stealing their gold or jewelry? I think not; there was more to it.

At another time and in another life I practiced law in New York. I had a client by the name of Abraham Shulman who was a writer in both Yiddish and English. He was a bright and literate person and came to my office one day with his latest published work, “The Case of Hotel Polski.” It was a research work that dealt with a very little known subject despite the great amount that had already been written about the Holocaust. it consisted of a n introduction that spoke of his sources and then continued with interviews of survivors who had lived through the unbelievable horror of Warsaw in those years.

From those interviews I fashioned “The Polski Affair.” All of the physical aspects of the story, i.e., the ghetto, the hotel, Pawiak Prison, the Jewish cemetery, etc. are all true. The characters and the situations are fiction. I’m honored the book is a 2010 International Book Awards winner for Historic Fiction.

The original title of “The Polski Affair” was “The Reunion.” It was the reunion of the survivors spoken of in the first chapter that was the driving force behind the novel–or so I thought. You see, one of the first drafts of the novel spoke of the reunion, discussed who would and wouldn’t go and why, and ended with Anna not going. But I was not satisfied with that. Despite the fact that the reunion takes place in the last quarter of the book, I still deemed it to be the most important aspect of the story. What was learned at the reunion and what took place at home while the reunion was taking place became a vital part of the story. Anna had to go; the story had to continue.

An earlier publisher who showed interest in the project insisted on a change of name. There were too many novels published with “reunion” titles. After much discussion other titles were thrown about and finally it was settled. “The Polski Affair” would become the new title. It was more apt and more descriptive. Fortunately, the ultimate publisher of the book was in agreement.

So, I am curious to know from the reader, do you agree or would you have kept the original title? Read the book; you will enjoy it and then I’d love to hear from you.      

~Awesome posting Leon! Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you’ll be back soon! Stay tuned, everyone, for tomorrow I am having a giveaway for you all to win a copy of this book! 



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