“Ein Stein is a real page turner and a terrific read.” – Esther Kister, Chairperson Melbourne Jewish Book Week
Ernst Leitz II (“the photography industry’s Schindler”) not only designed and manufactured Germany’s most famous camera, but also saved hundreds of Jewish lives from certain death during the Holocaust. From the kernel of this true story, Joe Reich weaves an interesting – sometimes outrageous – blend of fact and fiction, historical and current times, drawing the reader into the fictional life and exploits of the protagonist elderly “survivor” Jack (Yaakov Stein) now living in Melbourne. After trying to pass off a false testimony to a young Catholic photographer, Ian Gross, he then relents and tells us the truth … Or does he? With false memoirs all the rage, this is clearly a fictitious story with some real characters, at once highly entertaining and deadly serious.
“The various settings both contemporary and historical have an authenticity that breathes life into the story, while the characterisation and dialogue (including some droll jokes) made Ein Stein a most enjoyable reading experience.”
Read more of the ANZ Litlovers review at:
“This complex and intriguing tale of a fictional survivor of the Holocaust and the things he finds himself doing to survive brings up more moral quandaries than can be covered in one short review. In his tale of a Polish Jew called Yaakov Stein, also known when passing as non-Jewish as Fritz Schnabel and later in his postwar Australian life as Jack Stein, author Joe Reich uses the situation of the Jews in Hitler’s Europe to explore a number of moral dilemmas as well as forms of storytelling. As the war approaches, Stein is working for the real-life Schindler-like owner of Leica, Ernst Leitz II, who found ways for his Jewish staff and their families and friends to escape from Nazi Germany. Stein’s life story is embedded in a contemporary tale of a young Melbourne man who finds himself the custodian of the tale and who makes some startling new discoveries.”–Kerryn Goldsworthy, The Age, June 4, 2021 https://bit.ly/3ijZtss
What is the process of melding fact and fiction? Hear Joe Reich explain (11:58): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6SYgCaIxdQ
About the author: As well as being a successful author and artist, Dr Joseph Reich AM is an experienced ophthalmologist and is involved in teaching and community work. He lives in Melbourne.