Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, "the butcher of Zamosc." Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser, Ben Solomon, is convinced he is right. Solomon persuades attorney Catherine Lockhart to take his case, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's family only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has he accused the right man?
Once We Were Brothers is the compelling tale of two boys and a family who struggle to survive in war-torn Poland and a young love that incredibly endures through the unspeakable cruelty of the Holocaust. Two lives, two worlds, and sixty years converge in an explosive race to redemption that makes for an enthralling tale of love, survival, and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit.
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"Balson does a number of things superbly: he crafts a highly readable plotline and makes great use of the Chicago backdrop
many will enjoy this gripping novel for its narrative drive and its emotional storytelling." - Booklist
"In spite of the problematic narrative structure and some clunky prose, readers will be riveted by this novel's central question: Will justice long delayed be denied?" - Kirkus
"The author describes the atrocities of wartime Poland and the beautiful, eternal romance between Ben Solomon and his life, Hannah. Balson's first novel is hard to put down." - The Jewish Book World
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Ronald H. Balson is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues, including villages in Poland that inspired this first novel which he self published in 2010.
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