Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger’s Life by Sarah Kaminsky, Adolfo Kaminsky, Mike Mitchell

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By Sarah Kaminsky, Adolfo Kaminsky, Mike Mitchell

Trans. Mike Mitchell

[An] engrossing literary debut. ... Writing in Adolfo's voice provides this suspenseful narrative candor and immediacy.
- Kirkus Reviews

Adolfo Kaminsky: A Forger's Life is "worthy of the easiest secret agent novels" and tells the tale of Sarah Kaminsky's father, “the genius-forger who dedicated his information and convictions to serve the French Resistance in the course of international battle II, saving hundreds of thousands of Jewish households, etc over the process 30 years for numerous reasons round the world.”
- TED.com

A distinctive and touching tale traversing a century in clandestine shadow crossings, the place Adolfo's ability intended life... or death.
- Libération, France

Riveting.
- Haaretz, Israel

Technical prowess, creativity, and self-denial force the plot within the tremendously fortunate lifetime of Adolfo Kaminsky narrated during this intriguing ancient document.
- Elle journal, France; 2010 Reader's selection Award

Undoubtedly probably the most appealing books of the season.
- Paris Today

A pointed, sober biography ... of 1 of the world's top forgers.
- Der Spiegel

If made right into a movie, the lifetime of Adolfo Kaminsky may have the parts of suspense mystery, battle motion picture, ancient tragedy, intimate drama, romantic comedy and scenes of terror.
- O Globo, Brazil

A exciting book.
- l. a. Repubblica Federal, Italy

Kaminsky has lived, within the shadows, the brightest hours of the Resistance.
- Le Monde

Best-selling writer Sarah Kaminsky takes readers via her father Adolfo Kaminsky's perilous and clandestine profession as a real-life forger for the French Resistance, the FLN, and diverse different freedom activities of the 20th century. Recruited as a tender Jewish youngster for his wisdom of dyes, Kaminsky grew to become the first forger for the French Resistance throughout the Nazi profession of Paris. Then, as a qualified photographer, Kaminsky spent the following twenty-five years clandestinely generating hundreds of thousands of counterfeit records for immigrants, exiles, underground political operatives, and pacifists around the globe. Kaminsky stored his earlier cloaked in secrecy good into his eighties, till his daughter confident him to proportion the main points of the life-threatening paintings he did on behalf of individuals battling for justice and peace during the world.

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Example text

It wasn’t the first time we’d moved. The history of my family is typical of that of most Eastern European Jews during those years: a history of repeatedly being exiled, often by force. My parents, both of them Russian, met in Paris in 1916. My mother had fled the pogroms and chosen the ‘country of the rights of man’. As for my father, he never told us the reasons for his coming to France, but I know that he was a journalist for the newspaper of the Bund,1 and I’m sure it was his sympathy with Marxist ideology that had forced him into exile.

And sometimes I needed to see the way other people looked at him to understand his choices, his life as a forger, his work underground, his political commitments, his inability to understand society and the hatred motivating various groups that encumbered it, his desire to build a world of justice and freedom. Contents Preface Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Epilogue Photographs by Adolfo Kaminsky Acknowledgments Biographies 1 PARIS, JANUARY 1944.

What I can’t bear is the thought that at this rate we might perhaps manage to fulfill the order of papers for the children, but only at the sacrifice of the Hungarians. Stay awake. For as long as possible. Fight against sleep. It’s a simple calculation: in one hour I can make thirty blank documents; if I sleep for an hour, thirty people will die… After two nights of work—interminable, painstaking work, my eye stuck to the microscope—it’s exhaustion that’s my worst enemy. I have to hold my breath; forging papers is a meticulous task—your hand mustn’t tremble at all.

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