Dr. Aharona Rosenthal, an adjunct professor teaching Hebrew for 4-VA@Mason Shared Courses has recently released her third book and first historical fiction novel to much acclaim. Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again has been lauded by the Literary Titans for Best Memoir, earned the Penn Craft Best Historical Fiction Award, was recognized by the International Firebird as the best book on the Holocaust, awarded five stars by The Readers Favorite, and nominated for an Outstanding Creator Award. Rosenthal’s recent interview by Romanian radio show Universul la feminin with Serena Adler generated listener praise for the book detailing her Jewish Romanian family and their lives prior to World War II.
Researched and written over a 12-year period by Rosenthal, Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again is based on her family’s genealogical papers as well as exhaustive document examination from around the world. It follows the story of Rosenthal’s grandmother’s cousin Friddie Stoleru, who was falsely charged with treason and spent the 1930s in prison and forced labor camps. The book recounts the lives of her family members during a time in Europe when discrimination and the persecution of Jewish people was at its peak.
For Rosenthal, the book was a response to her father’s hand-penned request for his daughter to ‘tell the truth’ about the lives of their ancestors. “The response to the book has been tremendous — it has opened a floodgate of people sharing their own family stories,” says Rosenthal. “For years, these narratives were buried deep. It was not uncommon that families did not speak of the abuse for generations due to listening devices which were monitored by the Communist Party. Many atrocities have remained a secret. Where the Lilacs Bloom Once Again has prompted so many to reach out and tell their truth. I’m honored to have given a voice to so many that were silenced.” Rosenthal expects that sentiment to be heightened following the upcoming publication of her interview with reporter Livius Denis Grigorescu in the leading Romanian newspaper Adevarul.