Tricks of Fate: Escape, Survival and Rescue 1939 - 1945

Morris Gruda

Tricks of Fate: Escape, Survival and Rescue 1939 - 1945

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“The third volume in the Holocaust Memoirs series, coproduced by the Holocaust Centre of Toronto, the UJA Federation, and Mosaic Press, is the story of Morris Gruda, a Polish Jew, who was born in 1919 in Rozhan, a town approximately 80 kilometers northeast of Warsaw. The Germans occupied the town on September 8, 1939, and by then Gruda had served two apprenticeships as a ladies tailor. He fled Nazi-occupied Poland and escaped to the Soviet Union, where he eventually was drafted into the Russian corps that built and maintained the railway lines required for the war effort. Few survived this task because of the inadequate rations. Gruda’s mother and two of his sisters died from hunger and disease. He later located his father, younger sister, and the little daughter of one of his sisters who died. In a displaced-persons camp in occupied West Germany, he married, and the couple immigrated to Canada. A highly readable treatment of one man’s survival.”
– George Cohen, Booklist

One aspect of Holocaust experience and literature has been largely undocumented – up to now. The value and importance of Tricks of Fate is that it fills in this apparent void in Holocaust literature. Morris Gruda’s flight through Nazi occupied Poland and into the Soviet Union, his struggles for survival and his return to Poland at the end of the war is a unique story, but one which he shared with many other Jews. Indeed, it is estimated that 300,000 Jews were caught in or escaped into Russian-occupied Poland shortly after the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. Many of these Jews later participated in the Russian war against Germany after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. Morris Gruda was one of them.

Morris Gruda emigrated to Canada after the war and has become a successful businessman, philanthropist, noted Yiddish writer and poet, a father of two children and the grandfather of twelve.


Morris Gruda

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Format / Dimensions

PB / 6" x 9"

Retail Price

$19.95 USD, $24.95 CAD