Newly Released! Ukrainian Edition of “The Children of Willesden Lane. A Diary of Music, Love, and Survival” by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen

The poignant story of Lisa Jura, a 14-year-old pianist navigating the tumultuous era of Nazi-occupied Austria, comes to life in her daughter Mona Golabek’s memorable biography, “The Children of Willesden Lane” co-authored with Lee Cohen. Translated into Polish in 2018 by Austeria Publishers, the book now finds its voice in Ukrainian in this newly released translation.

Internationally acclaimed concert pianist Mona Golabek narrates her mother’s story through the book and the theatrical performances she has performed around the world. Mona shared her thoughts on the significance of translating her mother’s story into Ukrainian just as the Russian war on Ukraine was approaching its third year stating, “The Children of Willesden Lane” teaches readers young and old the importance of family, patience, peace, and how to hold onto something and fight for what you believe in.

Lisa’s journey in 1938, from the growing violence on the streets of Vienna to the sanctuary of a British Jewish orphanage, Willesden Lane 243 in London, serves as a testament to resilience, hope, and the enduring power of music. Suffering the chaos of war, Lisa finds solace in her passion for classical piano, a beacon of light amidst the darkness. Her story is a powerful and timely reminder of the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity and the enduring power of hope and resilience.

Valeriia Beradze, a Ukrainian Jew who serves as the Ukrainian engagement coordinator for Hillel Warsaw, was the first to receive a copy of the book. I read this book and cried, in every word a familiar pain to every Ukrainian Jew. We need to talk about it, that after every sorrow and pain, there is life, and to never lose hope. This book gave me great hope that our wounds will heal, and we will learn to live with them, just like little Lizette. 

The Taube Center and Hillel Poland’s Ukrainian Jewish Students’ group will host a book launch on March 7 in Warsaw.  The event will be held in Ukrainian and English.  

The translation and publication of the Ukrainian edition were generously supported by Taube Philanthropies and published under the auspices of the Warsaw-based Taube Center’s Sefarim Jewish Studies Publishing Program.  

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