SALAMIS & SWASTIKAS: LETTERS HOME FROM A G.I. JEW is a remarkable collection of letters written by my father, Staff Sgt. David E. Stoliar, to my mother and sister in St. Louis during World War II, from North Africa, Italy, France, Germany, and England.
The letters run the gamut from vivid war reportage to insightful analysis of anti-Semitism in Germany (as well as in the U.S.) to heartwarming adventures with his dog to heartbreaking reminders of how much he sorely misses his family to thumbnail reviews of then-current movies and songs, all filtered through the prism of a secular Jew caught in the middle of war against the Nazis.
Additionally, there are dozens of never-before-seen personal photos that bring to life the colorful people, places, and events that my dad writes about in his elaborately detailed letters. (More photos from the book on the Gallery page.)
“Steve Stoliar’s book is a richly satisfying read. The book’s heart is a priceless – and, fortunately, preserved – collection of his soldier father’s personal letters home from World War II. A rare, moving, colorful, and intimate look at war from inside the beast. A book to remember.” – DICK CAVETT (Author/Talk-Show Host)
“I found the book very entertaining, full of good stuff, sad as can be, and eye-opening as to what it was like to be shipped thousands of miles from one’s wife and child and to have to fight missing them, which, for me, would be as hard as fighting Germans. I couldn’t have lived through what the author of these letters lived through. Great fun to read, but also heartbreaking.” – WOODY ALLEN (Writer/Filmmaker)
“Just one G.I’s pen to paper and what a revelation! Staff Sgt. David Stoliar’s letters home are dense with humor, love, the right amount of army scuttlebutt, and soulful musings of a young American-Jewish soldier in the war against Hitler. I’m grateful to Steve for making his dad’s World War II story an important addition to the historical record.” – STEVEN KARRAS (Director of ABOUT FACE: THE JEWISH REFUGEE SOLDIERS OF WORLD WAR II)
“These humorous and heartbreaking letters home from World War II are a wonder. They not only paint a portrait of the fight and the human face of war, but more importantly, we feel the incredible love for wife and family, which is why we were fighting. Endearing. Moving. Unforgettable.” – STEPHEN TOBOLOWSKY (Actor/Author of MY ADVENTURES WITH GOD)