Breaking Borders: A Unique WWII Story Told from a Jewish-Polish Soldiers Perspective

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NEW YORK, Nov. 26 // -- Much has been written of World War II from the perspective of the American and British soldier. It is rare to find a book written from the perspective of a soldier from occupied Europe, let alone a Jewish soldier. "Breaking Borders" (published by iUniverse -, Alexander Harris' autobiography, tells the story of his experiences as a displaced Polish Jew during and after World War II.

"Breaking Borders" opens in the prosperous town of Lodz, Poland where Harris was raised in the shadow of the Great War. Harris' narrative depicts his family, friends and upbringing in post-World War I Poland. Harris moves rapidly through his childhood, with the Nazi invasion of Poland looming on the horizon. "Breaking Borders" conveys the apprehension, fear and disillusionment of the Jewish community in Poland with a clarity that can only be painted by someone who lived through it.

Shortly after the Nazi march into Poland, Harris leaves Lodz to seek refuge in the United States. However, Harris is apprehended during a failed attempt to cross through Soviet-controlled territory. He is charged, ironically, with being a German spy. Although tortured for weeks, Harris never admits to being a spy and is sentenced to ten years hard labor in a gulag:

     He shoved my uncle Maurice's letter from America in my face, the letter

     the Russian border guard had confiscated when I was caught trying to

     reach Lithuania, while another blow to my head from behind made me lose

     my balance. As I struggled to regain it, a blow delivered by a truncheon

     to my right kidney stunned me, making me lose my breath. I felt a warm

     wetness along my right leg as I lost control of my bladder. Momentarily,

     a sense of shame overwhelmed me, and embarrassment overshadowed the pain

     in my back, which began turning numb.

His sentence is cut short when the Soviets agree to release Polish prisoners so that they may fight against Germany in the Polish army.

Harris is again faced with the same prejudice that spurred him to leave Poland. His first attempt to join the army is thwarted because he is a Jew. His second attempt is more fruitful and he eventually earns a commission as a lieutenant in a Polish artillery unit. After enduring the privations of war, Harris returns to his home of Lodz only to find most of his family felled by life under Nazi occupation.

Harris' odyssey in "Breaking Borders" takes him west to America in search of a new beginning and a new life. Armed with his unyielding determination and desire to better himself, Harris embarks on a career in the burgeoning U.S. travel industry. His success leads him to the unlikely position of being one of the first people to promote tours to Soviet-controlled Eastern Europe. "Breaking Borders," a true American success story in every sense, is an inspiration to all who face seemingly overwhelming odds and proof that even the greatest obstacles can be overcome.

About the Author: Alexander Harris is the Chairman of an international tour operator and resides in New York City with his wife Judy. To order Mr. Harris' book, go to and type "Breaking Borders."

iUniverse is the premier book publisher ( for emerging, self-published ( authors. For more information, please visit

    EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:

    Promotional Services Department

    Tel: 800-288-4677

    Fax: 812-961-3133


    (When requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)

For more information, visit .

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