Local author Dana Fast releases Holocaust memoir

Dana and Yvona Fast hold the English and Polish version of Dana’s memoirs.

Dana and Yvona Fast hold the English and Polish version of Dana’s memoirs. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— Lake Clear writer to share experience in Warsaw Ghetto and survival through Nazi occupied Poland in her newly released memoir, “My Nine Lives.”

Dana Fast released her book Jan. 6 as a tribute and a legacy to her family and others to never forget the terrible tragedies and lives lost in the Holocaust in Europe during World War II.

Fast’s memoir follows her life story from when she was a little girl after Germans invaded Poland, her time in the Warsaw Ghetto, her escape from the ghetto, her life in hiding, and into her return to Poland as an adult.

Born in March 1931, Fast’s comfortable life was changed forever as Germans moved into Poland in September 1939 and later sent her family into the Warsaw Ghetto. The memories, of which she kept from her daughter and friends for many years, she now shares in her memoir so others will never forget.

“Here in America, the Holocaust is a part of history, but in Poland and in Europe it is closer to the skin,” Fast said.

Fast recently released her book in its English version at a party at the Left Bank Café in Saranac Lake. She is well known in the Lake Clear/Saranac Lake community for her master gardening skills.

The stories of her time in Nazi-occupied Poland were memories Fast said she originally didn’t want to remember. In the book, however, she has recounted her life for the sake of her relatives, children, and her brother, who was only 3 years old during their time in the Warsaw Ghetto. This is her legacy to the family.

“When I started this, it didn’t start as a book,” Fast said. “My friends and family wanted me to write what happened, and so I wrote small bits at a time.”

Her memoir was a 20-year labor of love that started merely as stories she would type here and there and her daughter, Yvona Fast, would edit.

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