In The Face of Evil

A timeless story of the upheavals of war, the tenacious endurance of love and the resilience of the human spirit. It is an epic journey through the nightmare of the Holocaust – the single most defining moment in modern history, as told through the eyes of a young girl.

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34 Responses to Home

  1. Karen York says:

    Hi Tema, Read the book and was very moved and impressed. I’d like to talk to you about the possibility of an inteview/review for The Malibu Times and also about speaking at our bookclub in May. Give me a call 310-317-8568 (home business number) or send me an e-mail. Karen

  2. Tema says:

    Thank you, I will try my best to keep you interested.


    My name is Jean-Marc FELZENSZWALBE, I am french, leaving in Paris.; my father’s family comes from Warshaw (Varsovie); the exact spelling of my name – Mrs Felzenszwalbe, teacher in chapter I – is a real surprise, as no memories of my family has been transmited to me (I was born in 1959)

    Could you please ask the author if she can give me more informations.

    Best regards,

    • Tema says:

      Dear Jean-Marc: How exciting to hear from you regarding your connection with my mother and her sister Nadja’s teacher Mrs. Felzenszwalbe. Certainly you are related to this beloved teacher. Have you read the book? In the epilogue I relate much of what my mother recalls. Mrs. Felzenszwalbe and her daughter, to the best of my mother’s knowledge, survived the war. Apparently, a Nazi officer lived in their home and did not turn them in as Jews which would have forced them to live in a ghetto. The Nazi must have known they were Jews but for some reason pretended not to know or may even have protected them. I will try to jar the memory of my mother, Dina, and see if she has any other memories of Mrs. Felzenszwalbe. My guess is that your father was a cousin. Where was your father during the war? Mrs. Felzenszwalbe’s husband owned a successful business, appliances, radios, etc., she thinks it was on Ulica Rynek. He did not survive the war. It is possible that the daughter is still alive, my mother says she was maybe 2-3 years older than her, my mother is 82.


    Dear Tema,
    Thanks for your answer. My father was born in 1924 in Paris and died in 2010; his father (my grand father) Isaac came from Warshaw first to Belgium, then France where he sttled, after World War I. I never heard about family coming from Radom…

    I havent read your book yet, as I just cross upon it two days ago and only got the free share pdf first two chapters !

    Many thanks already for this surprise…

    • Tema Merback says:

      There is no doubt that you and Pan Felzenszwalbe were related. How wonderful to learn anything about your family tree. I wish I could tell you more. This is a link that you should probably pursue. Somewhere there are other Felzenszwalbe relatives.

      Best wishes,


    If you read french, here is a link telling more about my father Maurice:

  6. Tema Merback says:

    Dear Marc, unfortunately I do not read French. I went to the website and tried my best. It looks like your father was a remarkable man.

  7. manny steinberg says:

    hi there my name is Manny Steinberg a holocaust survivor from Radom Poland
    I recently published my book Outcry ,memoirs of Manny STeinberg ,its on Amazon ,com

    • Tema says:

      Congratulations Manny, it is a “Mitzvah” for you to tell your story. As you can see from the website I have written the story of my mother’s survival of the Holocaust. My book is written in novel form as if you are my mother living through the Holocaust. I will be sure to take a look at your book. Thanks for the e-mail.

  8. Dear Tema,

    I just finished your compelling novel, In the Face of Evil, based on your mother’s experiences during WWII. I was so moved by the story and by your mother’s sheer will to live and survive. What a blessing to have such an amazing mother – and what a blessing you are to your mother, to tell her story so well.

    I am an attorney and a former Executive Editor of the University of Cincinnati Law Review. As a lawyer, I write daily for a living (albeit, a very different kind of writing!). I would like to offer you my services as an editor, free of charge, should you ever choose to release a new edition of the book. I firmly believe these important stories need to be told and I would love to assist you on any future version you produce.

    Please feel free to contact me at the referenced email address, if you ever decide to take me up on my offer!

    Best wishes to you and your family,
    Jennifer Livingston

  9. Miles Miller says:

    What a riveting story! Thanks to your Mother, as painful as it must have been, to allow us to share in the hopes and dreams of a young girl, who lived through what NO human being should have to live through! Although Jeremiah 17:9 warns us “the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked…” I love the Jewish people and have always been encouraged how G-D has always seen them through the fire! I also love America and know it, from its inception, has been blessed by G-D! Lastly, when she referred to President Truman, on her voyage to America, it was solely through him, against all odds and against his own cabinet members and world opinion, that Israel would become a nation in May 1948! To G-D be the glory! Amen!

  10. Tema says:

    Dear Miles, thank you for your inspiring words. It means the world to me that you took the time to comment on my website. I would love your comments to be seen by more people. If you would be so kind as to write a review on and it would be wonderful. Again, thank you for your comments. I will relay this to Dina, I know that she will be thrilled to read it.

  11. Paul Diamond says:

    What an amazing book. As a work of fiction, i’m sure it was your moms experiences and how she survived is unbelieveable. What a horrible time and with works suchas yours the world can never forget. I hope your mother is in GREAT health and i wish you and your family all thHEALTH and HAPPINESS in the world. Please express my admiration to your mother

    • Tema says:

      Dear Paul, thank you for your lovely praise. Dina is well and thriving. She is an inspiration to us all! I would so appreciate your review on or/and Thank you for taking the time to write.

      • Paul Diamond says:

        Did write a review and Tema, I love the family picture at the end. If you ever come to Chicago, please let me know where you will be appearing. Thanks again for writing such a meaningful book, it has made a lasting impression in my life

  12. Tema Merback says:

    Thank you Paul, when I am in Chicago you will be the first person I call!

  13. Jane Williams-Hogan says:

    I was very moved by your account of your mother’s experience during the holocaust. It was both chilling and uplifting. Your title is most appropriate–the evil you describe is both real and incomprehensible. I kept thinking, “how could they?” And yet they did to the very end. Your mother is a remarkable woman. Through your words I was able to touch her incredible will to live, and the hand of God continually providing for her. I was very moved by your descriptions of the core of her family’s faith–the importance of the rituals and their religious observations even in the Ghetto–honoring and keeping faith with God. In Bergen-Belsen the shift from the living hell constructed and maintained by evil to the embrace of angels dressed as young American soldiers upon liberation is palpable. My heart also beat faster when your mother arrived in New York’s harbor, and she was greeted by Lady Liberty–the shouts, the tears, the sheer joy, and deep faith in this country that came out of her experience and those with her was delightful and refreshing. Thank you and thank your mother for her incredible testament to abiding strength of good in the face of evil

    • Tema says:

      Dear Jane I am very moved by your heartfelt comments. Thank you for taking the time to express your feelings about In the Face of Evil. It brings me the greatest satisfaction to know that Dina’s story touched your life in such a positive manner. I would be delighted if you would post your review on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I will make sure that the amazing Dina hears your words. Thank you!

  14. Sandy Briggs says:

    This is one of many books I have read concerning the Holocaust and like the others, Can’t give me the answer to “why”. Hate is a very strong emotion and I don’t understand it. I realized as I was reading this book that the reason I have read so many is my search for “why”. I am so proud of Dina for surviving all she did and wish her and her family the best.

    • Tema says:

      Thank you Sandy for your kind thoughts. I would love you to write a review on and/or Your words would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again.

  15. Tom Hoffman says:

    Tema: You are a very gifted writer. I cannot tell you how much your mother’s story touched my heart and grabbed me. My family’s roots come from western Poland. I guess in some remote way, your story connected me to my ancestors three generations past. My heart goes out to all the Jewish people killed and families torn apart. How could all that have possibly happened? Your mother’s story is such an inspiration depicting the will to live even against to most impossible obstacles. Man’s inhumanity to man is beyond comprehension. I thank you and Dina for doing your part to keep the “Never Forget” spirit alive. And thanks to all the other Holocaust surviveres who tell their stories too.

    My father fought the Nazi’s in WWII. He is now passed on and I am almost 60. Oh how I wish I could have helped in that fight to destroy evil. I can’t, but I can do my part to support Holocaust causes.

  16. Tema says:

    Dear Tom thank you for your wonderful revue. As I write this my book is being reedited and a new version in a few weeks will be available that is grammatically perfect and will be an even better read. The amazing Dina is thriving and will take great comfort from your kind words. I would be greatly appreciative if you would take the time to post your review on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Thank you again for taking the time to share your feelings. Your father, may his memory be blessed, is a hero and you should be very proud that he stood up and fought to defeat such complete evil. One day in the near future those whose lives were destroyed will no longer be here, it will be left to us the protectors of the truth to make certain that no one shall ever forget.

  17. we need more people to write about the holocaust. I can for forgive people for their awful
    things they commited during those days ,but shall never forget , the brutal things the Germans commited ,I am a sole survivor from a family of more then 300 ,that all went to Treblinka became ashes .

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