... AT LAST I SPEAK
This is Leon Malmed's true story of his and his sister Rachel's escape from the Holocaust in Occupied France. When their father and mother were arrested in 1942, their French neighbors volunteered to watch their children until they returned. Leon's parents were taken first to Drancy, then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and they never returned. Meanwhile their downstairs neighbors, Henri and Suzanne Ribouleau, gave the children a home and family and protected them through subsequent roundups, threats, air raids, and the war's famine. The courage, sympathy, and dedication of the Ribouleaus stand in strong contrast to the collaboration and moral weakness of many of the French authorities. "Papa Henri and Maman Suzanne" were honored as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem in 1977. It is a narrative of love, joy and courage, set against a backdrop of tragedy, fear, injustice, prejudice, and the greatest moral outrage of the modern era. It is a story of goodness triumphing once more over evil.
The profits of all book sales go to help Holocaust survivors in need.
We Survived...At Last I Speak
Languages and Versions
Leon Malmed is a Holocaust Survivor. He was borne in France in the town of Compiègne in 1937. Compiègne was the site of the railroad car where the 1st World War Armistice was signed. He spent the war hidden after his jewish parents were arrested and sent to the extermination camp of Auschwitz in 1942 where they perished. He lived less than half a mile away from the Detention/Concentration camp of Royallieu. He emigrated to the US in 1964 to be reunited with his surviving sister after a 14-year separation. So painful were the memories, he could not talk about the war era for more than sixty years. At the age of 70, he decides, at last, to write, the testimony of how he survived the war and its aftermath.
He enjoyed a successful career in the High Tech industry in Silicon Valley. He leaves in California.
His books are entitled: "We Survived...At Last I Speak," "Nous avons survécu. Enfin je parle," and "Sobrevivimos...Al Fin Hablo"
In Loving Memory of
Henri and Suzanne Ribouleau, my loving second parents, Righteous among the
nations, and to their sons René and Marcel who by their courage and devotion saved my life and my sister's life.
We shall forever keep their memories alive and those of my father and mother, Srul and Chana the twenty members of my family, uncles aunts and cousins and the six million Jews and non-Jews who were massacred according to the diabolical plan of the Nazis' "Final solution."
My Second Family
From left to right standing
Izzy Epstein, Rachel Epstein,
Leon Malmed, Henri Ribouleau
seated, Suzanne Ribouleau
“The rapid conquest of France in the early days of World War II did not prepare that country's Jewish population for what was to come. Who among them could imagine a Drancy (the primary transit camp in France for Jews being deported to Nazi death camps in the East), the evil intent of SS Captain Klaus Barbie (" the Butcher of Lyon") or the mind-wrenching collaboration of some members of the French police?
"The letter from the author's parents, Srul and Chana Malmed, to their Christian neighbors asking them to send some clothes and household items to them in Drancy reveals the ability of humans to deny a worse possible scenario..." READ MORE
Riva Gambert / Director, Holocaust Remembrance / Jewish Federation of East Bay
“We survived...At last I speak, the story of Leon and his sister Rachel is an inspiration to everyone. It demonstrates that even within the horrors of the Holocaust there were people whose hearts were filled with kindness and courage, "Righteous Gentiles" who hid Jews risked their own lives to save others, and their acts of goodness should never be forgotten..." READ MORE
Joanne Caras/ Creator of The Holocaust Survivor Cookbook and Miracles & Meals / Star of the JLTV series Miracles & Meals with Joanne Caras
“Leon Malmed was born in France. He didn't come easily to writing his memoir. He was in his late 60s when he wrote it in French, and now in his 70s when he wrote the English version. It was a story he wanted to forget; the story of a 5-year old child and his 9-year old sister, whose Jewish parents were taken away by the French police under orders of the Nazis in 1942. His mother and father, desperate, were told by their neighbors "Do not worry; we will take care of your children until you come back." In a way it was a story he didn't want to remember, but finally, one he needed to tell, for both himself and the world..." READ MORE
Bob Cliff, Ph.D./ Formerly Professor at University of California, Berkeley /
Founder of Cliff Consulting
“...I watched World War II as a teenager from the safety of the United States. I've read the stories and accounts, seen the pictures, and visited the museums. But reading about the Holocaust from the perspective of journalists and historians is one thing. Hearing from one who actually experienced it is quite another think entirely..." READ MORE
James W. Duke, Ed.D./ President Emeritus, Lake Tahoe Community College
“As observers of history, we try to comprehend World War II and its surrounding events through reading chronological accounts, watching documentaries and fictional movies and visiting Holocaust museums and concentration camps. But we are looking though a veil of distance, which keeps personal involvement safely in an intellectual place. It is personal accounts from Holocaust survivors, rather than others' interpretations, that close the distance and allow us emotional understanding, not only of the unspeakable atrocities, but of the bravery and resilience of its victims and heroes.
"Leon Malmed's memoir does all this and more. A must read..." READ MORE
Ellaraine Lockie / nonfiction author / poet / essayist / educator
“I am the granddaughter my grandparents, who perished in Auschwitz, never got to meet.
"For the Jewish people then, the Nazi nightmare was incomprehensible. For all people now, the torturing and murdering of 12 million people-six million of them Jewish-seems hard to believe.
"My mother, Rachel Malmed Epstein, and uncle, Leon Malmed, are witnesses to what we've been reading about for the last 70 years. They are two of the lucky few who escaped death at the hands of the Nazis thanks to the courage and decency of those few who dared to be defiant..." READ MORE
Anita Epstein Leibowitz / Assistant Professor, Communications /
Suffolk County Community College, Long Island, New York
Jack gave me yesterday your book that you signed on November 5 and that I just read without a break today. Thank you for taking the decision to write it. Among all the things that struck and moved me, there are all these questions that you asked yourself during these terrible events, which you always ask yourself, and which have no answer. READ MORE