The Miracle Typist: the life story of a man who rose above tragedy

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The Miracle Typist

By Leon Silver

Published by Simon & Schuster
RRP $32.99 in paperback
ISBN 9781760854355

Author Leon Silver spent decades recording the wartime story of his father-in-law Tolek Klings, who died in 1996. Conscripted into the Polish army, Tolek faced an army rife with anti-Semitism.

Fleeing into Hungary with the remnants of the Polish army after the German invasion, he is faced with a choice: try to return to Poland to his wife Klara and young son Juliusz or join the other soldiers heading to an internment camp in Hungary.

He chose to head to Hungary, eventually working to help Jewish refugees escape Hungary until he too was forced to escape.

He headed first to Palestine, where his ability to type earned him the title of ‘The Miracle Typist’, then on to fight in Egypt, Tobruk and eventually Italy.

At the end of the war, he reunited with his brother but was forced to face the brutal truth of the fate of his wife and son. And the unhappy knowledge that the persecution of Polish Jews continued unabated.

This extraordinary story exposes the terrible truth of how European Jews were relentlessly persecuted.

Tolek, with his new wife, chose to establish a new, successful life in Australia after the war.

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