Hanging by a Thread - The Story of The Kotowski Family

Book Cover


20th Century (multiple decades)

Dovit Yehudit Yalovizky and Efraim Yitshak Pedatsur

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Yaakov was the youngest son of the Kotowski family, a well-respected and affluent Jewish family from the Polish town of Skulsk. The family with its 8 children lived here until the outbreak of the Second World War; they were not short of anything and enjoyed the sympathy and appreciation of the town’s Jews and local Christian population, despite growing anti-Semitism in Polish society. The family’s idyllic life was cut short abruptly as a result of the German invasion of Poland, and the consequent persecution and annihilation of the Jews wherever they were to be found. The family was deported to a distant town, where they suffered appalling hardships at the hands of the Germans and their Polish and Ukrainian collaborators. The head of the family, who possessed sharp instincts, foresaw what was about to happen and instructed his children to scatter, in the hope that at least some of them might survive the war. This fascinating story is brought to you from the voice and quill of Yaakov and additional family members, who were thrown into the heart of the flames that fuelled the fire that annihilated six millions Jews, and almost the entire population of Poland’s Jewry, and who against all odds managed to escape from the fiery inferno. Yaakov’s story cannot be classified in the genre of Holocaust Literature alone since it was not meant only to immortalize the period and memory of the disaster that befell the Jewish people for future generations; This is a story that constitutes an exciting human document, with dramatic components of the kind that are born only when a story takes place on the backdrop of a mega-humanitarian-disaster. The reader of this book cannot stay indifferent to the magnitude of the limitless satanic evil, that a twisted human mind can invent and execute; and at the same time feels strong connection to the protagonists, and is deeply moved by their resourcefulness, lust for life, ability to survive, will-power and courage, identifying with the protagonists, who encapsulate both endless love and sensitivity, with roughness and resilience. The notion of “survival against all the odds” becomes even clearer when you consider it took place in the heart of occupied Poland, amidst persecution by its anti-Semitic residents on the one hand, and that of the merciless German soldiers on the other, and all this whilst being fully aware of the situation. The family members who did not survive were murdered in Sobibor, Majdanek, in the Jozefow Bilgorajski massacre and elsewhere in Poland. Those who survived, stayed in the very same districts of Poland, caught between the clutches of the deadly German predators and the sharp claws of the anti-Semitic Polish vultures, until its liberation.


Drama, Action, Memoir, Biographical, Family, Adventure, Melodrama, Suspense / Thriller, War,

Short Summary

A story of how one Jewish family in Nazi occupied Poland preserved some of its members by adopting a strategy of scattering and going underground. It describes the awful stress of living under constant threat of death for years on end, surviving each close shave by a mixture of wits and luck.


Poland and Holland under Nazi occupation, Germany

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Yaakov Kotowski

Age: 28

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Heroic, Perseverance, Masculine, Decisive, Secretive, Skillful, Confident, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities

Additional Character Details

Name: Hanna Kotowski

Age: 22

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Leader, Charming, Heroic, Confident, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities

Additional Character Details

Name: Carla Lewenhoff

Age: 25

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Charming, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities, Confident, Decisive, Beautiful

Additional Character Details

Name: Jopie Landau

Age: 8

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Obedient, Confident

About The Author

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Year Published: 2019

Hard Copy Available



Information not completed