Cast of Characters for The Altered I – A Holocaust Memoir

Sometimes when I read memoirs or biography’s I get overwhelmed with the cast of characters. I find myself wondering who are all these people? How are they related? Why do I need to know them? I just can’t keep them all straight. It’s like reading a Russian novel,  every character has three different names: their name given at birth, their nickname, and a name that expresses a term of endearment! So, for my book The Altered I, which chronicles the life and experiences of Joseph Kempler, a Holocaust survivor, I thought I should acquaint the general public with who’s who in this story, that way all the confusion is out of the way…or that is my goal.

First we have the Glasner family. This is Joseph Kempler’s maternal side:

Moses (in which we read about briefly) is Grandfather, married to Babcia, who is Grandmother (and forever known only as Babcia)

They had five children:

  • Malka Glasner
  • Hanka Glasner
  • Shmil Glasner
  • Icek Glasner
  • Száj Glasner

Now let’s turn our attention to Joseph’s Paternal side:

Max Kempler also known as Tatuś who is married to Malka Glasner (she is known as Mamusia, or Mama). Together they had four children:

  • Dziunka Kempler (Joseph’s half sister)
  • Dolek Kempler (Joseph’s half brother)
  • Rozia Kempler (older sister who died at two years of age)
  • Jósef Kempler (also known as Józiu, and Joseph)

Now we have some additional characters:

Jack Laub marries Dziunka Kempler

Jack has some relatives they are:

  • Anita Laub (Jósef”s best friend)
  • Anita’s mother (she doesn’t have a name at this point)
  • Aunt Carolla Trauring (Anita’s mother’s sister, confused yet?)
  • Uncle Trauring (married to Aunt Carolla)
  • Jack Laub’s parents:
  • Pan (Mr. ) Laub
  • Pani (Mrs.) Laub

There are some villagers you need to know as well. They are known as the Biernat family:

  • Roman Biernat
  • Maria Biernat
  • Janek Biernat

Going down the list in chronological order we with have Joseph Kempler’s future in-laws, known as the Dreyfus family:

Adolph Dreyfus married to Alice Dreyfus. They had two children:

  • Joe Dreyfus
  • Marion Dreyfus

Joseph Kempler marries Marion Dreyfus and they had one daughter

  • Susan Kempler

Joseph later marries Virginia Vrbanich and they had two children:

  • Philip David Kempler
  • Paul Kempler (the author’s husband)

Now that wasn’t too bad was it? Everything is in order now and you won’t be confused or overwhelmed when you read The Altered I by April Voytko Kempler, published by LeRue Press, released winter 2012.

To preorder The Altered I in paperback please click here.

And some sample chapters: Altered I Sample-April Kempler


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