In a World Gone Mad: A Heroic Story of Love, Faith, and Survival

This book tells the individual stories of Amalie Petranker and Naftali (Norman) Salsitz, who survived the Holocaust by (separately) posing as Christians. While the book focuses on the war years, including the extraordinary way in which the couple met near the end of the war, it is also a study of the couple's courageous efforts to re-build their lives in America, where they raised a daughter and struggled to fit in. But the war years are never far away in their hearts and minds. One of the central questions of the book is, How does one live a "normal" life after enduring so much terror and loss?

A sub-plot of this nonfiction book is the author's relationship with the couple, who begin to treat her like a daughter, despite the fact that the author's mother is of German-Christian descent. To the author, the fact that Norman and Amalie accept her and grow attached to her is proof that they never lost their essential humanity, despite what was done to them and their families by the Germans during World War Two.

Reviews and Endorsements:


"A moving story from eyewitnesses. An important memoir of the period." - Dr. Jan T. Gross, National Book Award Finalist for NEIGHBORS: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN JEDNABNE, POLAND (Princeton University Press, 2001).

"Caught up in the evil of the Holocaust, Norman and Amalie Petranker Salsitz survive, move forward, but do not forget. Their story...touches us because it is a personal story." - Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League.

“One of the most original and astonishing books yet about World War II and its aftermath.” – Norman R. Brokaw, Chairman of the Board, William Morris Talent and Literary Agency.

“Thank you, Norman and Amalie Salsitz, for allowing Amy Hill Hearth into your lives. (The book) broadens the mind with its humanness.” Camille O. Cosby, Ed. D.