Paper pub. date
June 2014
ISBN 9780870717444 (paperback)
6 x 9 inches, 272 pages. B&W photographs. Maps. Family tree. Bibliography. Notes. Index.

"Therefore, Choose Life..."

An Autobiography

Moisey Wolf and Judson Rosengrant
Edited and translated and with an introduction by Judson Rosengrant

An annotated translation of the extraordinary autobiography of Dr. Moisey Wolf (1922-2007), “Therefore, Choose Life…”  is an important addition to the literature of Jewish experience.

Wolf describes his Jewish childhood and youth in pre-war Poland, his escape from the Holocaust and subsequent military service in the Soviet Army during World War II and the following decade, his distinguished career in psychiatry in post-Stalinist Soviet Russia, and his final years in Portland, Oregon, after his departure from the Soviet Union in 1992.

Wolf’s narrative skill and evocative personal insights, combined with Judson Rosengrant’s judicious editing and annotation and elegant translation, provide the reader with direct access to a world that has seemingly ceased to exist, yet continues to resonate and inform our own lives in powerful ways.

“Therefore, Choose Life…” will appeal to readers interested in the history of the East-European twentieth century, pre-Holocaust Jewish family life in Poland, and in the survival of a man of deep religious faith and cultivation in the face of the catastrophes and vicissitudes of his time and place.

About the author

Moisey Wolf (1922-2007) was a psychiatrist, scholar, and Holocaust survivor.


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Judson Rosengrant has translated and edited a wide variety of Russian literature and historiography, including major works by Leo Tolstoy, Lydia Ginzburg, and Edvard Radzinsky. He received the PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Stanford University and has taught Russian language, literature, and culture at the University of Southern California, Indiana University, and Reed College. As a two-time Fulbright Senior Scholar, he has taught translation theory and practice at St. Petersburg State University in Russia. He lives in Portland, Oregon. 

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View an excerpt here.


“Dr. Wolf’s autobiography draws back the curtain on a fascinating and classically dramatic life and invites the reader to join him in the inspiring saga of his survival.” —Judith Margles, director of the Oregon Jewish Museum

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