We were the lucky ones, authors of a series using family history of the Holocaust

As a child, I adored my grandfather. I knew he loved chocolate (the dark kind) and hated ketchup. I knew he loved a good play on words and that he spoke seven languages ​​– around the table, it was French. I knew his Steinway was his happy place and that he hand-made many things in his home (like the curtains hanging in his living room, woven on a loom he built in his basement).

What I didn’t know about my grandfather was that he grew up among five siblings in a town in central Poland called Radom; or that he was raised in the Jewish faith; or that he, his parents, and his siblings were Holocaust survivors. These are truths I learned at age 15, a year after his death, thanks to a high school English assignment and an interview with my grandmother Caroline.

The discovery raised a lot of questions. Six years later, my curiosity was further piqued at a family reunion, where I found myself sitting around a table listening to stories about the war. They were unlike anything I had heard before: a baby born in Siberia, a hike in the Austrian Alps, a mother-daughter escape from the ghetto. At the end of the night, my great-aunt Felicia, who was one year old when the war began, looked at her cousins ​​and said, “It’s a miracle we’re all here today.” We were lucky. »

It was at that Kurc family reunion that I realized someone had to write our story. Finally, I decided that someone would be me. I leave with a digital dictaphone and a stomach full of butterflies, my mission is simple: to do justice to the story. Nine years later, my novel, We were the lucky ones, was born. He landed on the New York Times bestseller list and my agent began pitching it for a screen adaptation, the prospect of which was both exciting and terrifying. What if it fell into the wrong hands? What if it was produced in a way that didn’t feel authentic to the story, to my family? And then Tommy Kail called.

Tommy and I are going back. He and my husband, Robert, met when they were kids at summer camp. My first memories of Tommy were in the summer of 1999, when he joined us at our family home on Martha’s Vineyard. He and my father spent the afternoon on beach chairs, discussing theater and cinema. (My father was an actor and writer and, Tommy says, an inspiration as he contemplated his own artistic path.)

Tommy and I have spent the last 25 years encouraging each other in our respective careers. When he called me to ask if I would like to partner with him to bring We were the lucky ones in front of the screen, I cried, then I laughed and I immediately accepted. Being able to work with a dear and remarkably talented friend was like a dream. Tommy introduced me to Erica Lipez, who took the story to her heart as did he – I knew from the moment we met that the project had found its home. We launched and launched again, and two years later, Hulu took the plunge.

Tommy, Erica and I…

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