The Dr. Erica Miller Story: From Trauma to Triumph is the recently published book (Cold River Studio) about one woman’s journey from a concentration camp prisoner in Europe to a solider in the Israeli Air Force to a mental health professional in America.
The book begins with a chilling account of a nightmare the author had in 2005. While asleep in her Hidden Hills home, she suddenly awoke to a home that was engulfed in fire. Dr. Miller writes, “I jump out of bed, not sure if I am awake or in a nightmare. The noise is deafening-explosions, thick smoke, the rattling of fire raging mercilessly and engulfing my universe. In an instant I’m back in the war zone of my youth. The ferocity of explosions, fire, bombs, and smoke. Although half asleep, my thoughts come quickly. ‘Run, run for your life. Get out.’ I feel panic, like a trapped animal looking to escape to survive. My breathing is shallow. My heart is beating fast.”
As she tells it, it brought back memories of nearly being burned to death for a second time in her life. The first occurred when she and her family were rounded up by the Nazis and taken to a holding camp in Mogilev, somewhere in the Ukraine.
In her autobiography, Dr. Miller details three stages in her life. Each one involved a new country, a new language and a new people. The first was in Rumania from 1933 to 1949. After a tragically brief childhood, the early years under Nazi rule were about degradation, fear, hiding, and witnessing cruel human behavior.
The second stage was in Israel from 1949 to 1958. As a teenager, Dr. Miller moved to Israel with her parents and sister. There she learned about respect, security, the value of education, and standing tall.
The third period followed Erica Miller’s immigration to America. It meant starting over yet again. As she assimilated into American life, she married, raised a family, and pursued a higher education degree and a professional career. She truly embraced the American dream and the notion, “the sky’s the limit.”
But the book doesn’t end with Dr. Miller’s professional accomplishments or life as she lives it today. Dr. Miller takes time to share reflections on a wide variety of modern-day subjects with her readers. There’s no question that her experiences molded her thoughts on such vital topics as healing, aging, being Jewish, raising children, and a variety of other themes.
The final gift to readers is a collection of first-person accounts by Dr. Miller’s family – her husband Jerry, daughter Diana, and son John, all of whom reveal their perspectives about life with Dr. Miller. This section also includes a translation of her father’s journal and her sister Dita’s Shoah interview.
The Dr. Erica Miller Story: From Trauma to Triumph is an amazing, remarkable, thought-provoking book that engages readers, engenders compassion, and provides hope and healing to those who have suffered.