Andrew Zalewski is a cardiologist who lives in the Philadelphia area in the United States, with his wife, Margaret. They have two children and four grandchildren. Despite a busy professional life, Andrew published two books on Galicia―a rewarding experience in which he learned about distant times and discovered amazing details about his family and the people of Galicia.
The coat of arms of Galicia, the crown land of the Austrian Empire from 1772 to its dissolution in 1918.
In his new book Galician Portraits. In Search of Jewish Roots, Andrew Zalewski returns to the story of Galicia to rediscover its Jewish history. As he writes:
“Galician Portraits” is much more than an attempt to see one family’s journey. Its goal has been much broader: to recover the story of all Jewish life there. Contrary to the simplifications that can color our thinking about the past, that community was richer and more diverse than one could ever imagine.”
In his first book Galician Trails. The Forgotten Story of One Family, Andrew Zalewski traced his mother’s family. As Andrew writes:
“What followed was an incredible journey through the Galicia of the Habsburg Empire, the land where my Austrian and Polish ancestors, both Christian and Jewish, had once lived. Against all the odds of passing time and intervening wars, an amazing window into the past had opened to me. Information that had been buried in archives and collections around the world—personal records, old newspapers, church and school records, early photographs, and more—came directly to my desktop when I learned where and how to look. Soon, I had the thrilling sense that an imaginary curtain was being lifted.”