One of the most difficult exercises in writing a memoir or biography is to condense world history into the most pertinent strains that can be gracefully merged with the events of an individual life. In the sample here, I begin with the personal event, “Celia’s father and brother escorted her out of Poland in 1906 when she was only fourteen.”
Next, we give a little background about the level of discrimination against Jewish people in Poland, which points to why Jewish people were emigrating out of Poland.
I quickly move to a major event in Poland’s history, when it was partitioned from Russia in 1772, and explain how that relates to the treatment of Jews.
Seque to the 1800s, and zip up to 1917, harkening back to the timeframe that begins this page, 1906.