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Rebecca Weiss

In 2004 Rebecca Weiss published her autobiography "Journeys in Darkness and Light".

As a child, Rebecca made many journeys with her flamboyant and unconventional parents. Her father was author Peter Weiss whose plays, like "Marat/Sade", are still performed all over the world; and her mother, Helga Henschen, was a renowned artist. Rebecca writes about these trips, and about her educational journeys in a Rudof Steiner school, in A.S. Neill's Summerhill, and in a kibbutz in Israel. As an adult she kept traveling, visiting Jewish dissidents in the old Soviet Union, Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, and religious leaders in Europe and America. But most of all this is about Rebecca's road towards self-discovery, a spiritual journey spanning several decades.

The book has 32 pages of photos, many of them in color, of family members, friends, and artwork. Some of the photos have never before been published or seen. The Swedish language edition of the book, "Resor i mörker och ljus" is sold at Hedengrens book store in Stockholm. The English edition is sold on Amazon.com, or through this web site for $14.95 plus $4.95 S&H in the US.

Contact: rebecca8 at tampabay (dot) rr (dot) com

Reviews on the book appeared in Broderskap newspaper, Sweden, 5 march 2004, Arbetarbladet newspaper, Finland, 12 August 2004, Dalademokraten newspaper, Sweden 13 Aug 2004. Review and excerpts also in "Latest" magazine, California, issues 147 and 148, 2005 and in the Comm Line magazine April 18, 2006.

"A Florida Pioneer - the adventurous life of Josef Henschen, Swedish Immigrant in the 1870s" was published in October 2006. It has 170 pages and about 30 black/white photos and illustrations. It can be purchased from www.Lulu.com, www.Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble book stores, for $15.95.

See also: Belleair Area Newsletter June 2012, Clearwater Beach Newsletter July 2012, St Petersburg Downtown Newsletter July 2012. www.BeachNewsletters.com

In 1871, when Josef Henschen was a young medical student in Upsala, Sweden, he was asked to recruit and bring over a large group of Swedish laborers to Florida. Josef decided to take a break in his studies, act as a guide for the Swedes, and see a bit of the world. The group he brought went to work at Henry S. Sanford's plantations in Seminole County. There the Swedes founded the New Upsala settlement, and many Swedish descendants in central Florida have their roots in this colony. Josef never went back to his studies in Sweden. He fell in love with Florida and stayed there for nearly sixty years, until his death in 1930. He became one of the four financiers of the Orange Belt Railroad, and he gave the city of St. Petersburg its name. This book contains many of Josef's letters and paints a fascinating picture of Florida pioneer life.

"An extraordinary document...a historic treasure."
-- Gary Mormino, professor of history at the University of South Florida

"This is a remarkable book about an important group of settlers. Rebecca Weiss has done a wonderful job in telling their story. The letters and illustrations make their experiences very real and the family tree is a welcome reference. We are very pleased to add it to our collection."
-- Orange County Regional History Center

"A Florida Pioneer" has been featured in several newspapers and magazines in Sweden and America. To see an interview with Rebecca Weiss from February 7, 2007, in St Petersburg Times (the Clearwater Times section), CLICK HERE.

To see an interview and book review in a Swedish newspaper, CLICK HERE.

Rebecca Weiss is a great-granddaughter of Josef's brother Salomon Henschen, who was a professor of medicine in Stockholm, and a member of the Nobel Prize Medical Committee.

© 2008 Rebecca Weiss. All Rights Reserved.