Elliot Rosenzweig, a wealthy Chicago philanthropist, is attending opening night at the opera. Ben Solomon, a retired Polish immigrant, makes his way through the crowd and shoves a gun in Rosenzweig's face, denouncing him as former SS officer, Otto Piatek. Solomon is blind-sided, knocked to the floor and taken away. Rosenzweig uses his enormous influence to get Solomon released from jail, but Solomon commences a relentless pursuit to bring Rosenzweig before the courts to answer for war crimes. Solomon finds a young attorney, Catherine Lockhart, to whom he recounts his family's struggles and heroisms during the war, revealing to her that he and Piatek grew up as brothers in the same household.
Once We Were Brothers is a contemporary legal thriller and a poignant look back into the lives of small town Poland during World War II.
The author, Ronald H. Balson, is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues, including villages in Poland which have inspired this novel.