April 16, 2009
Each year, dozens of titles about the Holocaust are published across all genre lines: fiction for adults and children, scholarly treatises, poetry, plays, and other types of works provide a constant stream of memories and information.
As we approach the April 21 observance of Yom Hashoa, here are some newer titles for consideration:
A Lucky Child: A Memory of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy, by Thomas Buergenthal (Little, Brown, 2009). Buergenthal, who was elected judge of the newly created Inter-American Court of Human Rights of the Organization of American States in 1979, spoke fluent, unaccented German and Polish and, as a blond child, didn’t “look Jewish,” factors he believed may have spared his life during his imprisonment in Auschwitz and later Sachsenhausen. He felt survivors owed it to those who perished to try to make the world a better place and dedicated his life to human rights law. Originally published in 2007, this new edition contains a foreword by Elie Wiesel.
We Remember With Reverence and Love: American Jews and the Myth of Silence After the Holocaust, 1945-1962, by Hasia R. Diner (New York University Press, 2009). Diner, director of the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at New York University, seeks to dispel the “assumption of silence” from the American-Jewish community. Uncovering a rich and varied trove of remembrances in song, literature, liturgy, public display, and hundreds of other forms, she shows that publicly memorializing those who died in the Holocaust arose from a deep and powerful element of Jewish life in postwar America.
The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust’s Shadow, by Krystyna Chiger with Daniel Paisner (St. Martins Press, 2008). Chiger recounts the story of hiding with her family and other Polish Jews in the sewers of Lvov for 14 months to escape capture by the Nazis. It is also the tale of Leopold Socha, a Polish Catholic and former thief who risked his life to help the group by bringing them food, medicine, and other supplies.
Flowers from the Ashes, Volume IV: An Anthology of Students’ Writing and Art on the Holocaust (Center for Holocaust Studies, Brookdale Community College, 2008). Published every three years, the newest volume presents the winning essays, poems, and drawings by students from grades five through 12 from the Luna Kaufman Art and Writing Contest from 2005-07.