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Survival In Auschwitz by Primo Levi
The author describes his twenty month ordeal in the Nazi death camp.
The Drowned And The Saved by Primo Levi
In his final book before his death, Primo Levi returns once more to his time at Auschwitz in a moving meditation on memory, resiliency, and the struggle to comprehend unimaginable tragedy. Drawing on history, philosophy, and his own personal experiences, Levi asks if we have already begun to forget about the Holocaust. His last book before his death, Levi returns to the subject that would define his reputation as a writer and a witness. Levi breaks his book into eight essays, ranging from topics like the unreliability of memory to how violence twists both the victim and the victimizer. He shares how difficult it is for him to tell his experiences with his children and friends. He also debunks the myth that most of the Germans were in the dark about the Final Solution or that Jews never attempted to escape the camps. As the Holocaust recedes into the past and fewer and fewer survivors are left to tell their stories, The Drowned and the Saved is a vital first-person testament. Along with Elie Wiesel and Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi is remembered as one of the most powerful and perceptive writers on the Holocaust and the Jewish experience during World War II. This is an essential book both for students and literary readers. Reading Primo Levi is a lesson in the resiliency of the human spirit.
By Chance Alone by Max Eisen
WINNER of CBC Canada Reads In the tradition of Elie Wiesel’s Night and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz comes a bestselling new memoir by Canadian survivor Finalist for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize More than 70 years after the Nazi camps were liberated by the Allies, a new Canadian Holocaust memoir details the rural Hungarian deportations to Auschwitz-Birkenau, back-breaking slave labour in Auschwitz I, the infamous “death march” in January 1945, the painful aftermath of liberation, a journey of physical and psychological healing. Tibor “Max” Eisen was born in Moldava, Czechoslovakia into an Orthodox Jewish family. He had an extended family of sixty members, and he lived in a family compound with his parents, his two younger brothers, his baby sister, his paternal grandparents and his uncle and aunt. In the spring of1944--five and a half years after his region had been annexed to Hungary and the morning after the family’s yearly Passover Seder--gendarmes forcibly removed Eisen and his family from their home. They were brought to a brickyard and eventually loaded onto crowded cattle cars bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau. At fifteen years of age, Eisen survived the selection process and he was inducted into the camp as a slave labourer. One day, Eisen received a terrible blow from an SS guard. Severely injured, he was dumped at the hospital where a Polish political prisoner and physician, Tadeusz Orzeszko, operated on him. Despite his significant injury, Orzeszko saved Eisen from certain death in the gas chambers by giving him a job as a cleaner in the operating room. After his liberation and new trials in Communist Czechoslovakia, Eisen immigrated to Canada in 1949, where he has dedicated the last twenty-two years of his life to educating others about the Holocaust across Canada and around the world. The author will be donating a portion of his royalties from this book to institutions promoting tolerance and understanding.
The Reawakening by Primo Levi
First published in English in 1965, "The Reawakening" is Primo Levi's bestselling sequel to his classic memoir of the Holocaust, "Survival in Auschwitz." The inspiring story of Levi's liberation from the German death camp in January 1945 by the Red Army, it tells of his strange and eventful journey home to Italy by way of the Soviet Union, Hungary, and Romania. Levi's railway travels take him through bombed-out cities and transit camps, with keen insight he describes the former prisoners and Russian soldiers he encounters along the way. An extraordinary account of faith, hope, and undying courage, "The Reawakening" was praised by Irving Howe as "a remarkable feat of literary craft."
War And Genocide by Doris L. Bergen
In examining one of the defining events of the twentieth century, Doris L. Bergen situates the Holocaust in its historical, political, social, cultural, and military contexts. Unlike many other treatments of the Holocaust, this revised, second edition discusses not only the persecution of the Jews, but also other segments of society victimized by the Nazis: Gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, Soviet POWs, the handicapped, and other groups deemed undesirable. With clear and eloquent prose, Bergen explores the two interconnected goals that drove the Nazi German program of conquest and genocide—purification of the so-called Aryan race and expansion of its living space—and discusses how these goals affected the course of World War II. Including firsthand accounts from perpetrators, victims, and eyewitnesses, the book is immediate, human, and eminently readable.
Still Alive by Ruth Kluger
Swept up as a child in the events of Nazi-era Europe, Ruth Kluger saw her family's comfortable Vienna existence systematically undermined and destroyed. By age eleven, she had been deported, along with her mother, to Theresienstadt, the first in a series of concentration camps which would become the setting for her precarious childhood. Kluger's story of her years in the camps and her struggle to establish a life after the war as a refugee survivor in New York, has emerged as one of the most powerful accounts of the Holocaust. Interwoven with blunt, unsparing observations of childhood and nuanced reflections of an adult who has spent a lifetime thinking about the Holocaust, Still Alive rejects all easy assumptions about history, both political and personal. Whether describing the abuse she met at her own mother's hand, the life-saving generosity of a woman SS aide in Auschwitz, the foibles and prejudices of Allied liberators, or the cold shoulder offered by her relatives when she and her mother arrived as refugees in New York, Kluger sees and names an unexpected reality which has little to do with conventional wisdom or morality tales. Still Alive is a memoir of the pursuit of selfhood against all odds, a fiercely bittersweet coming-of-age story in which the protagonist must learn never to rely on comforting assumptions, but always to seek her own truth.
A Centaur In Auschwitz by Massimo Giuliani
In A Centaur in Auschwitz, Massimo Giuliani sheds new light on Primo Levi's rational, demythologizing approach to suffering and survival. Whether working in narrative or poetic form, Levi grappled with the ambiguities and complexities of innocence and guilt, triumph and loss. This unique book, with its concise overview of Levi's expression and development as a writer, reveals Primo Levi for what he was: scientist, intellectual, Jew, human, and dedicated seeker of the roots of human dignity.
The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
**4 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE** Chosen for the Richard and Judy Bookclub. For readers of Schindler's List, The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas comes a heart-breaking story of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances. I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart. In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too. So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz. ----- 'Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting . . . I recommend it unreservedly' Greame Simsion 'A moving and ultimately uplifting story of love, loyalties and friendship amidst the horrors of war . . . It's a triumph.' Jill Mansell 'A sincere . . . moving attempt to speak the unspeakable' Sunday Times
A Train In Winter by Caroline Moorehead
“How can you do this work if you have a child?” asked her mother. “It is because I have a child that I do it,” replied Cecile. “This is not a world I wish her to grow up in.” On January 24, 1943, 230 women were placed in four cattle trucks on a train in Compiegne, in northeastern France, and the doors bolted shut for the journey to Auschwitz. They were members of the French Resistance, ranging in age from teenagers to the elderly, women who before the war had been doctors, farmers’ wives, secretaries, biochemists, schoolgirls. With immense courage they had taken up arms against a brutal occupying force; now their friendship would give them strength as they experienced unimaginable horrors. Only forty-nine of the Convoi des 31000 would return from the camps in the east; within ten years, a third of these survivors would be dead too, broken by what they had lived through. In this vitally important book, Caroline Moorehead tells the whole story of the 230 women on the train, for the first time. Based on interviews with the few remaining survivors, together with extensive research in French and Polish archives, A Train in Winter is an essential historical document told with the clarity and impact of a great novel. Caroline Moorehead follows the women from the beginning, starting with the disorganized, youthful and high-spirited activists who came together with the Occupation, and chronicling their links with the underground intellectual newspapers and Communist cells that formed soon afterwards. Postering and graffiti grew into sabotage and armed attacks, and the Nazis responded with vicious acts of mass reprisal – which in turn led to the Resistance coalescing and developing. Moorehead chronicles the women’s roles in victories and defeats, their narrow escapes and their capture at the hands of French police eager to assist their Nazi overseers to deport Jews, resisters, Communists and others. Their story moves inevitably through to its horrifying last chapters in Auschwitz: murder, starvation, disease and the desperate struggle to survive. But, as Moorehead notes, even in the most inhuman of places, the women of the Convoi could find moments of human grace in their companionship: “So close did each of the women feel to the others, that to die oneself would be no worse than to see one of the others die.” Uncovering a story that has hitherto never been told, Caroline Moorehead exhibits the skills that have made her an acclaimed biographer and historian. In this book she places the reader utterly in the world of wartime France, casting light on what it was like to experience horrific terrors and face impossible moral dilemmas. Through the sensitive interviews on which the book is based, she tells personal and individual stories of courage, solace and companionship. In this way, A Train in Winter ultimately becomes a valuable memorial to a unique group of heroines, and a testimony to the particular power of women’s friendship even in the worst places on earth. From the Hardcover edition.
Eyewitness Auschwitz by Filip Muller
Filip Müller came to Auschwitz with one of the earliest transports from Slovakia in April 1942 and began working in the gassing installations and crematoria in May. He was still alive when the gassings ceased in November 1944. He saw millions come and disappear; by sheer luck he survived. Müller is neither a historian nor a psychologist; he is a source—one of the few prisoners who saw the Jewish people die and lived to tell about it. Eyewitness Auschwitz is one of the key documents of the Holocaust.