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April 16, 2004 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-16

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On The Bookshelf

Never To Forget



A roundup of recent Holocaust literature.

Arts 6- Entertainment Editor

body in charge of faith and morals, where the
key debates about the Nazis took pike.



psychological and moral impli-
cations of the second-genera-
tion experience.
Hoffman, who was born in
Krakow, Poland, and immi-
grated to Canada at age 13,
currently splits her time
between London, England, and
Cambridge, Mass., where she is
a visiting professor at MIT.

In Refuge in Hell: How
Winner of an Arts Council Writers award in
Berlin's Jewish Hospital
England, Louise Doughty's Fires in the Dark
Outlived the Nazis
(HarperCollins; $24.95) is a historical novel about
(Houghton-Mifflin; $24),
the plight of the Gypsies during World War II and
author Daniel B. Silver relates the largely untold
story of the hospital where
the Holocaust.
Soviet liberators discovered
The book follows one
800 Jews — doctors, nurs-
nomadic Romany family,
In Escape to Life (Yad Vashem; $29.95), author
from the prosperity of the es and patents— still on
Patricia Herskovic tells the story of two Holocaust
the premises in the Nazi
1920s to the Great
survivors from Belgium
capital; the hospital had
Depression to the Nazi
M-M-,V, W;v3m; who loved, lost and
never shut down and sur-
invasion of Czechoslova-
learned to love again —
vived the Holocaust.
kia, World War II and
her parents, William and
The narrative centers on
the Prague uprising of
Maria Herskovic.
the intricate machinations
William escaped from a
Doughty, the author of of the Jewish Hospital's
labor camp in Auschwitz,
director, who exercised life-
three previous novels and
made his way across
and-death power over staff
three plays for radio,
Nazi-occupied Europe,
and patients and kept the
wrote this as the first in a
became one of the first
hospital going through a
series of novels based on
recorded eyewitnesses of
the history of the
delicate relationship with Adolf Eichmann. In many
Hitler's atrocities, alerted
Romany people and her own family ancestry.
cases, Jews who were ill and on their way to
the underground and in
Auchwitz were pulled from the trains, sent to the
the process was credited
In telling the story of a modest man who became a
Jewish Hospital to recover and then sent to the
with rescuing numerous
death camp.
touchstone of conscience and humanism, author Ian
Jews bound for the death
Thompson draws on exclusive access to family mem-
The author, who lives in Maryland, has served as
camps. Maria, still a teen,
bers and previously unseen correspondence for Primo
general counsel to the National Security Agency and
hid her parents in attics and rural homes, risking her
Levi: A Lift (Metropolitan
the Central Intelligence Agency.
life daily to find food to keep them alive.
Books/Henry Holt;
Patricia Herskovic, a motion picture and television
The Nuremberg trial brought charges against 22
producer living in Los Angeles, donates all author
Thompson recon-
chieftains of the Nazi Party. But the trials at Dachau,
proceeds from her book to Yad Vashem in Israel.
structs the world of Levi's
under head prosecutor William Denson, brought
youth and the rhythms of
charges against almOst 1,600
Drawing from the historic opening of the Vatican
Jewish life in Turin, Italy,
guards, doctors, soldiers and
archives in February 2003, Peter Godman's Hitler
during the Mussolini
other "ordinary" Nazis who
and the Vatican (Free Press; $27) lays bare the
years, as well as his expe-
facilitated the murder of
Church's internal debates
rience in Auschwitz, dif-
nearly 6 million Jews.
about the Nazis through-
ficult reintegration into
In his book Justice at
out the 1930s.
post-war Italy and the
Dachau (Broadway Books;
It makes clear that
depression and isolation
$26), author Joshua Greene
despite previous books'
he suffered in later years.
chronicles the trials, focusing
claims that Pius XII
Thompson, a British
on Denson's story — he was
("Hitler's Pope") single-
journalist and translator
a shy lawyer from Alabama
handedly stopped the
of Italian fiction who devoted 10 years to this biog-
teaching law at West Point
Church from intervening
raphy, was one of the last writers to interview Primo
when he was appointed —
on behalf of European
Levi before his death.
while weaving in personal
Jewry, it was his prede-
tales, courtroom drama and never-before-published
cessor, Pius XI, who con-
In After Such Knowledge: Memory, History,
documents and photographs.
sidered several draft
and the Legacy of the Holocaust (Public Affairs;
Greene, who lives in New York, began his career as
denunciations and then
$25), Eva Hoffman, the child of two Polish Jews
a producer of children's books and films. He is the
decided to ignore them.
who survived the Holocaust but whose entire fami-
producer of the documentary Witness: Voices of the
Pius XII would later fol-
Holocaust and co-editor of the film's companion book.
lies perished, considers the responsibility the "second
low Pius XI's policies unchanged.
generation" has in keeping memories of the
Godman, a leading Vatican scholar who lives and
Holocaust alive. -
As a child, all Martin Doerry was told of his
teaches in Rome, was the first academic allowed to see
She probes such questions through personal reflec- Grandmother Lilli was that she had died in
the archives of the Roman Inquisition, the Vatican
tions and the broader explorations of the historical,
Auschwitz. When Lilli's son died in 1998, he left his


om HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance
Day, begins at sunset on Sunday, April
18. The following fiction and nonfiction
titles, all released within the past year, are
but a small part of the ever-increasing body of
Holocaust literature.






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