Guide to the Archival Materials of the German-speaking Emigration to the United States after 1933: Volume 3

Walter de Gruyter
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Publisher
Walter de Gruyter
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Published on
Jan 1, 1997
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Pages
991
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ISBN
9783110960631
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Modern / 20th Century
History / Social History
Science / General
Social Science / General
Social Science / Jewish Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Sara Nomberg-Przytyk
From the moment I got to Auschwitz I was completely detached. I disconnected my heart and intellect in an act of self-defense, despair, and hopelessness." With these words Sara Nomberg-Przytyk begins this painful and compelling account of her experiences while imprisoned for two years in the infamous death camp. Writing twenty years after her liberation, she recreates the events of a dark past which, in her own words, would have driven her mad had she tried to relive it sooner. But while she records unimaginable atrocities, she also richly describes the human compassion that stubbornly survived despite the backdrop of camp depersonalization and imminent extermination.

Commemorative in spirit and artistic in form, Auschwitz convincingly portrays the paradoxes of human nature in extreme circumstances. With consummate understatement Nomberg-Przytyk describes the behavior of concentration camp inmates as she relentlessly and pitilessly examines her own motives and feelings. In this world unmitigated cruelty coexisted with nobility, rapacity with self-sacrifice, indifference with selfless compassion. This book offers a chilling view of the human drama that existed in Auschwitz.

From her portraits of camp personalities, an extraordinary and horrifying profile emerges of Dr. Josef Mengele, whose medical experiments resulted in the slaughter of nearly half a million Jews. Nomberg-Przytyk's job as an attendant in Mengle's hospital allowed her to observe this Angel of Death firsthand and to provide us with the most complete description to date of his monstrous activities.

The original Polish manuscript was discovered by Eli Pfefferkorn in 1980 in the Yad Vashem Archive in Jerusalem. Not knowing the fate of the journal's author, Pfefferkorn spent two years searching and finally located Nomberg-Przytyk in Canada. Subsequent interviews revealed the history of the manuscript, the author's background, and brought the journal into perspective.

Jack Werber
This is a remarkable story of survival, resistance, and courage. Jack Werber spent five and a half years in Buchenwald, one of Hitler's most notorious concentration camps. More than 56,000 inmates were put to death there and, out of 3,200 Polish prisoners who entered the camp together with Werber, only eleven were alive by war's end. Of those, he was the only Jew. But Werber did more than survive; he helped others survive. In what is truly one of the most amazing stories to come out of the Holocaust, Jack Werber helped to save the lives of some 700 Jewish children who had arrived at Buchenwald in late 1944. Shortly before that Werber had learned that his entire family his wife, daughter, parents, and seven brothers and sisters had all been murdered by the Nazis. "There was no reason to go on," he had thought, but seeing the children transformed his outlook. He resolved to do everything in his power to prevent them from meeting his daughter's fate. Werber is one of the very few Jews to belong to the camp underground. Together with several other Jews, he made saving children his special mission. At great personal risk, he arranged for them to be hidden in various barracks and to be given false working papers. Incredibly, he and his group actually started a school where the children studied Jewish history, music, and the Hebrew language. These activities gave the youngsters hope that they might survive and ultimately most of them did. This story of resilience and courage has never been told before, despite the thousands of books that have appeared about the Holocaust. In "Saving Children," we learn how it was achieved. Werber describes in fascinating detail what life in Buchenwald was like, providing much new information about the daily struggle for existence that characterized life in the camp. Above all, he shows how it was possible to remain human and to act with compassion, even in the face of enormous cruelty and barbarism.
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