Dieter Schlesak's haunting novel The Druggist of Auschwitz--beautifully translated from the German by John Hargraves--is a frighteningly vivid portrayal of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes of criminal and victim alike.
Adam, known as "the last Jew of Schäßburg," recounts with disturbing clarity his imprisonment at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp. Through Adam's fictional narrative and excerpts of actual testimony from the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial of 1963-65, we come to learn of the true-life story of Dr. Victor Capesius, who, despite strong friendships with Jews before the war, quickly aided in and profited from their tragedy once the Nazis came to power. Interspersed with historical research and the author's face-to-face interviews with survivors, the novel follows Capesius from his assignment as the "sorter" of new arrivals at Auschwitz--deciding who will go directly to the gas chamber and who will be used for labor--through his life of lavish wealth after the war to his arrest and eventual trial.
Schlesak's seamless incorporation of factual data and testimony--woven into Adam's dreamlike remembrance of a world turned upside down--makes The Druggist of Auschwitz a vital and unique addition to our understanding of the Holocaust.
Praise for "A Jew Must Die"
"Chessex, our new Flaubert, has no equal when describing horror without flinching, screaming "sotto voce" and exploring guilt in taut prose.""--Le Nouvel Observateur"
"A masterpiece. Beauty of the world, ubiquity of evil, God's silence, it's all there, delivered like a slap to the face.""--""Le Point"
"A great author explores a nightmare not as anachronistic as it might appear.""--""L'Hebdo"
A novel based on a true story.
On April 16, 1942, a handful of Swiss Nazis in Payerne lure Arthur Bloch, a Jewish cattle merchant, into an empty stable and kill him with a crowbar. Europe is in flames, but this is Switzerland, and Payerne, a rural market town of butchers and bankers, is more worried about unemployment and local bankruptcies than the fate of nations across the border. Fernand Ischi, leader of the local Nazi cell, blames it all on the town's Jewish population and wants to set an example, thinking the German embassy would be grateful. Ischi's dream of becoming the local "gauleiter" is shattered, however, when the milk containers used to dissimulate Bloch's body parts is discovered floating in a lake nearby, leading to his arrest.
Jacques Chessex, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, is one of Switzerland's greatest authors. He knew the murderers, went to school with their children, and has written a terse, implacable story that has awakened memories in a country that seems to endlessly rediscover dark areas of its past.
Haya Tedeschi sits alone in Gorizia, in northeastern Italy, surrounded by a basket of photographs and newspaper clippings. Now an old woman, she waits to be reunited after sixty-two years with her son, fathered by an SS officer and stolen from her by the German authorities as part of Himmler’s clandestine Lebensborn project.
Haya reflects on her Catholicized Jewish family’s experiences, in a narrative that deals unsparingly with the massacre of Italian Jews in the concentration camps of Trieste. Her obsessive search for her son leads her to photographs, maps, and fragments of verse, to testimonies from the Nuremberg trials and interviews with second-generation Jews, and to eyewitness accounts of atrocities that took place on her doorstep. From this broad collage of material and memory arises the staggering chronicle of Nazi occupation in northern Italy.
“Although this is fiction, it is also a deeply researched historical documentary . . . It is a masterpiece.” — A. N. Wilson, Financial Times
“A book of events that have made the last century infamous for the ages, a book that, if it moves you as it moved me, you will have to set down now and then, to breathe." — Alan Cheuse, NPR
When we arrived at a camp called Auschwitz/Birkenau, they were all murdered in gas chambers, burned in ovens like trash and their ashes unceremoniously spread like fertilizer on a nearby field. Only through a miracle did I survive. I want you to hear my story so the world will never forget. Those horrible people may have stolen my childhood, but they can’t steal my memories. So, let me begin.
Keywords: Holocaust, Jewish, WWII, Polish, Auschwitz
Yossi Abulafia, an Israeli policeman is on reserve army duty, and is photographing antelopes instead of watching the border. His post collapses suddenly, injuring him seriously.
After recovering, he discovers that during the collapse he has unwittingly taken a picture of what appears to be a murder - on the other side of the border.
As part of his duties he meets with the Palestinian delegation and discovers a connection to the shooter in Amsterdam, and to the murder in Jordan.
A series of incidents, shootings and diplomatic activity eventually lead to the unexpected solving of the crimes.
"Six Million Accusers" is a historical novel reliving the hunt for, and capture of one of history's most evil criminals - a leading Nazi named Adolf Eichmann.
Having disappeared after WWII, members of an Israeli organization search the world for Eichmann, hoping to one day capture one of the men responsible for brutally massacring millions of Jews, and others. Following any tip possible, eventually they discover a Jewish father and daughter who swear Eichmann quietly lives in their community, under a new name. The search for Eichmann ramps up, and the agents begin to fervently believe they have found their man.
As they get closer and closer, a plan must also be created to capture Eichmann, and secretly transport the villain back to Israel. Is it really Eichmann? And if so, what complications may arise that might destroy their plans to have this notorious Nazi held responsible for his crimes?
"Six Million Accusers" is based on historic detail, and David Lawrence- Young does an excellent job reliving the hunt for, and capture of Adolf Eichmann. Well written and easy to read, "Six Million Accusers" should be a staple of the educational discussion of WWII and the aftermath.
The disappearance of his great-uncle Samuel during World War II has shaped the life of the young university lecturer, Shmulik Kaplan. As part of his Master's Thesis on the history of Germany between the wars, he sets out to try and discover what happened to his uncle – an outstanding athlete who managed to leave Germany in 1935, and yet incomprehensibly, returned to Berlin, and then vanished without a trace.
From his book lined office at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, to Berlin and to Mont St. Michel in France, and through the dusty WW II archives of the German army, the quest takes him on a rollercoaster journey of personal discovery and emotion. The search uncovers events and materials that no-one had ever heard of before, or seen, since the days of the German occupation of France.
In the schoolroom of a simple European village, Kicsi spends her days dreaming of the lands beyond the mountains: Paris and New York, Arabia and Shanghai. When the local rabbi curses Kicsi’s school for teaching lessons in Hebrew, the holy tongue, the possibility of adventure seems further away than ever. But when a mysterious stranger appears telling stories of far-off lands, Kicsi feels the world within her grasp.
His name is Vörös, and he is a magician’s assistant who seems to have powers all his own. There is darkness growing at the edge of the village—a darkness far blacker than any rabbi’s curse. Vörös warns of the Nazi threat, but only Kicsi hears what he says. As evil consumes a continent, Vörös will teach Kicsi that sometimes the magician’s greatest trick is survival.
May 30, 1956. Chicago
On a quiet street corner in a working-class neighborhood of Holocaust survivors and refugees, the body of a little schoolboy is found in a suitcase.
He’s naked and chopped up into small pieces.
The grisly crime is handed over to two detectives who carry their own personal burdens, Hank Purcell, a married WWII veteran, and his partner, a wise-cracking Jewish cop who loves trouble as much as he loves the bottle.
Their investigation leads them through the dark corners and mean streets of Chicago—as more and more suitcases begin appearing.
Based on the Schuessler-Peterson murders that terrorized Chicago in the 1950s.