Shards of Memory: Narratives of Holocaust Survival

Shards of Memory: Narratives of Holocaust Survival

by Yehudi Lindeman

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As the last Holocaust survivors die, their testimonies make the transition from memory to history. In this compelling volume, Yehudi Lindeman, Director of the Living Testimonies Video Archive in Montreal, shares compelling stories of survival and triumph collected from years of interviews with those who lived through the most harrowing decade of the 20th century. Here are 25 tales of courage and loss, representing the experiences of women, men, and children who either survived the death camps or lived in hiding, and of their rescuers and redeemers.

The testimonies included in this volume show glimpses of the big movements, the big picture of World War II--the fast German sweep into Poland; the bureaucratic German machine that marked and identified Jews across German-occupied Europe; the efficiently organized roundups of Europe's Jews; the gradual retreat of the Wehrmacht from east to west; the sudden attacks on Holland and France. The fate of the European Jews may be a collective one, but their attempt to survive the onslaught on their liberty and life is often best understood through the portrayal of individual struggles. By focusing on individual lives, the narratives collected here capture the flow of history in all its precise, subjective, human detail.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781567206609
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/30/2007
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Yehudi Lindeman is Professor Emeritus of English at McGill University and Director of Living Testimonies, a center for Holocaust research and documentation in Montreal. In 1990, he also contributed to founding the World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors. A child survivor of the Holocaust, he was separated from his family and moved through safe houses in Nazi-occupied Holland by members of the Dutch resistance.

Table of Contents

List of photos     ix
Foreword   Elie Wiesel     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction   Yehudi Lindeman     xvii
Hiding in the Open: Passing as a Gentile     1
Rose B.     3
Mila M.     7
Edith Z.     13
Women Surviving the Camps     19
Rachel G.     21
Toby Elisabet R.     25
Ilse Z. and Marti D.     30
Irene C.     40
Rifka G.     45
Rena S.     52
Men Surviving the Camps     61
David A.     63
Jacob G.     67
Israel B.     75
Paul L.     84
Saul B.     94
Abram F.     106
Rubin B.     112
Hiding on the Run: Perspectives of Child Survivors     121
Leah K.     123
David G.     129
Stefanie S.     137
Leslie S.     141
Evading the Nazis     147
Margot S.     149
Irene B.     156
Harry F.     163
Rescuing: A Danish Perspective     171
Hans M.     173
Conclusion-Ghostwriters: The Hidden Children of Living Testimonies   Anita Slominska     179
Maps     193
Chronology   Barry Stahlmann     197
Glossary     213
Index     219

What People are Saying About This

Robert Jan van Pelt

"Yehudi Lindeman's Shards of Memory frames and informs the emerging debate on the value of survivor-testimony in the post-survivor age. The 24 ghostwritten narratives collected in Shards of Memory will confront the reader with the urgent and important question how and where the countless shards of individuality embodied in taped survivor-testimony will survive within the generalized and simplified narratives of future generations."

Norman Ravvin

"Lindeman's personal engagement with the material is impressive, and the volume's introduction and conclusion contextualize the strenuous work undertaken by the editors to transpose video testimony to the page."

Sarah Moskovitz

"This compelling book of Holocaust survivor accounts expands our understanding of human resilience. Prof. Yehudi Lindeman compiled these illuminating accounts. And we need to pay attention. For the world's future could depend on our vigilance and ability to extinguish the first flames of genocidal hatred."

Dori Laub

"Anyone who questions the value of Holocaust testimonies for history must read this book. This book goes far beyond story-telling and the mere presentation of past images, as it brings the survivors' actual experiences and reflections directly into the reader's very present. The individual accounts in this book just tell it the way it was. The stories attest to unimaginable events that are told with great self-restraint Not a word is wasted on self-indulgence or sentimentality. The images these stories create are stark and daunting; as they penetrate the reader. They are gripping yet matter of fact."

Doris L. Bergen

"This is a beautiful and surprising book, intensely and painfully human yet careful and scholarly. Each of the narratives is distinctive and unforgettable; each is an account of extraordinary survival against all odds. Even the most seasoned reader of Holocaust memoirs and scholarship will find much to ponder here. Elegantly introduced and analyzed in a poignant and powerful conclusion, these testimonies constitute a historical record of immense value. This book is itself a testimony—to the enormous value of listening to survivors, and also to the incredible amount of knowledge, effort, and love needed to do justice to their lives and their words."

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