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Posted April 9, 2012
I'm a historian, although Latin America is my primary interest a
I'm a historian, although Latin America is my primary interest as opposed to European history. But you don't get through college as a History major without knowing something about the Holocaust. The ads for this book sounded just a litte different from most of the Holocaust memoirs I have read so I bought it on a whim -- however, once I got going, I simply could not put it down. It is a superlative narrative for many reasons, but foremost because it simply rings of truth. Millie Werber is in her 80's now and some of the exact dates and times are blurred, as events of 60+ years ago would be for anyone, but the unmistakable truth in this book firmly establishes it in a class of its own. Millie tells her story of suffering and hope, love and loss of faith, and finally, ultimate triumph, without overdone emotion or excessive pathos. She just tells her story -- carefully and without embellishment. She is forthright about her loss of faith as well as her ability to find hope and redemption in the few simple kindnesses she receives from both Germans and Jews during her ordeal. She expresses her lack of understanding for why she is singled out for these gentle gestures in exactly the same way she expresses her inability to process the entire reasoning behind the cruelty of Nazis and Jews alike. I absolutely loved her almost casual remark that "the only intelligent thing I ever heard a rabbi say about the Holocaust is this: there is no answer; there is no answer to tragedy."
Most poignantly, tho, Millie's is a love story -- the memory of a young girl's first great passion as well as the development of her most enduring and great love for the man who becomes her life's partner. Both are crucial to the woman she becomes and after decades of secrecy, she determines that her memories should endure beyond her life. Millie's story is remarkable but even more impressive is her telling of it, "lest it die with me". When I closed this book, I wished unconditionally that I could meet and know this incredible woman. I would suggest that whatever your area of interest, you not miss this book......
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Posted July 16, 2012
Posted March 27, 2014
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