In March 1942, French police arrested Charlotte Delbo and her husband, the resistance leader Georges Dudach, on a charge of distributing anti-German leaflets in Paris. The French turned them over to the Gestapo, who imprisoned them. Dudach was executed by firing squad in May; Delbo remained in prison until January 1943, when she was deported to Auschwitz and then to Ravensbruck, where she remained until the end of the war. This book - Delbo's profoundly moving vignettes, poems, and prose poems of life in the concentration camps and afterward - is a memoir of great literary value. It is a unique document by a female resistance leader, a non-Jew, and a remarkable writer who transforms the experience of the Holocaust into spare, austere, yet lyric prose.
Delbo and her husband, the French resistance leader Georges Dudach, were arrested in 1942 as they prepared to distribute anti- German leaflets in Paris. Dudach was executed; Delbo was sent first to Auschwitz, then to Ravensbruck. This trilogy of vignettes, poems, and prose poems tells of the horrors Delbo witnessed as well as the heroism of mute endurance and group solidarity. She writes of the difficulties of returning to normal life after the war (describing, for instance, how she could never look into anyone's face without wondering if they would have helped her in the concentration camps) and recounts the recollections of other survivors. Delbo died in 1985; this edition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the camps. Originally published in French in three volumes in the 1960s by Editions de Minuit. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In1942, Charlotte Delbo (191385) and her husband were arrested in their Paris apartment, where they were preparing to distribute anti-German leaflets. He was executed, and she was deported first to Auschwitz and then to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. "Auschwitz and After", first published in France as three separate books ("None of Us Will Return", "Useless Knowledge", and "The Measure of Our Days"), is a memoir about her experiences in the camps. Delbo, a non-Jew, recounts the daily struggle to stay alive while besieged with hunger, thirst, abuse, fatigue, and despair. She also relates the recollections of survivors of her own work group and their difficulties in returning to a normal life, as well as her return to France after her liberation. A small portion of the memoir is written in the form of poetr"y. Holocaust scholar Lawrence Langer has written a penetrating introduction to this masterpiece, in which he says that Delbo writes "not as a heroine but as a victim. Her language is exquisite, but the pain of her memories is not, and this may help to explain why her audience has never been very large." Finally translated into English, this unique memoir will be able to reach the larger audience that it deserves.