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)