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Bittersweet Legacy is a collection of poetry, short stories and art inspired by the Holocaust. It is a book born of paradox, evoking remembrances of the darkest moments known to humankind by utilizing the power and beauty of the creative force. The writers and artists represented in this book are individuals who were driven to respond to the extremities that define the Holocaust. Some are accomplished in their fields, others have created in an attempt to understand and give form to their sorrow and quest for ...
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Bittersweet Legacy is a collection of poetry, short stories and art inspired by the Holocaust. It is a book born of paradox, evoking remembrances of the darkest moments known to humankind by utilizing the power and beauty of the creative force. The writers and artists represented in this book are individuals who were driven to respond to the extremities that define the Holocaust. Some are accomplished in their fields, others have created in an attempt to understand and give form to their sorrow and quest for meaning. Each voice expresses a singular reprise. Together they forge a resounding voice in response to the six million voices that were silenced.
Chapter 1 Contributors Chapter 2 Foreword Chapter 3 Preface Chapter 4 Acknowledgements Chapter 5 Chapter Introductions Chapter 6 The American Experience of the Holocaust Chapter 7 Through the Eyes of a Child Chapter 8 Survival Chapter 9 Inheritance Chapter 10 Speaking to the Enemy Chapter 11 Chosen Chapter 12 Descriptions of Art Chapter 13 Index Chapter 14 Biographical Notes-Artists Chapter 15 Biographical Notes-Authors
Posted June 30, 2008
After the publication of Lawrence L. Langer¿s monumental 700-page Art from the Ashes: A Holocaust Anthology I had thought that this were the final word, the most suitable text both for private study and discussion in class. But since then, a number of new, useful collections have come out, of which Cynthia Moskowitz Brody¿s Bittersweet Legacy: Creative Responses to the Holocaust: Art, Poetry, Stories is an excellent example, because it is so different from Langer. First, whereas Langer mainly concentrates on classic holocaust writers such as Tadeusz Borowski and Charlotte Delbo, and on European survivors, Brody focuses on American imaginative responses, thus following the line Kremer pursued in the second half of her book. If Brody¿s writers have a real life connection with the Holocaust, most of them will be the children or grandchildren of survivors. Second, where Langer includes twenty works of art created in the Terezin concentration camp, Brody offers us a generous seventy-five pictures of paintings, etchings, sculptures, and collages (albeit in black and white), adding lucid explanations that make you feel as if you were touring a picture gallery. She has diligently grouped her texts (mostly poems with some short stories interspersed) and works of art around six themes. The only minor grievance is that a table of contents listing the individual works is lacking. Of the six major chapters, for me ¿The American Experience of the Holocaust¿ is the most impressive. In contrast to Flanzbaum¿s book, which is concerned with today¿s reaction to the Holocaust, Brody here mostly features stories told from the perspective of American Jewish children in the 1940s and 1950s what is so disturbing about those texts is that they pose the question `What is our connection with the Holocaust?¿ in such a way that the reader ¿ American or European, Jew or Gentile ¿ is forced to search for an answer as well. In accord with what Kremer said about American Holocaust writers, the contributors to Brody¿s chapters on ¿Survival¿ and ¿Inheritance,¿ which comprise about half of the book, stress the time of survival and the hardships for the survivors and their families as well. For me, the most uncanny piece of work is Annie Dawid¿s ¿Listening to Deutschland: 1980,¿ in which the young American-Jewish girl Sharon visits Germany for the first time, the country in which her parents suffered so much. She sees no guards without her fearing getting her head shaved, no trains without her thinking of cattle cars going to extermination camps. This is described impressively enough to make you shiver but what makes the story really good is its message: we are shown how much we miss when we connect Germany only with these images of horror as her Belgian relatives remind her, Sharon has lost a vast literary heritage, ¿books in French, German, English and Hebrew¿ (167) plus spoken Yiddish, because she and her parents concentrate on being exclusively American. In this story, the loss of a religious heritage is not explicitly mentioned, but Brody dedicates a whole chapter, ¿Chosen,¿ to questions of God in the face of the Holocaust. The fact that almost all of its authors are women at first glance seems to contradict my earlier speculation about the absence of this theme in women¿s writings, but later one realizes that the women in Brody consider everyday aspects of religion, whereas the men ponder on theological questionsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.