Burned Child Seeks the Fire: A Memoir

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The year was 1943, and a fourteen-year-old girl named Cordelia was summoned to Gestapo headquarters in Berlin. Her mother was to be charged with treason for trying to arrange for her part-Jewish daughter to leave Germany. But Cordelia was given a choice: if she agreed to acknowledge her secret Jewish heritage and take the consequences, her mother would go free. Burned Child Seeks the Fire is the powerful story of a young girl, raised as a Catholic in prewar Berlin, who descends into the underworld of Auschwitz ...
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1997 Hardcover New Clean, tight, unmarked, no spine or cover creases. All orders are shipped by kbooks every business day.

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Boston 1997 Hard cover First edition. 1st American Edition New in new dust jacket. 8vo. 106pp.

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Overview

The year was 1943, and a fourteen-year-old girl named Cordelia was summoned to Gestapo headquarters in Berlin. Her mother was to be charged with treason for trying to arrange for her part-Jewish daughter to leave Germany. But Cordelia was given a choice: if she agreed to acknowledge her secret Jewish heritage and take the consequences, her mother would go free. Burned Child Seeks the Fire is the powerful story of a young girl, raised as a Catholic in prewar Berlin, who descends into the underworld of Auschwitz while her mother remains behind. Surviving by chance and by her wits, at one point forced to work as an assistant to Mengele himself, the young Cordelia emerges at last at the war's end, alive but deeply changed. Cordelia Edvardson tells the story of her childhood and adolescence in a series of brief, lyrical episodes. Her memoir is composed of small moments: a piece of bread shared secretly in a latrine; a mother speaking softly to her toddler as she walks with him to the gas chambers; Cordelia's discovery, in a list of dead prisoners, of the name of the woman who previously wore her own prisoner number.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A bestseller in Sweden and Germany, this is a lacerating, beautifully translated memoir of the author's adolescence during the Holocaust. Edvardson, now an Israeli journalist, was born out of wedlock in Berlin; the child of a Jewish father, she was raised in the Catholic faith of her half-Jewish mother. As sanctions against those with Jewish blood increased, the 14-year-old girl bravely chose to sign a statement acknowledging her Jewish background, and, shortly thereafter, was transported to Theresienstadt and later to Auschwitz. There she worked for the infamous Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele, who wielded the power of life and death over arriving inmates. Edvardson's recollections unfold in haunting vignettes that alternate between her life in Berlin and her experiences in the camps. She conveys not only the horrors of Nazi Germany but also her feelings of being a family outcast. Interwoven with Edvardson's memories are the poetry and myths that sustained her throughout her ordeal. After the war she found asylum in Sweden, where she began her long struggle to come to terms with her past and free the emotions repressed during the war. (July)
Library Journal
In this short memoir, Jerusalem journalist Edvardson tells of her life in Berlin during World War II, in the death camps, and in Sweden after the war. She describes movingly the passions and fears of her youth, drawing carefully her relationship with her family, especially her mother, whom she saved from a camp while sacrificing herself. Edvardson also attempts to come to an understanding of the history she's lived through in Germany, Sweden, and Israel. She effectively presents the sense of a complete life, one wholly accepted and explained in all its aspects: "Everything is there, and everything is past, it was the way it was, and nothing can be changed or extinguished." A well-wrought work; recommended for Jewish studies collections.Gene Shaw, NYPL
School Library Journal
YA--The year is 1943 and Cordelia is forced to make a life-changing decision. The Gestapo has discovered that her mother has been hiding Cordelia's partly Jewish heritage. The woman will be tried for treason or Cordelia can admit that she is Jewish. Her decision sends her to Auschwitz. As a child, Cordelia was raised as a Catholic and takes comfort in her faith during her time in the concentration camp. After liberation, her outlook on her Catholic faith and on life is never the same. Edvardson writes in a compelling and dramatic manner. Readers will find themselves not only rooting for Cordelia's survival in the concentration camp but also her survival as a human being. This story will not be soon forgotten.--Stacey M. Keeley, Sherwood Regional Library, Fairfax, VA
Booknews
Edvardson was born in Berlin in 1929, transported to a concentration camp at age 14, became a journalist in Sweden after liberation, and now lives in Jerusalem as a Middle East correspondent. Her account of childhood and adolescence is distanced into the third person and was originally published as a novel, nt barn s<:o>ker sig till elden/> in 1984. No scholarly paraphernalia. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807070949
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 7/30/1997
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 105
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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