Flares of Memory: Stories of Childhood During the Holocaust / Edition 1

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In a series of writing workshops at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, survivors assembled recently to remember the pivotal moments in which their lives were irreparably changed by the Nazis. These "flares of memory" invoke lost childhoods, preserving the voices of over forty Jews from throughout Europe who experienced a history that cannot be forgotten--by them nor us.

Including a timeline that chronicles the rise of the Nazis, their devastating campaigns for control of Europe, and the successive edicts that would annihilate millions, Flares of Memory consists of 92 brief vignettes arranged both chronologically and thematically. Survivors from Munich, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, and the Netherlands recreate the disbelief and chaos that ensued as families were separated, political rights were abolished, and synagogues and Jewish businesses were destroyed--before and especially after Kristallnacht. "We had entered a twilight zone between memories of earning our keep at our occupations and the fear of becoming game during hunting season," writes one survivor. Others remember the daily humiliation, the quiet heroes among their friends, and the painful abandonment by neighbors as Jews were restricted to ghettos, forced to don yellow stars, and loaded like cattle in trains destined for the camps: "We were completely stripped of all human identity." Vivid memories of hunger, disease, and a daily existence dependent on cruel luck in Dachau, Auschwitz, and other concentration camps provide penetrating testimonies to the ruthlessness of the Nazi killing machine, yet they also bear witness to the resilience and fortitude of individual souls bombarded by evil.

This book also includes poignant recollections of American liberators who were often devastated by the horrors that they discovered after the fall of the Nazis. "A mix of emotions--disbelief, rage--overwhelmed us; tears blinded our eyes," recalls one soldier. Flares of Memory will inspire these emotions and will stay with you, long after you finish its pages.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The result of a series of writing workshops at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, this work is a record of pivotal moments during World War II as experienced by over 40 Jews from throughout Europe, with additional recollections by American liberators. The 92 vignettes gathered here focus on specific events, situations, places, or people that stand out in the memories of these survivors, who were children or teens during the war; their stories are "flares of memory" from a time when their lives were devastated by the Nazis. This is an impressive mix of poetry, short-short stories, and longer accounts. By homing in on specific memories, the writers avoid the rambling, vagueness, and repetitions typical of many collections of Holocaust memoirs and oral histories. The vast number of participants also yields enough material to give insight on events all over Europe at this time. Highly recommended for all libraries and essential for Holocaust collections. Jill Jaracz, MLIS, Chicago Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195156270
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 453,114
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Anita Brostoff is a retired Carnegie-Mellon University professor and consultant in communications who has specialized in teaching and research in writing in areas ranging from fiction to business and technical writing. She lives in Pittsburgh. Sheila Chamovitz is an award-winning independent film and video director and producer.

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Table of Contents

Timeline of the Holocaust
Map of Concentration Camps in Europe
Snapshots 2
War Arrives in Lithuania 3
A German Family 7
Betrayal 11
Parting 13
Herr B. 17
A Kristallnacht Journey 18
An Action against the Jews 20
Leaving Germany, Leaving Home 24
Escape to England 26
The Best-Laid Plans 28
A Life-Defining Impression 30
The Harbinger of What? 32
The Beginning and the End 33
A Family Gone, One by One 34
The Abandonment of Mielec 36
A Shtetl's Life Is Ended 37
What Ever Happened to the Jews of Skudvil? 40
In the Dark 45
Thereienstadt 47
Dachau 50
Auschwitz, 1944 55
The Tenth Woman on Block Ten 56
The Means to Survive 58
The Gypsies 60
Nazi Murderers 61
How Many Made It? 63
The Law in Lithuania 64
Horrors of War 70
German Roulette 83
My Sister Rieke 84
A Definition of Survival 86
An Unforgettable Passover Seder 89
Trying to Go Home 90
Bar Mitzvah Boy 93
The Skull with the Golden Braid 95
The Concentration Camp Lottery 96
The Girl with Wooden Shoes 101
The Wagon 102
The Child 103
In Constant Terror 107
Posing as a Christian 114
I Choose Life 116
Lost Families 119
Beyond Memory 121
A Hidden Child in Greece 123
The Promise 144
A Mother's Courage 147
Miracles 151
A Dream of Milk 155
In Praise of Manual Labor 156
A Son in Deed 158
The Psychologist 162
A Narrow Escape 165
The Kindness of Strangers 168
A Saintly Person 170
The Convent in Marseilles 173
Among the Righteous 176
The Killing Hunger 179
Captain Zimmer 180
The Volunteer Group 181
Mazel 182
The Farmer Kowarski 185
A Surprise Package 187
Lithuanian Friends 191
Unsung Heroes 199
Friend or Enemy? 202
Resist in Everything! 208
The Golden Chain of Judaism 227
Flight to Freedom 236
The Last Hiding Place 243
One Day War, the Next Day Not 245
The Long Road after Liberation 247
On the Way to Health 249
An Ending and a Beginning 252
The Tiny Flame 254
The Aftermath 258
The Barber 260
Kaleidoscope: Salonika, Greece, 1945 261
The Sewing Basket 263
Children from the Camps Going to England 265
The Chief of the Gestapo 268
Herr Schluemper 270
The Miracle 272
To Bear Witness about the Holocaust 274
It Shall Not Be Forgotten Nor Forgiven! 276
The Photograph 281
Germany, 1945: View from a Tank 283
Gusen: A Nurse's Tale 286
A Letter from Dachau 288
I Saw Buchenwald 291
Re-Entry 296
Biographies of Survivor-Authors 298
Photographs of Liberator-Authors 336
Author Index 342
Story Index 343
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