Survival Artist: A Memoir of the Holocaust

Overview

This vividly detailed memoir describes the experiences of a Holocaust survivor who narrowly escaped death by living a childhood of constant vigil and, along with his family, continuously dodging the ever-present threat of a Nazi capture.

After the Nazi invasion of Poland, the Bergman family's hometown became an increasingly dangerous city in which to live, as evidenced by the author's account of being struck deaf by the butt of a German officer's rifle while playing in the ...

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Overview

This vividly detailed memoir describes the experiences of a Holocaust survivor who narrowly escaped death by living a childhood of constant vigil and, along with his family, continuously dodging the ever-present threat of a Nazi capture.

After the Nazi invasion of Poland, the Bergman family's hometown became an increasingly dangerous city in which to live, as evidenced by the author's account of being struck deaf by the butt of a German officer's rifle while playing in the street with other children. Though traumatic and certainly life-threatening, this vicious attack would ultimately save his life several times. The story continues with vivid accounts of the family's narrow escapes to (and from) the Lodz, Warsaw, and Czestochowa ghettos, describing some of the more horrific vignettes of life in the Jewish ghetto and detailing how some members of the family survived through a fortuitous combination of luck, skilled deception, and an underlying will to live.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Bergman's family lived for a time in the "Aryan" section of Warsaw, his survival dependent upon the black market to earn a living. Of particular interest is Bergman's account of walking among the general population and the fear this engendered in him. His memoir suffers, however, from one of the classic problems of reconstituted stories: he describes events, emotions, and decisions that he was not in fact a party to at the time, making this a memoir with an overlay of postwar details.
—Frederic Krome

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786441341
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 1,019,492
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Eugene Bergman is a retired professor of English at Gallaudet University. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Leon W. Wells Wells, Leon W. 1

Introduction 3

I The End of an Idyll

A Foray into History 11

Growing Up in Poznan 15

The Germans Arrive 30

Escape to Lodz, Escape from Lodz 38

II. Life in the Warsaw Ghetto

From One Ghetto to Another 42

The German Professor 53

My Father the Smuggler 56

The Real and Unreal Worlds 60

Vignettes 64

The Siege and the Escape 72

III. Dodging the Predators

Rescued by Dadek 82

Fobbing Off the Landlord 101

Mysteries of Mimicry 104

The Ghetto Revolts 113

Forays from the Kitchen into the Jungle 117

IV. From the Uprising to Liberation

Saved from Drowning and Shooting 130

Inside Insurgent Warsaw 136

I Become a Prisoner of War 142

My Life Among the Punks 148

The Liberation Comes 162

Afterword 179

Chapter Notes 189

Bibliography 191

Index 193

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