When They Came to Take My Father: Voices of the Holocaust

When They Came to Take My Father: Voices of the Holocaust

by Mark Seliger
     
 

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Fifty survivors of the Holocaust tell their stories in this unique compilation of text and superb portrait photographs of the survivors as they are now.See more details below

Overview

Fifty survivors of the Holocaust tell their stories in this unique compilation of text and superb portrait photographs of the survivors as they are now.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fifty Jewish men and women who survived the Holocaust-many in concentration camps, others as refugees, or in hiding, or as resistants-relate their experiences in this moving, powerful volume. Their searing first-person accounts, accompanied by black-and-white portrait photographs, tell of families pulverized, of loved ones murdered by the Nazis and of their quiet, determined day-to-day triumph over evil. Polish-born New Jersey builder Sol Urbeck, whose parents perished in the liquidated Krakow ghetto, worked in the Krakow factory supervised by German businessman Oskar Schindler (the focus of Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List). Journalist Ernst Michel, who escaped from Auschwitz in 1945, became the only Holocaust survivor to serve as a reporter at the Nuremburg trials. ``Everybody thinks freedom is something inborn, but it isn't. It is something that has to be taught and experienced,'' declares retired family court judge Gertrud Mainzer, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen. An extraordinary testament to the human spirit, this album includes short, impassioned essays by novelist Anne Roiphe, Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, social psychologist Eva Fogelman and others. Kahn is a photo editor; Hager, herself a child of survivors, is an editor at Parents; Seliger is chief photographer for Us and Rolling Stone. (Feb.)
Library Journal
This photo essay is composed of 46 interviews with Holocaust survivors. Photographs and brief biographic information about each survivor accompany the text. The volume also contains a superb introduction by Robert J. Lifton as well as essays by such figures as Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, Abraham Foxman, and Anne Roiphe. The interviews and the excellent photographs of the survivors bring to life the memories of this unspeakable time. For example, a man who later became the Danish ambassador to the United Nations writes of helplessly watching relatives being taken away by the Nazis but being unable to help for fear of capture. A baker from Poland now living in Houston writes of the terror he felt when the German army first entered his town. All in all, the narratives and photographs are a stark and haunting memorial to those who witnessed evil beyond description. Recommended for all popular and Judaica collections.-Mark Weber, Kent State Univ. Lib., Ohio
Kirkus Reviews
Seliger is a gutsy photographer. The startling initial image here is a harmonious alignment of four arms, unabashedly wrinkled and covered with age spots—and, more unusual, unabashedly displaying the numbers tattooed by the Nazis in their meticulous mania for keeping track of their victims. Seliger's subjects are gutsy, too—survivors of concentration camps and ghetto battles, refugees who fled to Shanghai and Switzerland, and a woman who was a subject of Mengele's "experiments." Their stories are at once familiar and shockingly new: a young girl who hid in the latrine at Auschwitz to sing Sabbath songs on Friday nights; a couple whose 13-month-old daughter was allowed to stay with them in Bergen- Belsen: "The first word my daughter Dorien spoke was `Achtung,' " says Rita Grunbaum. But most remarkable here are Seliger's photos: unsentimental portraits—some Avedon-style close-ups on white backgrounds; others more intimate and personal. Grunbaum and her daughter embrace, their placid, nearly identical features revealing nothing of their past, while Robert Melson's noble face makes it clear how he survived by posing as the son of a Polish countess. A bold use of typography complements these images, making this one of the most unusual memory books of the Holocaust. There is an introduction by Robert Jay Lifton.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611455021
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
07/15/2012
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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