"Freese says that 'memory must metabolize [the Holocaust] endlessly,' and his book certainly turns hell into harsh nourishment: keeps us alert, sharpens our nerves and outrage, forbids complacent sleep so the historical horror can't be glossed over as mere nightmare. The Holocaust wasn't a dream or even a madness. It was a lucid, non-anomalous act that is ever-present in rational Man. In the face of this fact Freese never pulls punches. Rather, his deft, brutal, and insightful words punch and punch until dreams' respite are no longer an option and insanity isn't an excuse."
—David Herrle, Author of Sharon Tate and the Daughters of Joy
"... Freese's haunting lament might best be explained (at least to me) by something Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about Herman Melville's endless search for answers to questions that perplexed him all his adult life. Melville was incessantly obsessed with what one might call the why of it all-life, death, metaphysical mysteries. Similar to Freese, Melville was repeatedly afflicted with a dark and depressive state of mind."
—Duff Brenna, Professor Emeritus CSU San Marcos
Mathias B. Freese is a writer, teacher, and psychotherapist. His recent collection of essays, This Möbius Strip of Ifs, was the winner of the National Indie Excellence Book Award of 2012 in general nonfiction and a 2012 Global Ebook Award finalist. His I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust was one of three finalists chosen in the 2012 Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest out of 424 submissions.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I Truly Lament is a collection of stories based on the Holocaust. They all vary with their themes, as with any compilation like this. The first is based on a Jewish man on the run and trying to call a Golem to protect him with less than desirable results. You will read about horrible things that were done to the Jews and some outlandish events. None of them are true stories but they all feel real with what is known about the atrocities the Nazis did during the Holocaust. I Truly Lament is not a happy go lucky book. There are no warm, fuzzy, happily ever after endings. We are all taught how horrible the Holocaust was but I don’t think many people truly understand what happened. I’ve seen news articles where some places are trying to teach our children that the Holocaust never happened and it was just political propaganda. Things like this sicken me. This book is one that I think many people should be required to read. I admit that not all of the stories flow well for me but that is something that you can expect from any collection of stories. But overall this is a great yet heart wrenching collection on the Holocaust. This is one book that will open your eyes and break you heart at the same time. I received this book from the author for free in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Heather Osborne for Readers' Favorite I Truly Lament: Working Through the Holocaust by Mathias B. Freese is a unique compilation of short stories, taking the reader on a psychological journey through the emotions elicited by the Holocaust. Beginning with a man calling out to a golem, a Jewish monster from folklore, for assistance in escaping his tormentors, the stories provide a different perspective on the Holocaust. There are ones told from the perspective of prisoners in the concentration camps to a mock radio interview with Hitler’s lover, Eva Braun. The author offers the perspective of a Holocaust revisionist, someone who does not believe the Holocaust happened the way it is described, in the form of a letter. The collection concludes with the golem questioning his reason for existence. I have read many books about the Holocaust as I find the subject very interesting from a psychological standpoint. I have to say though, that Mr. Freese has placed an entirely new twist on the subject. I will admit to being perplexed at first, having expected something a bit different. As the collection unfolded, I was drawn into the raw emotion. I particularly enjoyed the story, “Cantor Matyas Balogh.” Matyas found love so late in life, only to have it ripped from him. Freese does not just tell a tale, he creates a basis for reflection. I believe that he is completely correct when he states that someone can never truly understand the Holocaust. We can write about it, but the lasting impact on the people that survived can never be put into words. I Truly Lament is a remarkable collection that will leave the reader speechless.