Page 74 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 3

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their goods were very desirable indeed, and now and then a pretty Jewish girl
wasn’t so bad either. When Lieut. Erich Lemke, monocle over one eye, came to
survey the stocks of Reb Jacob Shatz he was not slow to spy Shatz’s lovely young
daughter, Marcha, and promptly set about to requisition her with some of the
Jew’s wealth. When her father foiled the plot against his daughter the arrogant
Herr Lieutenant vindictively and deliberately pursued a campaign to impoverish
Reb Jacob, which was not a hard thing to do.
The slow, gradual disintegration of the Shatz family under the impact of the
violence they could not control is unfolded before the reader’s eye. Reb Jacob
Shatz was a good man, a man of integrity and character, and he had a wife who
loved him, and grown sons and daughters. He had accumulated his wealth through
hard work, and he treated his employes generously and was respected and loved
by them. Yet here he was, innocent of wrong, suffering like Job himself. How
did his integrity react to this onsalught of affliction? How did the less stable
young react to the loss of every security? This is the story of ordeal and the un-
equal abilities of character to withstand it. The writing, even at its most ironic,
is strong and direct; there is no pretentious effort to be “literary.”
— J o h n C o u r n o s
in
The New York Times Book Review
The Day of Reckoning
. By
M
ax
R
a d in
.
New York,
A
l f r e d
A .
K
n o p f
.
152 pages.
The gigantic proportions of the global war, its gigantic events and upheavals,
its devastations, crimes and brutalities would seem to elude and exhaust the ordi-
nary forms of portrayal possessed by a writer, but art offers the means of condens-
ing, identifying, personalizing actions and protagonists of even a world-wide com-
pass.
In the case of
The Day of Reckoning
by Max Radin, art is wedded to science,
the science of law; and even if the Professor of Jurisprudence at the University
of Berkeley did not confess to certain previous excursions into the fields of fiction
and drama ־— to say nothing of notable achievements in history — we would
know from this remarkable dramatization of the Nazi reign of terror that we are
in the presence of a gifted dramatist as well as a great exponent of the law.
Dr. Radin also had the insight and vision of appraising the significance to the
struggle for civilization, of outlining and preparing a course of action calculated
to mete out due punishment for the notorious war criminals.
The author anticipated a number of plans and proposals, official and private,
for dealing with this problem, his book having been published before the Three
Power Conference in Moscow last November when in a joint statement President
Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Premier Stalin declared that the Nazi
murderers will be brought back to the scenes of their crimes and will be tried in
the countries in which their atrocities were perpetrated. As vividly dramatized
in this book the great murder trial is already before us in graphic and compelling
manner.
In a court house in Luxembourg, the smallest and most defenseless country
humiliated and ravaged by the Nazis, seven men are placed on trial shortly after
the victory of the Allies. They are Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, Funk, Gastein,
Milch, von Ribbentrop; Goering, according to the story, having escaped with an
easier death in an air raid over Berlin two months before the German capitula-
tion.
The full climax is reached when the sentence of death is pronounced. After
the defendants are asked if they had anything to say “a sound is heard, but it
was not a human sound” that proceeded from the direction of the chief criminal.
Then, with a yell that elicited a corresponding shriek from many of the
women in the audience, Adolf Hitler, the Master of Europe, leaped forward.
Two strong hands grasped his arms and held him fast, but from his twitching
lips sounds emerged which were recognizable as words tha t needed no trans-
lation from either of the accredited interpreters.
“Scoundrels!” he yelled. “Swine, Jew-slaves! I spit on you! I—I—”
—B. G.
R i c h a r d s
in
Congress Weekly