Page 35 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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23
BLOCH ---- THE YEAR ’S BOOKSHELF
to express his sympathy for suffering Jews but to take practical
steps in mitigating their misery. In his book
“Stepchildren” of
France
, [translated from the French by Henry Noble Hall] (New
York, Roy, 1945) he tells how he discovered what was happening
to Jews in Vichy, France. His book is an angry cry of outrage
against the herding of Polish Jews into sewers, driven aboard
cattle cars, separated from their children and shipped east to an
unknown fate. Dr. Odie helped rescue such Jewish orphans, one
of a group of doctors who volunteered to help at a doctorless
Jewish hospital. Eventually the disaster reached the French
Jews, too. The book is primarily an appeal to Frenchmen to
realize tha t these things happened in France to French citizens.
Some of the indignities to which Jews were subjected in Fascist
Italy are described in
No time fo r silence
by Sylvia Lombroso
[translated from the Italian by Adrienne W. Foulke] with an intro-
duction by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (New York, Roy, 1945). I t
represents the diary of an Italian Jewess, the wife of an Italian
scientist, a man whose life was devoted to the field of research,
written for her children in America and covering twenty-years of
life under Fascism. The laws against Jews closed the doors of the
laboratory to him and the Lombrosos, with others like them,
became outcasts in a world tha t had formerly held fulfillment for
them. They succeeded in getting their children out of the country
but they remained in Italy, hounded from place to place under
the continual threat of imprisonment and deportation to German
labor camps. Movingly, Mrs. Lombroso records the bitter days
of flight and the conditions under which they managed to exist.
But more than a personal document, Mrs. Lombroso’s book is
a testament of faith and courage of people living in dark shadows
while the search-light of a perverted justice played upon innocent
victims. She writes of murder and pillage and suicide but she
writes also, of the challenge and fearlessness tha t kept the hope
of freedom alive in many hearts. In
Call us to witness
, a Polish
chronicle by Haina and Gaither Warfield (Chicago, Ziff-Davis,
1945) an American-born clergyman and his Polish-born wife tell
of the tragedy and misery of life in Warsaw under the Germans and
their desperate efforts, often involving risk of life, to help their
Polish and Jewish friends. A chronicle of European life as it used
to be and as it became in Hitler’s Europe is offered by Pierre van
Paassen in his
Earth could be fa i r
(New York, Dial Press, 1946),
recollections of his friends and schoolmates in the little Dutch
town of Gorcum. I t is a book full of good stories in which charac-
ters leap to life. David Dalmaden, the Jew, who is a major
protagonist in the book, becomes the eternal Jew. Driven to
Poland he is killed in the heroic fight in the Warsaw ghetto. He