Page 27 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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17
BLOCH ---- THE YEAR ’S BOOKSHELF
of his ignorance of Jewish life and tradition. His apparent pretense
to being Jewish causes him to be suspected of several crimes, among
them the murder of a colleague. Accused, he explains tha t, as an
orphan he had been unofficially adopted and brought up by a
middle-aged Jewish couple; and although they did not raise him
as a Jew or as their son, he has taken their name and feels emotional
identity with their people. He is later proven innocent.
There have been quite a number of novels on the theme of the
experiences of refugees from fascism and especially their problems
of adjustment to new environments. Some of this year’s titles
deal with the effects of the war upon their plight and of the ways
in which they proved themselves useful in underground activities.
Children of Vienna
, a novel by Robert Neumann (New York,
Dutton, 1947), presents the story of a Negro chaplain in the
American army who was helpful to a group of Viennese ragged,
starved children, orphaned by war and persecution who have
taken shelter in the cellar of what had once been a fine home.
Their leader is a thirteen-year-old Jewish boy.
The long dusk
by
Victor Serge; translated by Ralph Manheim (New York, Dial,
1946) is the story of a small group of refugees from fascism who
find the strength and courage to begin an underground resistance
to the German occupation in France. In
Love from London
,
Gilbert Wolf Gabriel (New York, Macmillan, 1946) tells the story
of three American soldiers who fell in love with a young refugee of
partly Jewish ancestry. One is a young snob from Back Bay
Boston who is antisemitic.
On some fa i r morning
by Catherine
Hu tter (New York, Dodd, Mead, 1946) is a novel of Germany
between the two world wars when the Nazis come to power. I t
tells of the tragedy which comes to the family of an American
wife married to a half-Jewish German aristocrat.
The sudden
guest
, by Christopher La Farge (New York, Coward-McCann,
1946) is a novel in which the advent of the approach of the
1944 hurricane to the New England coast awakens memories
of the 1938 storm in the mind of the central character. One of
these recollections concerns a niece who is half-Jewish and who
has been driven from her because of a refusal to allow the girl to
marry a Jew.
Taras' fam ily
by Boris Gorbatov, translated by Elizabeth
Donnelly (New York, Cattell, 1946) is a Soviet prize novel in
which antisemitism is not the main point, yet is dealt with in
relation to the larger problems of resistance to Nazi oppression
during the German occupation of Ukraine. Among the Jewish
characters is an elderly, fatherly Jewish doctor who is healing
Taras’ little grand-daughter. When the doctor is about to leave,
Taras urges him to live with him and his family, to protect him