Page 50 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
40
gandist, Curzio Malaparte, was one of the first eye witnesses to
bear testimony against the b ru tality and debauchery, the decay
and degradation th a t Nazism and fascism visited on the Conti-
nent. In his
Kaputt\
translated from the Italian by Cesare Foligno
(New York, Dutton , 1946), he presents a panoramic view of
European society besieged by Nazism. This Italian correspondent
and diplomat toured the ghetto of Warsaw with a Gestapo guide
and watched naked Jews proudly walking the streets to death.
They had given their clothes to others who had a little longer to
live. He saw squads of young, emaciated Jews going through the
streets of the Warsaw ghetto and picking up dead bodies; naked
Jews in the Cracow ghetto being escorted away by the Nazis;
they had given their few poor rags to their relatives because they
knew they would not need clothes again. In Jassy, Roumania,
despite a forewarning, he refused to try to stop a pogrom th a t was
engineered by local army and town officials. He saw hundreds
of Jewish corpses tossed out of a railroad car (one or two may still
have been alive) and watched the black marketeers swiftly strip
the bodies of whatever could be sold. He also saw the Jewish girls
in the Nazi brothel in Roumania who were shot after twenty days
of service and replaced by a new batch.
Kaputt
is a moody,
delicate, sorrowful and cruel narrative concerning the degeneracy
and horror of Nazism. I t has streaks of brutality , mysticism,
vivid phraseology and, strangely enough, gaiety. In
Odyssey
through hell
by Raymond Arthur Davis (New York, Fischer, 1946)
the epic struggle of East European Jews in the recent war is
described in words of burning anger which transm it the horror of
occupied Minsk and Odessa as told by the few Jews who managed
. somehow to escape the wholesale Nazi destruction.
The most factual post-war study of the situation of the Jewish
displaced persons in Europe is offered in
Uprooted
; Jewish refugees
and displaced persons after liberation by Zorach Warhaftig
[edited by Jacob Fried] (New York, Ins titu te of Jewish Affairs of
the American Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress, 1946).
I t contains a comprehensive analysis of the position of Jewish
refugees and displaced persons in different parts of Europe today
and a description of the operations, of various international relief
agencies which are endeavoring to solve their problems. Actually
the work represents a history of what happened to the European
Jew since liberation; a factual report of callous neglect, unpaid
debts and unpunished criminals. I t is a work of assiduous and
competent scholarship furnishing all available information on the
Jewish DP.
There are several publications of miscellaneous interest, each
one of which fills a definite place in the literature of the year.