Page 34 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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The tiger beneath the skin
; stories and parables of the years
of death by Zvi Kolitz (N. Y., Creative Age, ’47) one meets with
a record of striking moments of Jewish heroism written with a
contagious passion born of the depth and sincerity of feeling for
fellow Jews whose suffering at the hands of a ruthless world evokes
violent protest. The eleven stories which make up the volume are
held together by the dual theme of death and faith. They deal
with the men, women and children who were brutally tortured
and destroyed by the Nazi monsters, who were beaten to death,
buried alive in common graves or fed to the giant furnaces erected
in concentration camps. In these stories one meets also with
Nazis tortured by conscience, supernatural reappearances of the
murdered, talks of vengeance and horror, of “liberation” that
meant rape, oppression and contumely by victors and also of
retribution. Several stories while harrowing in detail breathe a
feeling of faith and personal courage that are deeply moving.
“Yossel Rakover’s Appeal to God” is a story decidedly religious
in spirit while “Beware of Liberty” is a stirringly rebellious story
with a bitter denunciation of the kind of liberty offered to the
driven and the homeless. It holds an appeal rooted in accusation.
The volume reveals much of what has gone into the spirit of every
Jew who has fought to preserve his humanity, and of every Jew
who sees in Palestine his hope for life.
An account of harrowing indignities suffered in a Nazi woman’s
concentration camp is given by a Hungarian woman, Olga Lengyel,
in her
Five chimneys;
the story of Auschwitz (Chicago, Ziff-Davis,
’47). It opens on a note of tension which is never relaxed. Filled
with grisly details of birth, sex and death, it describes how Mrs.
Lengyel lost her parents and two children in the extermination
chambers and barely survived the imprisonment herself.
An account of like conditions in another concentration camp
is given in
Beyond the last path
by Eugene Weinstock (N. Y.,
Boni & Gaer, ’47). The author, a Hungarian Jew, presents an
ugly but true story of life and death in Buchenwald. He offers a
record of his experiences from the day he was taken by the Nazis,
through the period of hell on earth in the concentration camp, until
the day of liberation.
How Miss Helen Waren, a well-known actress playing in a
U. S. O. show in Italy and Germany, became a one-woman illegal
underground to help the escape of scores of desperate Jews is
told in her
The buried are screaming
(N. Y., Beechhurst, ’48). I t
is an intensely emotional account of one American woman’s reac-
tion to the fate of Jews in post-war Europe. In the presence of
homeless refugees and members of the Palestine Jewish Brigade,
Miss Waren, for the first time, discovered her Jewish soul. She