A memoir of the author's survival in a Nazi concentration camp tells of life in Poland before the war and of the loss of her entire family
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Sendyk is the last member of a Jewish family of 12 from Chrzanow, Poland, only three of whom survived the Holocaust. This is her moving story of how each of the others died and of what happened to her and her one sister who survived a German labor camp. ``We felt that maybe the world was coming to an end. We remembered Papa's words, `It is the end of days, the kingdom of God, the time of the Messiah.' But we had not died and gone to heaven. We were alive and dangling over the pit of hell.'' Sendyk tells nothing new about German acts of genocide against Polish Jews, but hers is nonetheless a notable witness to monstrous horror. Papa ran a successful delicacies store whose fancy foods appealed to kosher and nonkosher clients alike. After the Germans invaded and closed down the store, Papa tried to continue business from his apartment while buying produce on the black market. But soon the Germans were herding the ``Jewish swine'' into the streets, marching them off to labor camps or for extermination. The family went into hiding and faced terror from every direction, including from Polish gentile neighbors who would turn them in for a reward or simply to ransack their apartments once they were gone. Complicating the family's misery was daughter Goldzia, bedridden with polio, who eventually was left in bed with no one to help her and was simply killed by the Nazis. Horror layered upon horror as family members died and the author and her sister Nachcia went off to a labor camp and years of starvation, illness, and ratlike survival. When they were at last freed by Russian troops, they faced rape and more horror, but at last returned home--as skeletons--only to face gentiles unhappy to see any Jews still alive. Vastly worthwhile and affecting. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Less a chronicle of the author's experiences during the Holocaust than a remembrance of the struggle by her parents and seven older siblings to escape the Nazi terror, this often affecting memoir re-creates life in the ghetto of Chrzanow, Poland. Rather than detailing the death camps, Sendyk relates her brothers' attempts to join the Polish army or flee to Russia or Palestine and her sister's efforts to provide for and protect the remaining members of the family. Although the book is involving and frequently eloquent, it has flaws. Extensive dialog, plus descriptions of places and events the author did not directly witness, seem like unnecessary embellishments to her personal story. An understandable yet disconcerting bias depicts all Jews as noble, gentiles as universally corrupt. Not a necessary purchase, but worth consideration for large Judaica collections.
- Rose Cichy, Osterhout Lib., Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110312069626
Book Description St Martins Pr. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0312069626 TRACKING NUMBER INCLUDED New Unread Book May have some very minor shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # D-6-155