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The Book of Alfred Kantor: An Artist's Journal of the Holocaust

Wykert, John

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ISBN 10: 0861885929 / ISBN 13: 9780861885923
Published by Piatkus, London, 1971
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Penobscot Books (Searsport, ME, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

At 22 years of age, and a young Czech artist, Kantor began his imprisonment in three Nazi concentration camps: Terezin, Auschwitz and Schwarzheide. He determined that he would not let those horrible times escape his artist's brush. This wonderful book is the record he kept: some 160 drawings, drawn in the two months following his liberation. He said, "It was not so much that I wanted to draw my own story, but rather to capture this extraordinary place, so that I could show the world something of it IF and WHEN I was ever free." This is a very moving account. After his release, Kantor got to the US and served in the US Army. Then he lived with his wife in Yarmouth, Maine. Bookseller Inventory # 002428

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Book of Alfred Kantor: An Artist's ...

Publisher: Piatkus, London

Publication Date: 1971

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

Alfred Kantor, a 22 year old Czech artist, composed this illustrated diary while at a displaced persons camp in 1945. He had survived three Nazi concentration camps - Terezin, Auschwitz, and Schwarzheide. The 160 drawings in this extraordinary notebook, drawn in the two months following his liberation, are his testimony. During the years of his imprisonment, Kantor was determined to keep a continuous record of everything he saw in the camps. Obtaining paper and pencils, he made sketches, some of which were hidden and saved, but most of which he destroyed. Once sketched, however, the scenes were committed to memory enabling Kantor to reconstruct this pictorial diary after the war. Each of the na´ve watercolours in this facsimile edition of Kantor's actual notebook tells the story of day-to-day life in the camps. Viewed in sequence, their cumulative effect is shattering. The drawings are compelling both for the power of their images and for the accuracy of their detailed observations. They also reveal how one man kept his sanity through this nightmare by consciously adopting the mission of eyewitness and chronicler. "It was not so much that I wanted to draw my own story," Kantor writes in his introduction, "but rather to capture this extraordinary place, so that I could show the world something of it if and when I was ever free. The drawings came rapidly but the captions were a problem. I started to write them in my native Czech, but then realized that few people would understand them in America, where I would be living in a matter of months. I decided there to write the captions in English, or should I now say in the best Prague high school English I could muster." Alfred Kantor emigrated to the United States in 1945 and served in the American army. In 1947, he began a long career as a commercial artist in the advertising industry. The book's design was done by Herb Lubalin, the famous graphic artist.

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Penobscot Books is a seven room premier bookstore located in Searsport, ME, at the top of Penobscot Bay. The owners, Howard and Kate La Rue, created a bookstore that they felt like they would like to visit and numerous customers feel the same.

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