The Lost Libraries of Europe

The portal of the Berlin City Library (Berliner Stadtbibliothek) at Breite Straße 32-34 in Berlin-Mitte. It shows steel plates with 117 variations of the letter “A”, created by Fritz Kühn in 1965. By Beek100 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons Book review: The Book Thieves, by Anders Rydell This is to a very great extent a story of dispersal – about … Continue reading The Lost Libraries of Europe

Updating the Legacy of a War Heroine

Book review: Lindell’s List by Peter Hore (Amazon / Book Depository) Early on in reading Lindell’s List, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to keep track of all the people who were in some way involved in the stories and narrative, whether integrally or peripherally. There were so many introduced in rapid succession, and sometimes they’d be gone just as quickly, and I … Continue reading Updating the Legacy of a War Heroine

“He who lives will see.”

Book review: War Diaries, 1939-1945, by Astrid Lindgren, translated by Sarah Death (Amazon / Book Depository) Astrid Lindgren, the beloved author of the Pippi Longstocking series, lived through the Second World War with her family in Stockholm, Sweden. She was just beginning her writing career, and in wartime got a job in the censorship office. Lindgren began recording daily life with “Oh! War broke out today. Nobody could … Continue reading “He who lives will see.”

Survival and Optimism

Book review: Bread or Death, by Milton Mendel Kleinberg (Amazon / Book Depository) It took me a little while to get into this one, but once I did, I was glad I’d stuck with it. Kleinberg wrote this account of his and his family’s experiences during World War II to answer questions for his grandchildren. I’ve read many Holocaust memoirs and there was a lot here … Continue reading Survival and Optimism

An Unforgettable Life in Stories

Book review: In the Unlikeliest of Places, by Annette Liebeskind (Amazon / Book Depository) There have been many extraordinary stories to come from those who survived the Holocaust. Each is a little bit different, a little surprising in its own way. There’s so much to be learned about human nature, both the good and the bad of it, from personal histories like these. Nachman Libeskind’s … Continue reading An Unforgettable Life in Stories

Stream of Consciousness from Auschwitz

Book review: Fragments of Isabella by Isabella Leitner (Amazon / Book Depository) A very short but incredibly powerful memoir of a young woman’s nightmarish memories of Auschwitz, structured in short vignettes and often in a stream-of-consciousness style. It’s emotional and affecting to read not only her descriptions of the experiences, but to grasp the palpable anger so present in her words. Even from her secure postwar … Continue reading Stream of Consciousness from Auschwitz