Block 26

Block 26 : Sabotage at Buchenwald

4.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.67g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • French
  • 1plan(on lining papers)
  • 0245586903
  • 9780245586903

Review Text

The French Resistance is resurrected at Buchenwald in the person of Alain who applies his methodical Cartesian intellect to the problem of sabotaging the nearby arms factory at Mibau and his moral reserves to galvanizing the benumbed passivity of the internees of Block 26. Julitte's fictionalized documentary (only the names have been changed) traces the network of linking elements "as complex and ordered as the bloodstream of the human body" which led to the Allied bombing of the factory on August 24, 1944. For Alain and a handful of others, the obsession with bodily survival gives way to the renascent obsession with combat: combat against the human anarchy of the camps. A conspiracy of slaves is born. Among the rubble of the physically and psychically maimed, dog-eat-dog ethics must yield to trust. To transcend the status of larvae, to find comrades where there are only victims - this becomes Alain's self-appointed mission; the idee fixe which will save his dignity. Julitte's narrative moves deliberately, inexorably, to its perilous, incredible conclusion. With mathematical precision Alain's mind weighs at every step the moral and military logistics involved in paralyzing Mibau. There is little room and less time for bathos, terror, and cosmic lamentation - the almost, inevitable ingredients of the concentration camp novel. As the plot to destroy the factory is implemented, detail by excruciating detail, suspense takes over along with the sheer fascination of problem-solving in a context where maneuverability is close to zero. A faint suspicion of God hovering over all - there is a Francophile, priest-like German whose compassion acts as the crucible for events - avoids the pitfall of interjecting the fortuitous miracle. Engrossing and heroic. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

3 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
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4 0% (0)
3 33% (1)
2 0% (0)
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