Flares of Memory

Flares of Memory : Stories of Childhood During the Holocaust

4.21 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In a series of writing workshops at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, survivors assembled recently to remember the pivotal moments in which their lives were irreparably changed by the Nazis. These "flares of memory" invoke lost childhoods, preserving the voices of over forty Jews from throughout Europe who experienced a history that cannot be forgotten-by them nor us. Including a timeline that chronicles the rise of the Nazis, their devastating campaigns for control of Europe, and the successive edicts that would annihilate millions, Flares of Memory consists of 92 brief vignettes arranged both chronologically and thematically. Survivors from Munich, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, and the Netherlands recreate the disbelief and chaos that ensued as families were separated, political rights were abolished, and synagogues and Jewish businesses were destroyed-before and especially after Kristallnacht. "We had entered a twilight zone between memories of earning our keep at our occupations and the fear of becoming game during hunting season," writes one survivor. Others remember the daily humiliation, the quiet heroes among their friends, and the painful abandonment by neighbors as Jews were restricted to ghettos, forced to don yellow stars, and loaded like cattle in trains destined for the camps: "We were completely stripped of all human identity." Vivid memories of hunger, disease, and a daily existence dependent on cruel luck in Dachau, Auschwitz, and other concentration camps provide penetrating testimonies to the ruthlessness of the Nazi killing machine, yet they also bear witness to the resilience and fortitude of individual souls bombarded by evil. This book also includes poignant recollections of American liberators who were often devastated by the horrors that they discovered after the fall of the Nazis. "A mix of emotions-disbelief, rage-overwhelmed us; tears blinded our eyes," recalls one soldier. Flares of Memory will inspire these emotions and will stay with you, long after you finish its pages.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 42pp halftones, 1 map and 1 line drawing
  • 0195156277
  • 9780195156270
  • 2,020,987

Review quote

The result of a series of writing workshops at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, this work is a record of pivotal moments during World War II as experienced by over 40 Jews from throughout Europe, with additional recollections by American liberators. The 92 vignettes gathered here focus on specific events, situations, places, or people that stand out in the memories of these survivors, who were children or teens during the war; their stories are "flares of memory" from a time when their lives were devastated by the Nazis. This is an impressive mix of poetry, short-short stories, and longer accounts. By homing in on specific memories, the writers avoid the rambling, vagueness, and repetitions typical of many collections of Holocaust memoirs and oral histories. The vast number of participants also yields enough material to give insight on events all over Europe at this time. Highly recommended for all libraries and essential for Holocaust collections. * Library Journal *show more

About Sheila Chamovitz

Anita Brostoff is a retired Carnegie-Mellon University professor and consultant in communications who has specialized in teaching and research in writing in areas ranging from fiction to business and technical writing. She lives in Pittsburgh. Sheila Chamovitz is an award-winning independent film and video director and producer.show more

Rating details

42 ratings
4.21 out of 5 stars
5 40% (17)
4 43% (18)
3 14% (6)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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