Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Five of the best Holocaust memoirs

Elliot Perlman is the author of The Reasons I Won't Be Coming, Seven Types of Ambiguity, and The Street Sweeper. He also cowrote the award-winning screenplay for a film version of Three Dollars, his first novel.

For the Wall Street Journal he named a five best list of Holocaust memoirs.

One title on the list:
Eyewitness Auschwitz
by Filip Müller (1979)

That Filip Müller, a Slovakian Jew, survived to write this essential Holocaust document is statistically quite astonishing. He was deported in April 1942 to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of Germany's six death camps. More than a million Jews were murdered there. A month after arriving, he was made to work in the camp's Sonderkommando unit. The SS regularly liquidated these work crews, yet Müller somehow survived. To read his account is to gain an insight into the mechanics and relentlessness of the killing process. "I had come to believe that there were no human feelings left inside me," Müller writes, but then he sees his father's corpse on a trolley in the crematorium. "While my team-mate recited the Kaddish my soul mourned in pain and grief. As the flames busily devoured the mortal remains of my father, the words of the traditional prayer gave me solace."
Read about another title on the list.

Also see Robert Rozett's list of five essential books to keep in mind for Holocaust Remembrance Day.

--Marshal Zeringue