The Holocaust Lady

Ruth M. Sender, Author MacMillan Publishing Company $14.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-02-781832-1
As in her previous memoirs, Sender affectingly and courageously bridges the vast abyss between adult knowledge of the Holocaust and youthful need and desire to learn about this crucial subject. Where The Cage and To Life described Sender's experiences in Nazi ghettos and death camps and, after liberation, in refugee camps, this volume focuses on the particular burdens borne by the survivor. Sender writes movingly of coming to America with her husband and young children in 1950, and she draws on specific moments to convey the impact of immigration. For example, not yet having been granted citizenship in 1952, Sender is unable to vote in the senatorial election but distributes campaign leaflets with her three small sons. (``You are free to choose your leaders,'' she tells an apathetic man. ``Do not give up that freedom.''). More painfully, she demonstrates how traumatic memories can be triggered by ordinary incidents: when she is made to show documents before crossing into Canada; when her children ask about their grandparents; when she sees a group of German tourists on the subway, some of whom are ``the right age to have been my guards.'' Scenes from her own career as a writer and witness to the Holocaust provide a solid and unusual structure in this commendable book. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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