Pilgrim Among the Shadows: A Memoir

Boris Pahor, Author, Michael Biggins, Translator
Boris Pahor, Author, Michael Biggins, Translator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $20 (182p) ISBN 978-0-15-171958-7
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The author, a Slovene from Trieste, spent the final 14 months of WWII as an inmate in various German concentration camps, including Dachau and Belsen. Years later, he visited a restored camp in the Vosges Mountains and allowed his memories of the ordeal to come flooding back: journeys in cattle cars from camp to camp; ``the stoker heaving human logs into the fire''; his labors as a medic, treating dying fellow prisoners. Though the memories are starkly vivid, Pahor's account matches the affectless spiel of the tour guide--``Notice how the floor is gently sloped to allow the victims' blood to run off''--and are all the more moving because of it. The gentle ruminations that make up this painful venture into the past are indirect, elegantly crafted and more mournful than horrifying. (Mar.)
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