We Are Witnesses

Jacob Boas, Editor
Jacob Boas, Editor Henry Holt & Company $17.95 (196p) ISBN 978-0-8050-3702-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 196 pages - 978-0-590-84475-8
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-12052-4
Prebound-Other - 196 pages - 978-0-613-00353-7
Paperback - 196 pages - 978-0-312-53567-4
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Born in 1943 in the Westerbork concentration camp in Holland, Boas here brilliantly unfolds the history of the Holocaust through poignant excerpts from five teenagers' wartime diaries, enhanced with skillful commentary. Predictably, Anne Frank turns up, in the final section, but, as Boas points out, ``alongside the other four diaries, Anne's looks different than when you read it by itself as the sole voice of the Holocaust.'' By the time readers encounter Anne Frank, they will have met Jewish teenagers trapped in equally tragic but even more violent circumstances in various parts of Europe, from a small Polish village to the Vilna ghetto to Brussels and Hungary. The young writers relay their hopes and fears even as they chronicle the disintegration of their daily lives. One is religious, another politically active, others wrapped up in their families-Boas points out each writer's sensitivities as he explains the terrible traps into which the individual teenagers fall. In exploring their fates, he impresses upon the reader their vitality, and, by extension, implies the enormity of the Holocaust's losses. Ages 12-up. (June)
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