Dear God, Have You Ever Gone Hungry?
Bau, an Israeli artist and animator, met his future wife, Rebecca, in the German concentration camp of Plaszow, on the outskirts of Krakow, Poland, where they married in secrecy--a scene depicted in the film Schindler's List. His searing, powerful Holocaust memoir, illustrated with his nimble black-and-white documentary drawings, will move readers especially deeply for his account is also a testament to the resilient human spirit. Rebecca, allowed to add one name to the list of Jewish slave laborers whom Oscar Schindler would take with him to his factory in Czechoslovakia, added Joseph's name instead of her own. She was sent to Auschwitz, where she survived, and the couple was reunited after the war. Bau's parents, deported with him to Plaszow from Krakow's Jewish ghetto, were not so fortunate. His father was murdered in Plaszow by an SS officer (against whom Bau testified in Vienna in 1971), and his mother perished in Bergen-Belsen. Both in the early chapters describing his harrowing escapes in the German-occupied Krakow ghetto and in his re-creation of the hell of the camps, Bau combines an understated tone, quiet irony and a pointed existential questioning of the God he feels abandoned his people. (July)