From Ashes to Life: My Memories of the Holocaust

Lucille Eichengreen, Author, Harriet Hyman Chamberlain, With Mercury House $17.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-56279-052-3
Sometimes a book profits from its own apparent artlessness. Eichengreen's simple, almost childlike style is a perfect vehicle for retelling the horrors of the Holocaust, allowing the full force of the events to come through without a filtering literary sensibility. In Hamburg in 1933, Eichengreen (born Cecilia Landau) is an eight-year-old girl, living a comfortable existence with her parents and younger sister. But the rumblings of Nazism are already audible. In 1938 her father is transported to Dachau, where he dies. The rest of the family is sent to the Lodz ghetto, where the mother dies of malnutrition. Eichengreen and her sister are separated as they are sent to the death camps. The author survives through a combination of luck and intelligence, her language skills getting her marginally less arduous assignments from the Nazis. When the camps are liberated, she goes to work for the British and testifies against her tormentors at a war crimes tribunal. Eventually she finds her way to New York City, where she meets and marries Dan Eichengreen, and makes the difficult adjustment to normal life. The book concludes with the Eichengreens' 1991 visit to Hamburg and Poland. Photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
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