Haunted Memories: Portraits of Women in the Holocaust

Lucille Eichengreen, Author
Lucille Eichengreen. PublishingWorks (www.publishingworks.com), $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-935557-67-8
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Eichengreen, a Holocaust survivor, shares the stories of women she knew during her horrific experience. Her memories of conversations with the women she encountered are remarkably detailed, even with strangers she knew only briefly: the wife of a judge who showed her great warmth in a food ration line before escaping the Lodz ghetto by pretending to be Aryan; a rumored prostitute who abetted her brother in his scheme to avoid the concentration camps by wearing a full-body cast; a female SS guard who did Eichengreen the small but perilous kindness of sneaking her a toothbrush and toothpaste. Particularly unsettling are accounts of what parents and children endured—Eichengreen's own mother, usually reticent about her personal experiences, sensed her impending death and finally shared her life story with her daughter days before Eichengreen and her sister "dug a grave in the dry parched soil of the ghetto cemetery" and buried her; and Rebecca, Eichengreen's neighbor in the ghetto, disciplined her five-year-old daughter by warning, "The Germans will come." By transcribing women's stories as they were told to her without judgment or superfluous commentary, Eichengreen has contributed an important record of the unique experience of women during the Holocaust. (Apr.)