The Krakow Ghetto and the Paszow Camp Remembered

Malvina Graf, Author Florida State University $0 (183p) ISBN 978-0-8130-0905-6
A dogged will to live and close sibling ties made possible the survival of the Polish-Jewish author and four of her five sisters and a brother though six years of German and Soviet occupation of Lwow and Krakow (with its little-known but vast adjoining Plaszow concentration camp). Two of three sisters sent to Auschwitz endured to rejoin the other two in Bergen-Belsen. Fleeing the Soviet advance, they shared forced marches to other labor camps, despite a raging typhus epidemic. The matter-of-fact narrative, devoid of literary ambition, emphasizes the family's struggle to resist dehumanization in an ``industrialized death'' system where sadism was practiced in the name of efficiency. The ordeals produced heroes and traitors, while luck and resourcefulness, such as that of older sister Balbina, helped to preserve life and sanity. Embittered by pre- and postwar Polish anti-Semitism, which the author claims rivaled that of the Nazis, Graf emigrated to the U.S. Now an American citizen, she teaches elementary school in New York City. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Discover what to read next