Letters from Prague, 1939-1941: 1939-1941

Raya C. Schapiro, Editor, Helga Weinberg, Editor Academy Chicago Publishers $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89733-369-6
In May 1939, at the ages of five and seven, the authors, who are sisters, were left with their grandmother and uncle in Nazi-occupied Prague while their parents and baby brother, having been promised that the two little girls would be issued exit visas within a few days, fled to the United States. As it turned out, the girls escaped only after months of bureaucratic wrangling, while the grandmother and uncle never obtained permission to leave and were deported to the gas chambers at Treblinka and Auschwitz two years later. Collected here is the moving correspondence between the adults in Prague and the girls' parents in the U.S.--77 letters that tell of their efforts to maintain a semblance of normal life while the Nazis enacted ever more restrictive anti-Jewish laws. Schapiro, a physician in Chicago, and Weinberg, a literature teacher, include explanatory notes that amplify the text of each letter and chronicle the horrifying progress of Nazi control in Prague. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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