Stripes in the Sky: A Wartime Memoir

Gerhard Durlacher, Author, Susan Massotty, Translator Serpent's Tail $13.95 (112p) ISBN 978-1-85242-202-8
His hopes were raised and dashed when in August 1944, Durlacher, a teenaged Jewish inmate at Auschwitz-Birkenau, saw white stripes in the sky as Allied bombers flew over the camp on a mission to destroy German industrial sites but ignored the human death factory. The author empties a bitter heart in this worthy and quietly moving addition to eyewitness Holocaust testimony: ``The feeling that the world more or less discreetly turns the other way or watches unmoved while hundreds of thousands of people are systematically being killed all around youany punctuation in this run-on sent?/no and that you yourself know that every day you are still alive is a cruel trick of fate is something that cannot adequately be expressed in words.'' As a child the German-born Durlacher fled with his family to Holland. He recalls bits and pieces of the bombardment of Rotterdam by Germany in the spring of 1940; his family's internment in Westerbork, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was wrenched away from his parents who would perish there; his rescue by the Soviets; his painful metamorphosis from prisoner to human being; and his journey home to a house that was still standing, but whose occupants--recipients in 1943 of privileges from the occupying troops--did not allow him to cross the threshold. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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