cover image Remember Who You Are

Remember Who You Are

Esther Hautzig. Crown Publishers, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-57502-4

Born in the ancient, peaceful town of Vilna, then part of Poland, in 1930, Hautzig was deported to Siberia with her immediate family by Russian communists shortly before the outbreak of WW II, an experience she recorded in The Endless Steppe. This poignant sequel consists of 20 stories about survivors and victims of the Nazi Holocaust and Siberian imprisonment. There are moments of intense drama, as when Hautzig's 90-year-old grandmother deliberately willed herself to die in her sleep rather than being herded away by the Nazis, or when her governess miraculously rejoined her in Siberia in the mid-1940s. The story of a cynical friend, now living in Jerusalem, who was saved by a Nazi soldier during a death-march in the final days of the war underscores the terrible ironies of survival. These deceptively casual, gracefully written sketches reverberate with heartbreak and courage. (May)