cover image Anton, the Dove Fancier: And Other Tales of the Holocaust

Anton, the Dove Fancier: And Other Tales of the Holocaust

Bernard Gotfryd. Washington Square Press, $7.95 (175pp) ISBN 978-0-671-69137-0

Hours before she was deported to the concentration camp where she was murdered, the author's mother begged him to survive ``to tell the world what the Nazis did to us.'' With his simple, affecting memoir, the former Newsweek photographer who grew up in Radom, Poland, summons up faces from the grave. When impoverished peasants steal his pious grandmother's table in those innocent days before the war, she gifts the apprehended thieves with food--and the table; years later, the Nazis shoot and kill her as she recovers from a stroke in the ghetto hospital. Sexually assaulted, the milk woman's teenage daughter, Masha, becomes a deaf-mute, and a physician, a rabbi and a witch doctor fail to cure her; forced to clean the ghetto of the dead after a deportation, Gotfryd discovers Masha's corpse in the rubble. Those who perish also include Gotfryd's father, who tries to pass a forbidden egg to his son in a labor camp; the father gets a beating and the egg falls wasted to the ground; a beautiful gentile activist in the Polish underground who captures Gotfryd's heart as she endangers his life; and his brother's friend Leon, who is crushed when he learns that his favorite cousin is a prostitute for SS guards and kapos. A meaningful, earnest addition to Holocaust literature. Portions appeared previously in Midstream . (Aug.)