Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

At 64 pages, this rather slim book could be easy to dismiss among the large amount of stories that give faces to the horror of the Holocaust. And that would be a shame indeed, because this one's a gem, with my only complaint being that I wished it had been longer. 

I certainly did not know much of anything about Terezin (called Theresienstadt by the Germans), a small fortress town in the now Czech Republic which was turned into a Jewish ghetto by the SS during WWII, before picking up this volume. Amazingly, amid the starvation, deprivation, and inhumanity, artists of all kinds were able to find outlets within the ghetto and left behind stunning works of art that chronicled the time spent at the mercy of the Nazis. Illustrated throughout with examples of this art, Terezin brings to life those finding a small measure of beauty within the walls of the town. It would be enough if that was all that was found within the pages of this book. But the actual photographs and statements of prisoners make the story so much more than just a factual timeline; it lends faces to those whose lives were lost at the whims of the SS for no reason other than race. Seventy plus years on, it's still horrifying, and we need to remember. This book does an excellent job of reminding us what was lost--and what still managed to live in the face of such evil. Though this is technically a children's book, it has a voice that speaks to all. Recommended.


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