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Flares of Memory: Stories of Childhood During the Holocaust

Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press. In a series of writing workshops at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, survivors who were children or teens during World War II assembled to remember the pivotal moments in which their lives were irreparably changed by the Nazis. These “flares of memory” preserve the voices of over forty Jews from throughout Europe who experienced a history that cannot be forgotten. Ninety-two brief vignettes arranged both chronologically and thematically recreate the disbelief and chaos that ensued as families were separated, political rights were abolished, and synagogues and Jewish businesses were destroyed. Survivors remember the daily humiliation, the quiet heroes among their friends, and the painful abandonment by neighbors as Jews were restricted to ghettos, forced to don yellow stars, and loaded like cattle into trains. Vivid memories of hunger, disease, and a daily existence dependent on cruel luck provide penetrating testimonies to the ruthlessness of the Nazi killing machine, yet they also bear witness to the resilience and fortitude of individual souls bombarded by evil.

I don’t think that there will be many readers who will be able to put this book down.

Jerome Chanes, National Foundation for Jewish Culture

The book features: Malka Baran, Moshe Baran, Shulamit Bastacky, Arnold Blum, Walter Boninger, Leon Brett, Ruth Drescher, Simon Gelernter, and others.