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Its images are indelible and, as Primo Levi puts it in his introduction, "replace the word, but with an advantage—the say what the word is not able to. Written by Israel Gutman, both a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto uprising and a Holocaust historian, this chronicle disproves the common misconception that Jews were submissive when facing the Nazis. Using his own experience and the diaries and letters of others, Gutman recounts the unimaginable battle between hundreds of starving, poorly armed Jews and a well-equipped, trained Nazi army after a Nazi police commander ordered that the ghetto be burned along with all of its inhabitants.

The fearlessness and strength of those who fought in the uprising is undeniable in this record of the largest Jewish revolt during World War II. Martin Gilbert has written a number of vital books about the Holocaust. Here, the historian blends newspaper clippings, historical records, firsthand recollections, and treasured family photographs to produce a multifaceted portrait of the Jewish people in pre- and post-war Europe. Rich with imagery, Never Again chronicles the atrocities of WWII for a new generation and illustrates the human toll of the Holocaust by putting names to faces and documenting the life stories of individual victims and survivors.

All those interested in reading more by Gilbert should next check out Holocaust Journey , a poignant travelogue wherein the historian embarks on a two-week journey visiting crucial Holocaust sites. Karen Auerbach traces 10 Polish Jewish families who strove to reconstruct their lives amid the post-war rubble in this moving narrative of loss, rebirth, and survival. WWII laid waste to Warsaw, reducing the once-vibrant Polish capital to razed city blocks and streets of debris.

Among the buildings that escaped destruction were a handful of historical residences and apartment houses along Ujazdowskie Avenue. Nazi officers had stationed themselves in these buildings during the German occupation. In the late s, with the war officially over, these Polish Jewish families chose to settle in Warsaw, reclaiming an apartment building at 16 Ujazdowskie Avenue and, piece-by-piece, constructing a new community.

Thoroughly researched and supplemented with family photos and personal correspondences, The House at Ujazdowskie 16 tells the story of these survivors and their efforts to reconcile the trauma of the past with the promise of a better future. Larson, the author of The Devil in the White City , captures the atmosphere of Europe during this critical year while also including close-up depictions of major Nazi politicians. In her diary, she recounts her daily experiences while in hiding—facing hunger and frustration.

Fragments of War

Why this country? Why did it happen the way it did? Hayes answers these questions while clarifying misconceptions and putting his own, well-informed responses forward. Published only a year ago, this comprehensive study addresses the eight most significant questions about the Holocaust with the inclusion of important new insights and perspectives. He wrote the original version of Night before Holocaust studies even existed, in the s. This National Jewish Book Award winner not only takes the reader through the history of the massacre itself, but also addresses "The Silence": the 60 years it took for the guilty to be held accountable for their actions.

Rather than targeting one specific event or the experience of one individual, Friedlander presents a wide-ranging history for which The New York Times reports he "read virtually every printed source and secondary work With the driving idea that it was ultimately Adolf Hitler who is solely to blame for the extermination, this book includes lots of information and complex ideas without getting bogged down or distracted.

Cesarani focuses on Nazi military campaigns, as well as the reality of the sexual abuse and violence that women faced while imprisoned in camps. The book includes new information acquired from the opening of Soviet archives, discovery of diaries, reports of victims, and the declassification of Western intelligence service records, all of which prove that history always has more to tell. This post is sponsored by Open Road Media.

Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for The Archive to continue publishing the history stories you love. From firsthand accounts to comprehensive studies, these books examine the tragedies of the Holocaust. By Danielle Golds. Were We Our Brothers' Keepers? By Haskel Lookstein Amazon. The Holocaust By Martin Gilbert Acclaimed historian Martin Gilbert delivers the definitive account of the Holocaust in this staggering work that Elie Wiesel says, "must be read and reread.

Escape from Sobibor By Richard Rashke Although it was the smallest of the Nazi death camps, Sobibor was also the site of the biggest prisoner escape during the war. Want more history books? Sign up for The Archive 's newsletter and get our recommended reads delivered straight to your inbox. I also want to get the Early Bird Books newsletter featuring great deals on ebooks. Imprisoned By Arturo Benvenutti In , writer and artist Arturo Benvenuti set out to meet with as many survivors of Nazi-Fascist concentration and extermination camps as he could.

Imprisoned By Arturo Benvenutti Amazon. Resistance By Israel Gutman Written by Israel Gutman, both a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto uprising and a Holocaust historian, this chronicle disproves the common misconception that Jews were submissive when facing the Nazis. Do you understand? I had to swim across the river into Iraq and check out a couple of positions and swim back. There was a 99 percent chance of getting killed. I knew it and my superior officer knew it and his commanders knew it and no one cared.

The Women Whose Secret Work Helped Win World War II

I pretended to be sick and asked him to fill in for me. He said sure. He knew nothing about anything and totally trusted everyone. He was a good guy. He swam across the river that night and they killed him. Do you get the point? So is everyone who goes to this war and comes back alive. We shared a desk in the classroom, a narrow, long wooden one designed for two students.

I sat by the aisle and he by the window. There were speakers installed all over the school, and every time the Iraqi jets showed up the alarm would sound so loudly it was as if it was coming from inside my head. By that point, we had done it a hundred times: you get down under the desk, squat, put your head between your knees, hold your palms over your ears, and wait. We often had to stay in that awkward posture for ten to fifteen minutes.

Then the white alarm would go off and the students would climb back up, telling jokes and groaning. On that day, shortly after the red alarm broke, we heard the planes. Then a roar traveled through the class and the waves of an explosion rattled our bodies. Some screamed. Some cried. I was too shocked to react. So was the new classmate. Another roar. Another explosion. The walls and roof shook and taped-up windowpanes fell. We both sat there waiting for the white alarm when I noticed the water.

A narrow stream ran down the tiles and accumulated around my shoes. The smell of urine. I followed the stream and found drops leaking from his pants, then two wet eyes staring at me in the dark. I despised this wimp with such a passion I could have broken his neck right there. The white alarm went off.

Students came up, quiet and scared, not in the mood for joking. I was the one who broke the silence. He peed himself! A few giggles here and there. Laughter spread and set the class abuzz. The teacher came to our desk and scolded me and guided the boy out. On July 20, , Iran and Iraq signed Resolution and the war ended.

Did they mean we would no longer hear red alarms? That the tape would come off the windowpanes? That we would go to school and come back home without any risk? That sounded boring to me. I was unsure of whether I wanted that new life. The world outside, in which there are no military jets from hostile countries breaking the sound barrier overhead, only exists on TV screens.


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When the TV was off I went to bed, wondering what the world would be like in the morning. Something always interrupts. Every single night for eight years I woke up at least a couple of times before morning. In addition to the noise, the electricity was often cut, and most of the year the nights were either too cold or too hot. The weather never let you sleep. The first night of peace I slept through to the morning.

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No rattle of guns, no red alarms, no extreme heat or cold. My eyes closed on one end of a night and opened on the other. I got out of bed and looked out the window. I remember the unusual glow of everything in the yard. The reflection of morning sunbeams on the swing chain. The daisies and daffodils swaying in the grass.

The serenity of the eucalyptus tree in the street. I found peace strange and amusing. On a warm winter day after the peace, during the First Gulf War in , I was sitting by the window in my classroom, looking at the clear blue sky, counting down the minutes until I could leave. I was eleven years old. The sky got dim as I was watching it. The clear blue turned metallic. I spotted some dark clouds rushing toward the city. The teacher kept on scrawling on the blackboard and talking, until it became impossible to ignore the weather.

First it looked like a storm, but the darkness continued to thicken, and then the sky became that of a starless night in the middle of the day. The teacher dropped the chalk and left the classroom. We followed him. Other students and teachers also left their classes and gathered outside, under the shed. I believed him, and ran through my vices and virtues to try to determine where I would wind up if the world were to end that day.

I decided that growing up in war was punishment enough for any sin I had committed. It rained.

Fragments of War | Dundurn Press

Heavy raindrops struck up a rhythm on the shed above our heads. Soon it became a nonstop barrage. Thick streaks of rain slid off the shed into the yard, filling the air with a strange odor. The sudden collective silence was so heavy I could hear the heartbeat of the boy who had announced the end of the world. The oil rain came down in strands, each drop attached to the tail end of the one ahead.

It set up thousands of translucent parallel curtains. It covered the world around us. It came down on Ahvaz in February , at the height of the Gulf War, several hours after Iraqi jets had bombed enormous oil lakes in Kuwait.


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The explosion kicked up black clouds. They soared and filled up the sky.

Fragments of war: Stories from survivors of World War II

A strong wind carried them northward over the Persian Gulf. All the way through the clouds released oil, blackening the Gulf water and all the small towns in the south. When I left school that day, the city was unrecognizable. The asphalt shimmered with black oil.


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  5. At every other crossroad cars had run into each other. People were out in their yards, on the sidewalk, in the street, dumbstruck and horrified, babbling frantically or staring upward in silence. Trees were like charred soldiers dead on their feet. Dead or dying stray cats lay all over the place next to dried-up frogs and upside-down cockroaches, the carcasses of pigeons and sparrows knocked out of the sky.

    I live in America, where everyone is worried about war. In , a sizable portion of the US population decided to hand over power to a man enthralled by the size of the nuclear bomb button on his desk. My own renewed fear of war is further compounded by encounters with American friends. They are against the idea of war, but they have very little sense of what a war actually is, how a body in an invaded territory might receive one. War, for many well-meaning people I know, is an abstract tragedy. Also, Ahvaz is fucking dying. The place of my birth today looks like the deserted city in Blade Runner , where Ryan Gosling goes to meet Harrison Ford.

    Ahvaz never got back on its feet after the war. The incompetence of successive governments, combined with the disastrous effects of global warming and years of severe drought, have made it virtually unlivable. Karun, the wide river that meandered through Ahvaz for thousands of years, the river on which oil tankers floated as recently as fifty years ago, has become a rivulet. That is how the demise of Karun disfigures Ahvaz. Blue sky is a thing of the past. Almost all the wetlands and lagoons that surround the city have dried up. Every wind kicks up large palls of dust, which remain and coat everything.

    As my hometown is disfigured beyond recognition, my past is increasingly unmoored. I write to make a contribution, however small and pathetic, toward saving the place.

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    In the wake of the MeToo movement, I read a piece in The New Yorker about women who struggled to come forward and tell their stories. They were ashamed of what had happened to them. They feared retaliation by powerful male perpetrators. Am I not embarrassed by my childhood, worried that if people were to know about it they would think I am irredeemably disturbed? Am I not afraid of the perpetrators of war? The similarities were too many to dismiss, and the conclusion became inescapable: I have also been violated.

    My childhood was violated. The childhoods of all children who grew up in war zones, anytime, anywhere, have been violated. The MeToo moment is my moment, too. The perpetrators of sexual harassment, the powerful men, are cut from the same cloth as the powerful men who launch wars or perpetuate them.

    A space has opened up for us to relate our stories without fear of being shamed or stigmatized, and we should seize upon it before it slips away in the online frenzy of a distracted world. Heartbreaking, frightening, sad, and incredible! This story moved me and shifted my perceptions as well as touching my heart and speaking to what I feel inside my heart. Extremely well written.