By Mark Kurlansky
A strong, DEEPLY relocating NARRATIVE OF desire REBORN
IN THE SHADOW OF DESPAIR
Fifty years after it was once bombed to rubble, Berlin is once more a urban during which Jews assemble for the Passover seder. Paris and Antwerp have lately emerged as vital new facilities of Jewish tradition. Small yet proud Jewish groups are revitalizing the traditional facilities of Budapest, Prague, and Amsterdam. those courageous, decided Jewish women and men have selected to settle–or remain–in Europe after the devastation of the Holocaust, yet they've got paid a cost. one of the unforeseen hazards, they've got needed to deal with an alarming resurgence of Nazism in Europe, the unfold of Arab terrorism, and the impression of the Jewish nation on ecu life.
Delving into the intimate tales of ecu Jews from all walks of lifestyles, Kurlansky weaves jointly a shiny tapestry of people maintaining their traditions, and flourishing, within the shadow of background. An inspiring tale of a tenacious those who have rebuilt their lives within the face of incomprehensible horror, A selected Few is a testomony to cultural survival and a party of the deep bonds that suffer among Jews and eu civilization.
“Consistently soaking up . . . A selected Few investigates the fairly uncharted territory of an encouraging phenomenon.”
–Los Angeles occasions
“I can examine no booklet that portrays with such intelligence, ancient knowing, and journalistic aptitude what lifestyles has been like for Jews made up our minds to construct lives in Europe.”
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First-class booklet in regards to the Nazi-occupation of Prague. Even after examining loads of literature of the camps and about the destiny of these in Nazi-occupied Europe, there have been passages during this book--particularly the end--that made very tough reading.
It is difficult for me to place my finger on Weil's skill to nonetheless make his topic so emotionally robust. with no rereading any of his books, i'd say that--in this book--by juxtaposing the comedian, bumbling activities of Czech collaborators and Nazis with the plight of the Jewish inhabitants made the latter all of the extra gripping.
thorough, revealing description from amazon reviewer:
The novel starts off in Nazi-occupied Prague, quickly after the invasion of Russia. There are the 9 months whilst "the Butcher of Prague", Reinhardt Heydrich, as Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, governed with bare terror. He observed Bohemia as an historic German land, had utter contempt for the Czechs and used to be one of many major architects of the "Final Solution": the Jews have been already herded into ghettoes; Theresienstadt had already been changed into a protecting zone from which many Jews have been despatched to the fuel chambers of Auschwitz. Weil has Heydrich remorse that during his current place he might in simple terms arrange the liquidation of the Jews rather than having the ability, as ahead of, to take part individually within the violence. After Heydrich used to be assassinated, the fear intensified even more.
The ebook portrays the brutality and forms of the regime; the infighting in the diverse Nazi gurus; how the Nazis terrify one another nearly up to they terrify the folks of Prague, as while an order given through Heydrich couldn't be instantly performed. the sort of orders were to take away the statue of Mendelssohn from the roof of the Prague Academy of tune whilst none of his underlings knew which of the various statues was once that of Mendelssohn. Such occasions are farcical; yet we're left in without doubt that there has been by no means whatever humorous within the consequence, as we persist with the precarious lives of a number of Jews and Czechs. Many have perforce to collaborate with the Germans or even take a few satisfaction in it; others reproach themselves bitterly; a number of courageously interact in resistance. because the ebook progresses, it turns into darker and darker because the farcical components are left in the back of. We movement to Theresienstadt, the place the Germans pressured Jews to choose different Jews to do poor issues to but different Jews. And the agony, there and in Prague, keeps correct as much as the time, within the final pages, whilst the Soviets force the Germans out of Czechoslovakia. many of the Nazis' sufferers had long gone to their deaths bravely, realizing that, notwithstanding they wouldn't stay to determine it, the Germans might absolutely be defeated.
Weil wrote not just as a Jew, but additionally as a lover of Czechoslovakia.
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Additional resources for A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
The character of Jewish culture had become essentially European, and Jews were a significant part of Europe. This all changed with the Final Solution. A half century later, the global Jewish population is still some three million fewer than the eighteen million Jews in 1933 when the Nazis came to power. What was once a population of almost nine million European Jews—half of world Jewry—is today four million, little more than a quarter of world Jewry. But at last it can be said with some confidence that European Jewry will continue, that the remaining Jews of Europe will not all move to the United States or Israel, as had often been suggested.
Just as Jews have always been envied and resented for whatever they had, they are envied today for their victim status. Europeans need to show that they too, not just Jews, were the victims of World War II. The French and Dutch accomplish this with some difficulty. The Poles stubbornly fight for their victim status. Even the Germans hope that somehow Dresden gives them a chance for victim status. The Jews of Dresden in the former East Germany have recently found their real life in Germany and their metaphorical one at cross purposes.
The Belgians and the Dutch did worse. But no one wants to write about Belgium. Understandably, the French love to write about France. So do Americans. And so they continue to expose the already well-documented French collaboration. While France still struggles with its history of Nazi collaboration, the majority of both Jews and non-Jews there were born since the Liberation. More than half of French Jews are either from North Africa or related to North African Jews who did not directly experience the Holocaust.
A Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry (Ballantine Reader's Circle) by Mark Kurlansky