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Amidst Latvians During the Holocaust Paperback – January 24, 2012
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From the Author
My father invented an audacious bluff to save his wife and sons--though not himself. My mother was to claim that she was a German foundling raised by Jewish parents. At best this bluff would last a few months, as too many people in our town (Liepāja, pop. 57,000) knew our family. Against all odds, we managed to stretch it out for nearly 2 years, followed by a few years in legal limbo when my mother and I "slipped through cracks in the Holocaust", though my father, brother, and 24 other relatives perished. When the Red Army reentered Latvia in 1944, we fled to Germany with 100,000 others who also thought that one year under Stalin was enough.
This book covers only my years in Europe (1926-1949), prior to my emigration to the US. Part I is my survival story. Part II is my attempt as a scientist to give a dispassionate objective analysis of Latvian conduct during the German occupation. I show that most Latvians deplored the German-led Holocaust murders in which a few thousand Latvians participated.
This book is also available in Latvian and Russian translations by Jumava Publishers, Riga, Latvia (ISBN 978-9984-38-915-8 and 978-9984-38-916-5).
Top Customer Reviews
The book is of biographical reflection, of Mr. Anders' birth and life in Latvia and subsequent exile and emigration to the United States. It highlights a frank and frontal discourse regarding the murder of Jews in Latvia during the second world war and the author's subsequent efforts to not only memorialize those lost but bring their murderers to justice. Truly commendable work.
Though the historical overview was revealing, it lacked the visceral grasp that living "amidst" misses and that only an upbringing and immersion in true Latvian ethnic culture can provide.
The Latvian historical record is replete with self preservation against invaders seeking her warm water ports. From Viking raids to Teutonic Knights to Napoleon to Germans, Russians, Poles and even Swedes. All subjected Latvians to centuries of cultural and territorial subjugation under the thumbs of succeeding overlords. Jewish inhabitants since the late middle ages, due to their God given talents and abilities in artisanship, merchantilism and finance thrived and often rose to prominence among the ruling class. What was salient to Latvia's serfs was not their overlord's ethnicity nor religion but rather the slave-like treatment the locals were being subjected to. The vestiges of such abuse at the hand of Mr. Ander's own family even as late as the second world war confused and troubled the author.
Spurred by the class struggles of others in their midst as France and Russia, the Latvian commoners threw off the yoke of their subjugation and declared independence during the first world war.Read more ›
How many of you even know that the Second world war ended only around 1990s when Germany got united again (at the time Germany signed the peace treaty it did not have the same political status when it declared the war). I hope the humankind will wise up soon and stop cultivating stereotypes and lies that have been around for far too long. Mr. Anders has given a great contribution to intelligent assessment and in-depth understanding of this unpleasant subject. "Crimes are committed by individuals not by nations". Let it be heard!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Remarkable memoir with amazing detail of author's personal experience along with his insightful perspective.
Well worth reading.
Previously I read and reviewed three books on the Holocaust in Latvia including one by Bernhard Press ("The Murder of the Jews in Latvia") that described "Press'... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Edward M. Janes
A brilliant scientist wrote an honest and truthful account of his personal experiences and events during the WWII and his own life story. Read morePublished 15 months ago by msnordy
Easy-to-read, very interesting, very informative, well-documented, objective and an affordable read by an intelligent author with significant real-life experiences. Read morePublished on May 28, 2013 by email@example.com