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Anton the Dove Fancier: Anton the Dove Fancier Paperback – August 1, 1990


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hours before she was deported to the concentration camp where she was murdered, the author's mother begged him to survive "to tell the world what the Nazis did to us." With his simple, affecting memoir, the former Newsweek photographer who grew up in Radom, Poland, summons up faces from the grave. When impoverished peasants steal his pious grandmother's table in those innocent days before the war, she gifts the apprehended thieves with food--and the table; years later, the Nazis shoot and kill her as she recovers from a stroke in the ghetto hospital. Sexually assaulted, the milk woman's teenage daughter, Masha, becomes a deaf-mute, and a physician, a rabbi and a witch doctor fail to cure her; forced to clean the ghetto of the dead after a deportation, Gotfryd discovers Masha's corpse in the rubble. Those who perish also include Gotfryd's father, who tries to pass a forbidden egg to his son in a labor camp; the father gets a beating and the egg falls wasted to the ground; a beautiful gentile activist in the Polish underground who captures Gotfryd's heart as she endangers his life; and his brother's friend Leon, who is crushed when he learns that his favorite cousin is a prostitute for SS guards and kapos. A meaningful, earnest addition to Holocaust literature. Portions appeared previously in Midstream .
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- This remarkable collection of true stories gathered from the anguished memory of the author's years as a Jewish youth in wartime Poland offers a painful array of memorials. Gotfryd's extraordinary experiences span a spectrum of individuals from Resistance fighters and SS sympathizers to the inevitable children and families to whom he dedicates his book. This collection is noteworthy for its clear, uncluttered writing style that allows the poignancy of the individuals' own stories to assault readers page after page.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; First Paperback Edition edition (August 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671691376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671691370
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,660,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Henriquez Lyon VINE VOICE on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Anton the Dove Fancier is a collection of autobiographical short stories about a teenage Jewish boy in Poland during World War II. The stories are so well linked together that the book reads like a novel. In it we discover the Nazi occupation and the death camps through the eyes of an adolescent, which gives this book a different slant compared to much Holocaust literature.
The author, Bernard Gotfryd, shows himself to be a keen observer of people, as well as of the small, humble details of everyday life. He has the gift of being able to illuminate those details, so that they take on a transcendant beauty. We see a world--one which others might find dull and ordinary--through the consciousness of a mind which is itself radiant. Thus, the stories do not only address the horrors of the nazi occupation and the camps; those horrors are set against a backdrop of everyday life and people, the memories of which are interspersed throughout the book. This gives it a chiaroscuro quality which I find to be rare in literature, and through the play of light and shadow the author creates an ambiguous, complex world. This ambiguity is another way in which the book differs from much Holocaust literature. Many of the characters themselves are ambiguous, and after reading about them we find ourselves asking, "Was he good, or bad?" The answer is yes.....
This book indirectly leads the reader to ponder the issues of suffering and healing. Despite the optimistic teachings of the growth psychology movement, there are wounds which are too traumatic to fully heal. Growth psychology would have us believe that without integration, and psychological "functionality," we cannot realize our full potential.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Slazz on August 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Why is Anton The Dove Fancier out of print? It is an extraordinary collection of true stories that ought not be buried away. This book illustrates that human behavior is, simultaneously, both the most fascinating and disturbing form of contemplation. Anton The Dove Fancier is well worth any effort it takes to track down. Buried treasure indeed - it is profound, intensely moving, raw in its simplicity. Humanity and its many layers are exposed without judgement. Quite a trick, and something afforded only to the calm, quiet truth tellers. Such as Bernard Gotfryd. Find this priceless gem... and hold on to it. Tight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Yoder on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book in DC Jail in chapters my mother xeroxed and sent. I remembered it when she mentioned it at DC's National Shrine, where we were having breakfast. Now I am thinking of giving it to my 70-year-old, profoundly yet peacefully religious friend Bill MacKaye. In this book, Gotfryd rescues the humanity he saw brutalized and destroyed. I've read several Holocaust books and the horror is unspeakable, and it is in this book too, but Gotfryd recovers the crucified grace. It's a great gift to humanity and a life-changing read.
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You have to be in the right frame of mind to read this book. I didn't read it in one sitting but over a period of time. Some people will love it and others not. It is nicely written but sometimes hard to read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Knigochei on April 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book. Its simple, precise style and its focus on detail of everyday life convey the horrors, which are mostly left out of the narrative but which hover above and beyond it, so that the effect is as unsettling as anything one is bound to read on the H. This book should be reissued so that it can reach many more readers.
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