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Flares of Memory: Stories of Childhood During the Holocaust Hardcover – May 24, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195138716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195138719
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.3 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,519,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The dozens of vignettes in Flares of Memory: Stories of Childhood During the Holocaust provide personal perspective on one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century. Editors Anita Brostoff and Sheila Chamovitz solicited written testimony from Holocaust survivors, which were developed and sharpened during writing workshops at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. Each story is about a single event, situation, or person--hence the title's "flares" of memory. The stories come from most of the European countries occupied by the Nazis and are grouped thematically. Section headings include "The Lottery of Death and Life," exploring the randomness of survival; and "Disguise as a Way of Hiding," in which several writers reflect on the experience of pretending to be Christian in order to survive. The end of the book collects the testimony of several former American G.I.'s who helped liberate the concentration camps. In her preface to the book, documentary filmmaker Sheila Chamovitz notes that contributors to this volume wrote for reasons that we have heard before, but which remain powerful no matter how often they are repeated. "They wrote so that the Holocaust would be remembered, so their loved ones would be remembered, and so that no one could say it didn't happen." --Michael Joseph Gross

From Publishers Weekly

Ranging from snapshots of pre-Holocaust life to survival in disguise and portraits of "the virtuous and the vicious," 92 vignettes by Holocaust survivors who participated in writing workshops at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh are gathered in Flares of Memory: Stories of Childhood During the Holocaust, edited by Anita Brostoff, a retired Carnegie-Mellon University professor, with Sheila Chamovitz, a filmmaker. In "The Last Hiding Place," Libby Stern recounts watching from her home as German troops surrendered to the Russian Army. Hermine Markovitz tells of being saved by nuns in "The Convent in Marseille." A final section collects stories by American liberators.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Puts together a series of vignettes gathered at a writers workshop at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh, of Holocaust survivors who were children or young people when the vents took place.
Highly memorable, touching and at parts harrowing.
Sections on Jewish life before the Holocaust, where witnesses remember their lives in Europe before the Nazi inferno. For example, Marga Randall recalls the wonderful large garden of her childhood home in Schermbeck, Germany, the town which she visited against decades later.
Dora Zueg Iwler recalls how on their final parting her father said "Before I die I would like to see the blue and white Jewish flag". It was her father's dying wish that motivated her to work for the State of Israel making his dream come true in a small way.
The Destruction Of A Society focuses on the brutality of Kristallnacht and the destruction of Jewish life in Germany. Ruthlessness As A system examines the genocide by the Einsatzgruppen and the horrors oft he death camps. Survivors relate what they witnessed and how they survived. The very uncertainty and seeming small chance of whether one would survive is captured in The Lottery of Death And Life. Disguise As A Way of hiding relates how Jewish children and teenagers hid from the Nazi killing machine, often disguised as Christians while The Virtuous and the Vicious deals with the heroic gentiles who risked everything to help Jews to survive, as well as those evildoers who turned Jews in or helped the Nazis in their genocide.
Other chapters examine other aspects.
Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Beth Marangoni on October 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had to read this book for a class, I am a senior at college. I attend school around the PIttsburgh area, so I am proud to know that this is from here. There is a story Robert Mendler who is a great speaker. he spoke to my class a few weeks ago. It is good to know that the stories are being written down so generations to come will know what happened and how people survived.
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Format: Paperback
I think it should be said that most of the contributors to this book were in their mid to late teens during the Holocaust, and several were in their twenties. So they were not little children like the title implies. A more accurate title would be "Stories of Young People During the Holocaust."

That said, this is an excellent selection of short pieces spotlighting the Holocaust at different times and in different parts of Europe. The accounts cover everything from pre-Holocaust days up until readjusting to normal life following the liberation, and they include many European countries including Lithuania, Belgium, Greece, Italy and more, not just the usual Germany and Poland.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christine N. Ethier on October 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a collection of memory written by people who were very young during the Holocaust. Brostoff also included testimony of those who particapted in the liberation. The essays focus mostly on Eastern Europe and cover a range of experience. For some of the essays the writing isn't polished, but it is worth reading simply for the wealth of experience represented here.

It should be noted, however, that a guide or a reference to indicate when a narrative continues should have been used.
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