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Speak You Also: A Holocaust Memoir Hardcover – October 12, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0805060645 ISBN-10: 0805060642 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books; 1st edition (October 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805060642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805060645
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In If This Is a Man, Primo Levi describes Henri, a fellow inmate at Auschwitz, as a strategist of survival: flattering, stealing and endlessly manipulating the kapos and other prisoners for his own survival. Levi's empathy is challenged as Henri instills in Levi "a slight sense of defeat" and the fear that Levi has been "not a man to him, but an instrument in his hands." Now, 40 years later, SteinbergDthe "Henri" of Levi's bookDhas written his own memoir, which is both an answer to the other man's work and an explanation of his life and actions. Written in spare, highly unsentimental prose not unlike Levi's, balancing stark, horrific descriptions of life in the camps with self-critical meditations on the very purpose of writing such a memoir, Steinberg's book stands as a shocking rejoinder to Levi. Detailing his arrestDhe was a brilliant 16-year-old student in France when he was deported to AuschwitzDand his life at the camp, Steinberg describes himself as crossing the "gulf that separates adolescence... and adulthood" by deciding to "become a player in the game": "that cold and calculating creature singled out by Levi." Unrelenting in his descriptions of his plans for survivalDbefriending and sharing choice food with a brutal camp kapo, using violence against an elderly Jewish inmate to reinforce Steinberg's own position of security, and lying about being JewishDthe author is unapologetic for how he survived. With brutal honesty and frightening self-examination, Steinberg dissects himself and forces readers to reexamine what morality means in the face of unremitting horror.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In 1943, the Berlin-born Steinberg was deported to Auschwitz. There, he worked beside Primo Levi in the camp laboratory, enduring disease and evading death time and time againDsometimes by ruthless means. The only member of his family to survive the camps, Steinberg purposely wrote this book 50 years later so that time might help ease the pain of his memories, but he realized that he still struggled with the way the camps had affected him. This guilt of surviving stayed with him up to his death in 1999. While many Holocaust books confine themselves to that time period, Steinberg's reflection on how Auschwitz changed the rest of his life makes this a valuable work. Steinberg's writing is also extremely moving in its poetic simplicity. Recommended for all public libraries and Holocaust collections, as well as for fans of Primo Levi, who wrote about Steinberg.DJill Jaracz, MLIS, Chicago
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jason P. on November 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this great first-hand account of living through the Holocaust in Nazi death camps, by Paul Steinberg. What separates this text is that it seems less caught up with providing the reader with every single detail of daily life and more focused with the author's personal struggle, the friendships gained and forgotten, the death camp's social hieracrchies, and of course, his incredible task of survival. Paul Steinberg admits that he was an atypical Jew, uninvolved with Jewish ways and traditions, and he wonders why he survived and others perished; Jews that were more religious, possessed more wisdom, strength, etc. Truly, Steinberg's ordeal is almost unbelievable. He was able to do what he had to in order to survive. This book is great if you want to gain a good understanding of these historical events, a different time period in life, and the human struggle, all through the eyes of this remarkable man. He is honest and sincere, and holds nothing back.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Quigg VINE VOICE on April 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I haven't heard of Paul Steinberg before I read this book. The book is a gem and recollects the life of a camp inmate trying to survive the war. Steinberg was one of those people who helped
the inmate leadership run the killing camps. He was a chemist in one of the IB Farben complexes. His short but powerful story shows how stronger people were consumed, while a flexible youngster survived the camps by doing what he had to do to stay alive.
This should be required reading for those people who deny that the Holocaust happened. It is also a reminder that the general population should always remember these events. Steinberg found this book hard to write, but it was easy to read and conveyed a powerful perspective.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice A. DeAngelis on January 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Speak You Also tells an empowering story of struggle and determination without showing the slightest trace of self-pity. Steinberg's novel was so moving, because he did not feel bad for everything he endured, but instead focused on the theme of what made him survive in contrast to the concept of death. From the point of view of someone who never witnessed the Holocaust, the memoir perfectly illustrates the life lessons that have come from those who endured it. One example would be the constant question of morality, which Steinberg comments "You do good when you can and when you happen to feel like it. In all other cases, you do evil, if you have even the slightest scrap of power". The author captures the emotions of himself and those around him. He is able to bring back all these horrifying memories to share with the reader so his story is never forgotten. This novel is by far a must read for people of all ages and backgrounds. Speak You Also is Steinberg's time to speak out about the horrors he witnessed during his days in Auschwitz as well as to reflect back on many unanswered questions in this extremely heart-filled and brutally honest account of the Holocaust.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By charles tunis on March 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
extraordinary recounting of months in a concentration camp; this book can easily rival Elie Wiesel's 'Night' for its look into this era, and the author's extraordinary gift with a pen is impressive...
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Costello on October 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Product was needed early in the shipping date period and arrived on the first day available; also in good condition
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