From Publishers Weekly
"Revenge! Revenge! Take Revenge!" Those were the last words Isak Saleschutz cried after being shot by Nazis in 1942. The youngest of his nine children, Salsitz took his father's words to heart. For a Jewish boy in war-torn Poland, simply staying alive was a form of revenge. Salsitz spent most of the war hiding in the woods, often with an older brother, and cheating death more than once. Passing as Catholic after the war, he achieved a high rank in the national security force, from which he was able to secretly help fellow Jews-another form of revenge, against virulent Polish anti-Semitism. Even after settling in the United States, Salsitz continued to heed his father's words. Sixty years after the war's end, Salsitz's animosity toward those who killed his family and destroyed the world he knew for the first 17 years of his life is potent. But anger makes only occasional-though memorable-appearances in this, his fourth memoir (after A Jewish Boyhood in Poland). What makes these vignettes worth reading is the sense of place Salsitz and Rutgers professor emeritus Kaish evoke, the matter-of-fact tone in which they describe the horrors Salsitz lived through, and the way the characters seem to spring off the pages. The Nazis and compliant Poles might have destroyed the physical reminders of Salsitz's youth, but here he brings them back to life. 54 photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book is divided into four parts: "Vignettes of Jewish Life"; "The War--Tales of Life, Death, Hope, and Despair"; "Surviving the Holocaust"; and "Getting a Foothold in the Golden Land." Salsitz, author of A Jewish Boyhood in Poland
(1992), was born in 1920 in Galicia, Poland, and he begins with descriptions of his ultra-Orthodox family (including his five sisters and three brothers) and life in the shtetl (from humorous events to pogroms). In 100 stories that can be read independently of each other, Salsitz also recounts his work as a photographer in Kolbuszowa; his struggle to survive during the Holocaust and the many non-Jews that helped him; life after World War II when, as an officer in the Polish army, he posed as a Catholic; and, finally, settling in the U. S. The book, with 60 black-and-white photographs, is the latest in Syracuse University Press' Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust series. It is a penetrating account of human resilience and courage. George CohenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved