"Redlich (Ben-Gurion Univ.) wears several hats: he is a Holocaust survivor, a historian, and a sentimental returnee to his childhood hometown, Brzezany. He endeavors to meld a strand of idyllic memory of life in a multicultural town where Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians lived side by side with the nightmare that the Germans brought to his community. Since the author was only five years old when WW II began, he relied mostly on the historian in his persona to reconstruct the story of his and the town's travails. The narrative is basically chronological, beginning with the Soviet occupation of Brzezany and ending with the Red Army's return in 1944. The book's core is about the Holocaust, how the town's Jews were killed, and how part of Redlich's family managed to survive with the help of local Ukrainians. Each chapter is introduced, before the historian takes over, by the child's memories in italics. Redlich tells his tale without bitterness or stereotyping any of the people with whom he grew up. Well footnoted, the book is recommended for all college and public libraries." —A. Ezergailis, Ithaca College, 2002dec CHOICE.
(A. Ezergailis, Ithaca College, 2002dec CHOICE.)
About the Author
Shimon Redlich, born in Poland and a survivor of the Holocaust, is an internationally distinguished specialist on the history of the Jews in Eastern Europe. He holds degrees from Hebrew University, Harvard University, and New York University. Redlich holds the Solly Yellin Chair in Lithuanian and East European Jewry and lectures on modern European history at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. His publications include War, Holocaust and Stalinism: A Documented History of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in the USSR and Propaganda and Nationalism in Wartime Russia.