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Treblinka Paperback – April 1, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (April 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452011248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452011243
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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Customer Reviews

I had read this book years ago and still have my original copy.
R. Braden
Among the most moving books in a genre that lacks little in terms of emotional accounts.
An ethical American
And yet he takes pains to describe acts of heroism one can hardly imagine.
J. Easter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 90 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have a morbid facsination with the Holocaust and Holocaust literature so I picked up Treblinka. I was not prepared for what was in it, how it would make me feel. I couldn't put it down. For two days I lived and breathed Treblinka, for two days I was beaten, starved, tortured, I saw my family gassed, I saw my fellow inmates hang themselves because death was better than this hell on earth. For two days I was an inmate of Treblinka because Jean-Francois Steiner put me there. Treblinka is quite possibly the most important piece of Holocaust literature ever written. It is non-fiction but it reads like a novel. It told me more about the death camps and Nazi regime than all of the books I have read combined. The most amazing thing about Treblinka though was the psychology behind it all. It gave answer to my question: Why did they not revolt before this? Why did they simply allow themselves to be led to death? On the third day I rose from the bottom of the abyss, I revolted, I left Treblinka along with 700 Jews, survivors of hell. I left but I didn't escape, no one escapes Treblinka. Like how Treblinka will always hold it's prisoners, Treblinka will always hold it's readers in it's mental grasp.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By J. Easter on August 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A chance meeting with a university professor in NY years ago caused me to ask the question of what was it really, really like to exist in a place of complete insanity; where you were placed at risk of death at every moment, where every act, every gesture could be your last. What sort of social structure could possibly evolve in such indescrible conditions where inmate sometimes turned on inmate for a crust of bread. And yet in this dark chaos an order did evolve. The inmates organized themselves to such an extent that they ultimately rose up in rebellion, overpowering their opressors and a small number actually escaped.
I have read numerous books on the Holocaust but none of those prepared me for Steiner's superb work. Many of the works I've read concerned Auschwitz. Frankly, I never focused on Treblinka. As there is a relatively large number of Auschwitz survivors, I suspect scholars tend to focus on them. As far as Treblinka survivors go... there were only 75. Steiner's descriptions are so overwhelming; his imagery so clear and lucid that you can see in your own mind, the acts of brutality and barbarism, as well as small acts of kindness as if you are actually there. I found myself cringing at the blows of the clubs and the slash of the whips. And yet he takes pains to describe acts of heroism one can hardly imagine. You see how exposure to this inhumanity affects the inmates. Some degenerate while others work at mostly futile individual escape attempts in order to warn the remaining Jews of what ultimately lies in wait at the railhead at Treblinka Station.
This is strong stuff and is not for everyone.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
Treblinka is an incredible recreation of the human elements of the Holocaust. It portrays real, historical people who as innocent victims and against all odds, not only stayed alive but were able to organize a suicidal uprising, with the sole objective being the successful escape and survival of just One human being, in order to bear witness and testify to the hell and death of the infamous Treblinka. As a historian of the Holocaust I'm certain that this is the most important literary piece that one could find. This book will shock and infuriate you, but ultimately you will find it to be about hope and life. It is a must read for anyone who wants to be an additional witness to the most horrific chapter in the history of our world! This is one of those rare treasures that is truly capable of positively influencing one's life!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I was required to read Treblinka by Proffesor Schonfeld at the University of California at Irvine. I have read a lot of literature on the Holocaust and yet am always amazed by it. This book takes it a step farther in understanding the meticuous perfection the Germans sought in exterminating a whole race of people. It is a book of triamph, but also shows in great detail how the German intentions could never be fulfilled because of a driving natural force within all of mankind to continue living. Not to live as individuals, but to fight in order to continue a whole lineage of people. It is beautifuly written and extremelly enlightening. I Thank Professor Schonfeld for requiring it, and you will thank me for reccomending it. Tricia Taft
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Maximillian Ben Hanan on December 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Treblinka" is a powerful novel and a story of things that the Nazis wanted the world to never know. The novel spares nothing in the telling: every gruesome beating, coldhearted murder, inhuman cruelty is captured in shocking detail. I wanted to shed tears as I read this novel. There were so many poignant moments that made me breathless and contemplative of such a world.
However, in the face of the Holocaust (Shoah) the real treasure are how these human slaves kept their humanity... making jokes in the face of genocide. One might think that it would be impossible to laugh when people are being thrown into ovens and turned into consumer goods for the Third Reich (human hair for pillows, rendering people into soap, some things even worse), but the downtrodden victims of Treblinka never gave up. They kept faith in life and living life (not just surviving) in the face of the most horrible death.
I read about some of the humor of these condemned and it is a miracle in and of itself (Pg.238 "Treblinka," 1967 Simon and Shuster Hardcover Edition):
------------
"Earlier, at the end of the ghetto period, when the best will in the world it had become impossible to preserve the slightest hope, some Jews had taken refuge in humor. The essential metaphysical question had become: "Do you believe in life after the trains?" The standard consolation to friends to whom you had to leave and whose sadness could be read on their faces had become, ""Come on, cheer up, old man, we'll meet again some day in a better world - in a shop window as soap." If the friend was in the know, he was supposed to reply, "Yes, but while from my fat they'll make toilet soap, you'll be a bar of cheap laundry soap."
"To understand this humor is to understand the infinite love of life of the Jews.
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