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Treblinka Paperback – April 1, 1994
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Original Language: French
About the Author
French Existentialist philosopher, novelist, essayist, editor, and groundbreaking feminist Simone De Beauvoir was born in Paris, where she lived most of her life. She was the author of the feminist classic The Second Sex, several volumes of autobiography, and highly acclaimed novels, including The Mandarins, winner of the Prix Goncourt.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tersely written and detailed description of the evolution of the revolt at Treblinka, the book spares no emotions. Read morePublished 2 months ago by I.K.
My granddaughter is studying the Holocaust in school, so I bought this book for her. I've read it before and know it to be revealing and accurate.Published 2 months ago by acaciababy
I first read this book 25 years ago during the first year of my Holocaust studies. I came away with the same impressions that many of the reviewers who gave this book five stars... Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. Norton
Difficult and moving, an incredible work. The amazing thing about the book is you learn the psychology behind it all. Have you ever wondered, Why did they not revolt before this? Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I WAS ALWAYS OBSESSED BY THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS EVER SINCE WE SAW FILMS IN 9TH GRADE HISTORY....JUST HORRIBLE HOW THEY HAD TO ENDURE ALL THE PUNISHMENT ......Published 16 months ago by gloria
It's awfully difficult to say that one "loves" a book about this particular subject, so may I say, instead, that I admire it tremendously. Read morePublished 19 months ago by CoolGramma613
Amazing story of turmoil and torment, I felt the book lacked a German narrative, an after story, and started slowly but I was enthralled by the end. Read morePublished 21 months ago by nate357159