Item description for Love In A World Of Sorrow: A Teenage Girl's Holocaust Memoirs by Fanya Gottesfeld Heller...
Important as both a family history and more broadly, as a contribution to the Holocaust record, this memoir, unflinchingly told more that four decades after it occured, details what can happen in the most extreme and dire of human circumstances. "The unrelenting fear of death and gnawing pain of hunger led to acts of desperation among many who survived; some stole, others lied and schemed. Still others took comfort in intimate relationships that might be considered illicit or misguided in ordinary times. It was not all pure and righteous, but it happened."
Also a story of interfaith compassion, the author and her family were hidden by the efforts of a non-Jewish couple and a sympathetic Ukrainian militiaman at the risk of their own lives. Their developing relationship and the harrowing events that followed lend the book an immediacy and jolt so many years later. Fanya Heller's subtle depiction of her parent's knowledge that it was a non-Jew's love for their daughter that had moved him to hide them; their embarrassment and ultimate acceptance of the situation, leads us to wonder how we would have acted under the same circumstances -- as father, mother, or daughter.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 8.75" Weight: 0.98 lbs.
Release Date Feb 15, 2005
Publisher Devora Publishing
ISBN 1932687173 ISBN13 9781932687170
Availability 1 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 08:18.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Love In A World Of Sorrow: A Teenage Girl's Holocaust Memoirs?
Doesn't seem like the word "Love" should be in the title. Mar 12, 2008
In my opinion this is a poorly titled book. A much better title would be "Using Someone In A World of Sorrow" The story itself is fine. We all need to hear what happened and how it happened. Personally after reading her story. There wasn't much true love that I read into it though.
I can't say I cared for the author too much as a person. I've read many books on the holocaust. She suffered less than most. Basically she would be dead if it weren't for a man named Jan. A man who risked his very life and took more than one beating for her...for years, for her and her families survival. He made sure she didn't suffer as much as the other Jews at that time. He loved her. Maybe the title of the book is in reference to Jan and not the author.
*MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD* Don't read further unless you know what happens PLEASE.
The way she repays this man, is to run away and marry one of her own kind after liberation. You see the man was a Ukrainian , what the Jews referred to as a Goy. No doubt the shame she would experience staying with Jan was worse than anything she had been through. So she let him nail her all those years he hid her, and then left the area after liberation to get away from him. She also blamed him for killing her father shortly after liberation. So the 80% of the population in that area who still hated the Jews didn't touch her father even though he was wanting revenge and talking openly about it. No sir, their savoir, a man who made sure they stayed alive and risked his life for her AND her family...killed her dad. It sounded more like she was a racist and an ungrateful one at that and was looking for excuses to blame her decision on. In the end Jan wound up hanging himself, while she writes a book about her terrible ordeal. Nice hu?
Honestly I don't know what to say. If I saw this lady I'd probably have a few harsh words to say to her. I'd tell her it was terrible what the Germans did to her, but she was terrible in her own way. The book was honest, and the story well told so I'd give it 5 stars and recommend it. The author, as a person, I give 1 star.
a very moving, compelling book Dec 24, 2007
I have read many memoirs on the holocaust and this is one of the best I have read. It is well written and very moving in it's telling. It portrays the emotions and agonies that this young girl went through in the years of trying to survive the holocaust and the war years. It is a story of the triumph of the human will to survive and to move forward with her life. I don't think I will forget it for a long time, if ever. I highly recommend it.
Page turner! Aug 6, 2007
When I first started reading this book it was a little discouraging, so I only gave it 4 stars. It starts off with an introduction of every member of her extended family (I'm talking aunts, uncles, cousins, cousin's cousins and numerous friends), which were hard to keep straight because I wasn't sure how to pronounce the names in the first place. It would have been better if she introduced them as they entered her story. She also used a lot of german words and only defined them once, but continued to use them throught. After the first couple chapters though, this book was a gripping tale and the author made you feel as though you were right there along side her going through her experiences. The part I really loved is that it didn't end quite as you'd expect. If you're interested in stories of Holocaust survivors, I would definitely reccomend this one.
A wonderful gift to readers Jul 11, 2006
"Love in a World of Sorrow" is the best account of the Holocaust I have ever read and, I am sure, will ever read. Its real distinctiveness is the candor, the honesty, the openness, and the reaching out to the reader in sharing thoughts and feelings that are rarely (never?) shared. I felt that I lived a little of the experience with Fanya, albeit in the security of my living room. Her many months behind the chicken coop, her lying down on the pine needles in the forest during the mass killings, and her many intimate conversations with her parents and her rescuers brought a textual reality that is part of the fabric of my own memory forever.
Indeed, I had trouble sleeping last night as I relived Fanya Heller's words. Her memory of those horrific times - which is now a part of me as well - will always be unsettling. "Love in a World of Sorrow" is a rare volume, a story of the day-to-day emotions and feelings of survival, and a gift from an exceptionally talented, loving, and beautiful woman.
A Survivors War for Love and Life Apr 5, 2005
"Love in a World of Sorrow" is Fanya Heller's true story of pain, suffering, death and love set during the hellish days of the Holocaust as her family struggled to survive against Nazi and Ukranian oppression.
The opening line, "They're coming!" like a death sentence announces the onslaught of the Gestapo and Ukranian militia in l942 as they move to stalk, persecute and ultimately annihilate an already desperate and starving family. And so begins Ms. Heller's narrative of the deepening descent into darkness and horror that had already begun. But an unexpected saviour appears to keep the family from certain death. "Be nice to Jan," her father says, "Be nice to him," never imagining the outcome. The forbidden affair between Jan, a member of the Ukranian militia and Fanya a beautiful Jewish seventeen year old girl proves to be the instrument of their survival as the persecutor and the persecuted are drawn inextricably to eachother and to the constant efforts to save her family.
The graphic images of torture, betrayal, rape, inhumanity and suffering are heart wrenching as the family seeks to survive in lice filled hovels and hidings. With the help of Jan and a good man existing in the midst of evil, Fanya struggles to stay alive with unwavering spirit to "live" regardless of the price.
The book is a unique contribution to Holocaust literature. It is a compellling rendering of the crushing effect of Nazi infamy, of painful choices, of unending sorrow, but it is also a strangely uplifting story of the power of the triumphant spirit during a time when a piece of the world had gone mad.
Every year my college students choose this book as their favorite piece of work and Ms. Heller's annual visits to my class as the "most memorable experience" of their academic life. Everything about this book marks it as a stunning choice for academic or personal readings. Ms. Heller has written an inspiring and illuminating account about a time and place in history that cannot be forgotten. -Dr. Sondra Melzer, Professor, Sacred Heart University, Adjunct Professor, University of Connecticut Stamford