Item description for Emil & Karl: Library Edition by Humphrey Bower Yankev Glatshteyn...
This is a unique work. It is one of the first books written for young readers describing the early days of the event that has since come to be known as the Holocaust. Originally written in Yiddish in 1938, it isone of the most accomplished works of children's literature in this language. It is also the only book for young readers by Glatshteyn, a major American Yiddish poet, novelist, and essayist.
Written in the form of a suspense novel, Emil and Karl draws readers into the dilemmas faced by two young boys--one Jewish, the other not--when they suddenly find themselves without families or homes in Vienna on the eve of World War II. Because the book was written before World War II, and before the full revelations of the Third Reich's persecution of Jews and other civilians, it offers a fascinating look at life during this period and the moral challenges people faced under Nazism. It is also a taut, gripping, page-turner of the first order.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.92" Width: 6.31" Height: 0.95" Weight: 0.51 lbs.
Release Date Jan 30, 2008
Publisher Bolinda Publishing
ISBN 1921334614 ISBN13 9781921334610
Reviews - What do customers think about Emil & Karl: Library Edition?
Why Did it NOT make a BIGGER difference in 1940?? Aug 20, 2008
This book was written right before WWII broke out in Vienna in 1940. It was written in Yiddish and it's primary target was Jewish children in the USA to let them know what fellow children in Europe were experiencing.
The book is very moving to me as an adult one of the best I have read. Reading this as a child in 1940 and telling my parents about it I'd think it would have caused a bigger outpouring of crys to help the Jews escape. I know the USA suffered huge losses in WWII but I've not heard of groups of children trying to help the children in Europe.
The Diary of Anne Frank is a household word, I think this book should be also. Karl and Emil are not real people but they portray what was happening to real people at the time. It was written when it was happening and not decades later.
It just saddens my heart that so many were lost. I was not alive during WWII so I don't know what I would have done. I hope I would have Begged to have one of there children come live with me. But that is easy to say now I know. Do not get me wrong..I 100% respect those who fought and won the war for us, I am grateful to all the troops now also.
At any rate this is a must read for all 9+yr olds. I at 52 was greatly moved. This is a classic and I am glad it got translated into English.
Astounding Book Oct 20, 2007
The first thing to bear in mind about this book is that it was published in Yiddish in 1940 based on the first hand accounts by Mr. Glatshteyn from a visit to Vienna in 1934. That means this book wasn't researched... it was WITNESSED. To me, that makes "Emil and Karl" as poignant and as real as Anne Frank's Diary.
But this is not a Holocaust tale. This book stands out for me as a cautionary tale for ALL ages during ANY time in history as a succinct exploraration of how a nationwide mob mentality can engulf an entire society and eventually result in a Holocaust.
But I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that the book succeeds not only in its coverage of such an intense subject, but how it does so with such fine writing. The characters of Emil and Karl are designed with great care and sensitivity to a boy's mentality, and their friendship is truly palpable. Even the many incidental characters such as an old man ordered to clean the sidewalk help to create the tangible environment of a Vienna on the brink of catastrophic madness.
Teachers looking to create a curriculum using firsthand accounts of the Holocaust for young adults might want to consider "Emil and Karl" as the FIRST book for their reading list. Then, move on to "The Diary of Anne Frank" and conclude with Anita Lobel's autobiography "No Pretty Pictures", which also stands out for me as a book partly dedicated to surviving the aftermath of the Holocaust.
A 2007 Association of Jewish Libraries Notable Book for Older Readers Jan 28, 2007
In 1940 Vienna, Austria, prior to the start of World War II, Karl, who is not Jewish, has just witnessed his mother - a Socialist - being beaten and taken away from his apartment by Nazi thugs. Alone, he must decide what to do. His first thought is to go to his friend Emil's house.
Emil is Jewish. His father was taken away and murdered by another group of Nazi's. They cremated him and sent the ashes back to the house. The funeral has just taken place and Emil's mother is sitting shiva. When Karl arives, they decide to stay together forever.
Their experiences describe the sense of terror and horror the people of Austria - Jews and non-Jews - felt when the Nazi's took over their country. Emil and Karl encounter people of all types: the good who work to save people and end the occupation; the bad who force people to do terrible things like scrubbing the streets with their bare hands; and the indifferent who stand by and watch as all of this takes place.
This is an excellent book to begin discussing how people reacted when the Nazis came to power. Why did people stay and not leave? Why did some people join the heckling, shouting, evil crowds? Why did others decide to stay and fight from within, saving as many people as they could? While today we know the tragic consequences of the Nazis, this book allows us to enter into a world prior to the war and imagine what we ourselves would have done under similar circumstances. Highly recommended! REVIEWD BY KATHY BLOOMFIELD (NEWTON, MA)
EMIL AND KARL Oct 3, 2006
This gripping and unusual novel is set in Vienna on the eve of World War II. It is a beautifully written and compelling story of Jewish life in Austria turned on its head after the German invasion. Two nine-year old boys who are classmates and best friends -- Emil is Jewish and Karl is not -- fight to escape the Germans and to survive the war together. Their respective parents are either dead or have been taken away in a violent fashion. In their attempt to survive, they see a world where Jews are regarded as inferior people. They are initially helped by their neighbors, who are both good Austrians and good people. They are then put in touch with and protected by members of the Resistance. Written in Yiddish in 1939 in New York, it is a unique book in that the story it is telling was written as the events were unfolding. The translator believes that it is one of the first books, in any language, for young readers about a period that would eventually be called the Holocaust. The Anschluss in 1938 was the beginning of the persecution and deportation of Jews in Austria. This is a particularly haunting story to read now, as we read with the benefit of hindsight. For ages 10 and up. Reviewed by Shelley Feit