Item description for Last Letters From The Shoah by Zwi Bachrach...
Co-published with Yad Vashem, Israel's largest Holocaust Museum, Devora Publishing releases LAST LETTERS FROM THE SHOAH. This collection of letters, the last communications received by remaining members of the family from those who perished in the Nazi death camps, were found in a variety of sites and hoarded by friends and family members for over sixty years until they were collected at Yad Vashem. They were sent from ghettos just before their liquidations, found hidden in the cattle cars that carried their authors to their death, found in train stations, and smuggled out of the concentration camps. Some were notes found scrawled on factory walls. They were sent with only the vaguest hope that they would somehow reach their intended recipients.
These letters express a range of emotion from calling for outright revenge, to the concern for the welfare of their families, and the desire that they continue their faith and not forget what had happened. The writers also describe the atrocities they are witnessing and their disbelief at the apparent ease with which their captors are able to commit these acts. Included is a geographical index of where the letters were found and/or sent from.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Last Letters From The Shoah?
Intensely Personal Letters from Jewish people in Nazi Europe Aug 4, 2008
What an intense book! You will never read letters that are more heartbreaking. This is a collection of last letters and thoughts from Jewish people in the middle of Nazi Europe. Some of them wrote these letters while being driven by train to the concentration camps. Others were written right from the death camps. They come from bereaved fathers who are passing on the sad news of the loss of their children, wives who have lost husbands, and others who have been savagely victimized by the Nazis.
Some of the letters call for revenge against the murderers. Some hope for a better life in the future. Some letters reflect a trust in God. Others are graphic eyewitness reports of Nazi crimes.
The petty problems of this life pale in comparison to what the Jewish people had to endure during these perilous times.
Many of the letters had mundane bits of information ("How are you doing? How is your brother? Why don't you write me a little more often?") Many of the letters also said things like ("Words cannot describe the terrible things I have seen"). And after some horrifying descriptions, some of the letters say "This is only 1/100th of how bad it truly is."
I was especially touched by the well written letter indicting the nations of the earth for not lifting a finger to help while this holocaust was going on. I myself look forward to a better day when we will truly begin to love our neighbor as ourselves.
A book it is impossible to properly review Jun 16, 2006
How can one review a book like this? How can one say anything? Just one small letter a few words is enough to break the heart. Innocent people , loving people, members of families, people suddenly thrust into Hell from their everyday lives, people going through incredible sufferings, people on the edge of starvation on the edge of madness- people in the most impossible situations in the world send their last words, often without knowing that they will be their last words, sometimes believing that in fact they are soon about to be saved. The horror and pain expressed in these letters is impossible to really grasp or describe. Anyone who wishes to think deeply about human nature and the human situation must read this book. The worse things of all can happen to the most innocent of people. There are people in the world at times even a whole nation which can turn to absolute cruelty and evil. There is so much suffering in the world . Yad Vashem, Zvi Bachrach are to be commended for bringing these letters to the world. G-d of Israel , how can You have let this happen? G-d of Israel, forgive me for my words. Please redeem and save and give a new life and world to every person lost in this world, before their lives could be fully lived.
First and Foremost...Letters to Remember Mar 29, 2006
This book is intense on so many levels. The Letters, thrown from trains, written on walls, secreted out of the very concentration camps they were written in, words written in haste, just before extermination, documents the emotions of Holocaust victims, and describes the atrocities they have witnessed, and are about to succumb to, themselves.
Many of the victims ask for revenge, many seek some form of peace knowing they are about to die, and others, ask for forgiveness from the intended addressees of the letters, still others, try to ease the minds of the persons they are writing to, letting them know that they (the authors of the letters), are facing their ultimate death in peace.
Each and every line, each and every word, is a stark and poignant reminder of the fate of the individuals, who wrote the letters, often written on bits, pieces, and scraps of paper.
This book will ever be a treasured volume on my book shelf, first and foremost...a volume of letters and poignant and hand-written reminder of the Holocaust, from the pens of Witnesses.