MARKING HUMANITY: STORIES, POEMS, & ESSAYS BY HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS
Edited by Shlomit Kriger
Soul Inscriptions Press 2010, $27.99, 312 pages (softcover)
By Hannah M. Heller
Special to the Jewish Times
Remembering the destruction of the Holocaust is essential as we confront an increase in anti-Semitism, terrorism and threats to Israel’s survival. This book is a collection of writings from 46 survivors, from various countries in Europe and immigrating to many different parts of the world after World War II. Each featured survivor has a different story to share; all were impacted by the cruelty of the Nazi reign of terror in Europe from 1933-1945.
Each entry features a photo and short biography of the survivor, followed by one or two selections of their writings, including narratives, poems and short stories. I was fascinated by their courage, strength and ability to survive under the most severe starvation, torture and abuse imaginable. Several of these survivors are volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Many of them speak for different schools and community organizations so that the important message of the Holocaust is not forgotten. This becomes increasingly more important as Holocaust denial is prevalent in so many parts of the world.
Although some of the survivors in this book are no longer alive, their memories live on through their work, the families they started after the Holocaust, and the people who knew them. They have successfully rebuilt their lives in new countries; many of them have become established doctors, lawyers, authors, business leaders, accountants, and admired community leaders.
Their writings are both educational and inspirational. Readers can gain the strength to undertake life’s many challenges as they learn from these amazing individuals who did not give up on survival even when all hope appeared to be lost to them and most or all of their family members had been murdered. Marking Humanity is an enriching addition to any library and appropriate for readers of all backgrounds.