A selection of new titles related to the Holocaust, published in the UK and US in August 2020.
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Hanna, I Forgot to Tell You by Estelle Glaser Laughlin
From the publisher, Texas Tech Press:
Hanna, I Forgot to Tell You is a historical novel written by Estelle Laughlin, a Holocaust survivor. Laughlin grew up in Warsaw before she was deported to multiple Nazi death camps, from which she was eventually liberated in January 1945. Hanna, I Forgot to Tell You is an imagining of what might have been. The book tells the story of Malka, a teenaged Jewish girl in the Warsaw ghetto who is smuggled to the Christian neighborhood and given a new identity. The novel highlights a historically accurate Holocaust narrative not frequently told: that a small number Jewish children were smuggled into Christian families in neighborhoods that immediately abutted the confined ghetto. Laughlin’s novel describes the harrowing process of trying to obtain false identity papers and secreting away through an underworld of smugglers and black marketeers. Malka learns to navigate this world while some family and friends find ways to trade for extra food and others disappear and are never heard from again. A beautiful and solemn story of survival, Hanna, I Forgot to Tell You counts the costs for those who made it to the other side of an impossibly dark moment of history.
The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
From the publishers, Pan Macmillan Australia:
Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed on 9 November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp.
Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on the Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country.
Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’.
Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.
Survivors: Children’s Lives After the Holocaust by Rebecca Clifford
From the publisher, Yale University Press:
Told for the first time from their perspective, the story of children who survived the chaos and trauma of the Holocaust
How can we make sense of our lives when we do not know where we come from? This was a pressing question for the youngest survivors of the Holocaust, whose prewar memories were vague or nonexistent. In this beautifully written account, Rebecca Clifford follows the lives of one hundred Jewish children out of the ruins of conflict through their adulthood and into old age.
Drawing on archives and interviews, Clifford charts the experiences of these child survivors and those who cared for them-as well as those who studied them, such as Anna Freud. Survivors explores the aftermath of the Holocaust in the long term, and reveals how these children-often branded “the lucky ones”-had to struggle to be able to call themselves “survivors” at all. Challenging our assumptions about trauma, Clifford’s powerful and surprising narrative helps us understand what it was like living after, and living with, childhoods marked by rupture and loss.
Marc Chagall: The Artist as Peacemaker by Fred Dallmayr
From the publisher, Taylor and Francis:
This book follows Chagall’s life through his art and his understanding of the role of the artist as a political being. It takes the reader through the different milieus of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – including the World Wars and the Holocaust – to present a unique understanding of Chagall’s artistic vision of peace in an age of extremes. At a time when all identities are being subsumed into a “national” identity, this book makes the case for a larger understanding of art as a way of transcending materiality. The volume explores how Platonic notions of truth, goodness, and beauty are linked and mutually illuminating in Chagall’s work. A “spiritual-humanist” interpretation of his life and work renders Chagall’s opus more transparent and accessible to the general reader.
If you are publishing a book on the Holocaust or related topics and would like to suggest its inclusion in future New Books roundups, please get in touch via the contact page.
Inclusion of titles on this list does not represent endorsement of their contents.