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Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust
By Lyn Smith

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Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust
By Lyn Smith
ISIS Large Print, 2007
ISBN : 978-0-7531-5669-8
Genre: History - Holocaust, World War II

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - March 23, 2007

Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust is a chilling and significant book about the Holocaust. Written by Lyn Smith, who has worked as an interviewer for the Imperial War Museum's Sound Archive for over two decades. A major portion of her job was recording the stories of those affected by Nazi atrocities. These included interviews with concentration camp survivors, refugees, the families of those murdered by the Nazis, soldiers who witnessed the grotesque brutality of the Nazi when they liberated various death and labor camps. Working from these interviews, Smith has interwoven the voices of more than 100 interviewees into this memorable book.

Within the pages of this book you'll read about life in the ghettos, life under the anti-Jewish laws propagated by the Nazis, the horror of the concentration camps, the death marches, the starvation, the disease, the horrors of war, and the loss of loved ones. Those that contributed to this book run the gamut from Daniel "Danko" Ivin, a Jewish child from Yugoslavia who worked with Croatian partisans and Dennis Avey a British Prisoner of War interned at Auschwitz to Magdalena Kusserow Reuter, a German Jehovah's Witness and Halina Kahn, A Polish Jewish woman interned in the Lodz Ghetto.

The stories in this book are arranged both chronologically and thematically, as many of the topics covered in this book overlap, timewise. For example there is a chapter on the Ghettos that runs from 1939-42, and on the Camps that overlaps, running form 1940-44. In each chapter, Smith includes short passages from a cross-section of contributors that examines their experiences during the period covered. In almost all cases, narratives from most these contributors appear in more than one section of the book.

Covering the period from before the war, when the persecution of Jews began to the aftermath of the war, this book presents a cross-section of memoirs and the experiences of both Jews and non-Jews whose lives were impacted by the Holocaust. Also included are narratives from people across Europe, illustrating how the war impacted people from various countries. Combined, these narratives provide an unforgettable overview of the Holocaust and how it not only impacted Jews, but also a diverse range of people from aid workers to those that witnessed Nazi atrocities. This is a hard book to read, as many of the narratives graphically and emotionally describe horrific events including murder, beatings, and other horrors. Nonetheless, this is an important book, one that should be read by everyone from school children on up, as a reminder of what happened, and as a warning of what could happen again if we do not remain vigilant...


Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, the parent company of ISIS Large Print.


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