Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review -- "The Last Jew of Treblinka"

5 of of 5 Stars

An incredibly sobering, but important, book.

Many concentration camps were work camps, where Jews and other political prisoners were made to work literally to death.  Not all concentration camps had ovens, crematoria, gas chambers.  Treblinka, however, was made as a death camp with one main purpose -- killing.

Very few people survived Treblinka.  There are many memoirs of Auschwitz or Buchenwald, but Treblinka killed almost every single person who passed their gates.  This is the memoir of Chil Raichman, a survivor who worked in Camp 2, the camp where crematoria and burial pit workers tried to work and tried to stay alive.

I thought I'd read it all, but I clearly haven't.  This short memoir doesn't go into Chil's background or after-liberation life at all, speaking only to the year he worked in Treblinka.  The matter-of-fact way he tells his story is chilling.  The fact that he survived is miraculous.

We cannot let anything like this happen again.


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

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