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The subject of the Holocaust is not a new one for Gold: she was co-author with Miep Gies of Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped Hide the Frank Family. The story of Anne Frank is, in the end, a story of destruction. In her new book, Gold focuses on tales of survival. The vase of the title is the author's reminder of a young woman who didn't survive, of the contingencies on which survival depends. "Not one survivor I've engaged understands why he or she survived and another didn't," Gold writes in her affecting introduction. But the tales gathered here illustrated some of the factors they speculate may have played a role: "unusual resolve, family bonds, human kindness, uncanny luck," even the supernatural. But Gold writes of the survival not only of individuals, but of our larger sense of humanity: of literature (several items from the destroyed Roman Jewish library), of love (the story of Simon Wiesenthal and his wife), of memory (in a survivor who had sworn never to speak of her wartime experiences). Illus.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gold, coauthor (with Miep Gies) of Anne Frank Remembered, offers 20 World War II survival stories. Although most of the book deals with the Holocaust and Jewish threnody, some of the stories involve non-Jews. One chronicles the life of the son of a Nazi, guiltless of his father's complicity in the hatred of Jews. Gold tells how he was reunited with his wife through a series of coincidences after the war. Other accounts include the story of a wife who secretly put her husband's name on Schindler's list instead of her own so that he would not be sent to the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, while she was sent to Auschwitz. Another tells the story of a 12-year-old Hungarian Jewish girl who narrowly escaped being raped by a Russian soldier after a woman offered to take her place. The young girl also was spared from being shot and thrown into the Danube River. Gold spent 15 years researching archives and interviewing survivors from Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Italy, and Holland. This is a truly remarkable and memorable work that captures the horrors of war in an era of unfathomable evil. George Cohen
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