In 1944, Cantor Leo Fettman and most of his family were forced from their home and sent to Auschwitz. Cantor Fettman was the only one who survived. In Shoah: Journey From the Ashes, he shares his story of torture and survival as a remembrance to all who perished.
Fettman explains that anti-Semetism in Europe was nothing new when Hitler came to power. Jews had faced centuries of persecution, and it was easy for Hitler to blame them as scapegoats for Germany’s problems. But it took more than one madman to exterminate 6 million Jews. European Christians willingly followed his orders and other nations stood by and watched. They were just as guilty. And there are those today who deny the Holocaust ever took place, claiming that the Jews made it all up.
Hearing about the horrors of the Holocaust is difficult for most people. In facing what humanity did during the time around World War II, we also have to face what we’re doing today. Many ethnic groups and others face discrimination and outright violence when people don’t understand them and determine they are the enemy. If we want to survive as a peaceful nation, everyone should read this book and learn these important lessons from the past.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
Isaac Millman found himself alone in Paris in 1942, at the age of nine. Both of his parents had been captured and sent to Auschwitz, and he would never see them again. Now a grandfather, he journeys back to Poland to see the last place his parents were alive.
Bringing his two grandsons with him, he tours the facility known for some of the greatest atrocities ever committed. As the tour guide shows them around, Millman captures the images with watercolors. Some are bright, where flowers have grown to hide what happened so many years ago. Others are stark black and white, depicting prison cells, the crematorium, and his father’s death certificate.
Millman takes this journey for emotional healing, and he pays his last respects to his parents at Auschwitz before he leaves. And in honoring them and attempting to let go of the past, he shares his story with others, making sure that no one ever forgets the horrors of the Holocaust.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
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