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Voices From the Holocaust

Harry James Cargas
Copyright Date: 1993
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    Voices From the Holocaust
    Book Description:

    " Interviews with: Yitzhak Arad Leo Eitinger Emil Fackenheim Whitney Harris Jan Karski Arnost Lusting Mordecai Paldiel Marion Pritchard Dorothee Soelle Leon Wells Elie Wiesel Simon Wiesenthal The late Harry James Cargas was professor emeritus of literature and language at Webster University and author of thirty-two books, including Problems Unique to the Holocaust.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4414-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xx)

    For many years I have been studying the Holocaust from various perspectives. I did so first as a father, next as a Christian, third as a student, now as a writer and teacher. The event has overwhelmed my thinking in all of these areas. I would not have it any other way. Although I did not realize that a pattern to my thinking was evolving, it seems that one of the constants in my approaching history has been this: What has it meant for me? Whether I read a play by Sophocles, learn that Giordano Bruno was burned at the...

  5. Interviews

      (pp. 1-28)

      Arnost Lustig’s books and stories have been translated into more than twenty languages, including Polish, German, Japanese, Hindi, Yiddish, Esperanto, and French. His best known fiction deals with the Holocaust experience of children. He himself survived the Holocaust as a boy.

      Born in Prague, Lustig came to the United States after having a distinguished career in writing and cinema in Czechoslovakia. He was a lecturer in film and literature at universities in his home country as well as in Japan, Canada, Israel, and the United States. His novelA Prayer for Katerina Horovitzova(1974) was nominated for the National Book...

      (pp. 29-37)

      Simon Wiesenthal was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp for over four years. He has helped to establish important survivor organizations. Before founding the world-famed Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna, he established a similar institution in Linz, Austria, which flourished from 1947 to 1954. Their objective was to bring war criminals to justice. He also established the Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Los Angeles.

      Born in Galicia, he attended the Universities of Prague and Lemberg in Poland, where he was an architect before the war broke out. When he regained his freedom he was employed by the War...

      (pp. 38-45)

      Dr. Yitzhak Arad was one of the legendary resistance fighters of the Jewish Underground during World War II. Though barely beyond the age of childhood, he escaped from the Jewish ghetto at Vilna, Lithuania, and became an active combatant and a leader of this movement, fighting in the forests of Belorussia until the war’s end. His parents and family perished in the Holocaust.

      After the Nazi surrender, Arad fled to and illegally entered Eretz Israel. He volunteered for combat in the underground Palmah and later served in the Israel Defense Forces where he had various command responsibilities until 1972. His...

      (pp. 46-55)

      In 1982, Dr. Mordecai Paldiel was appointed Director of the Department for the Righteous at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial authority in Jerusalem. His duty as director is to oversee the investigations of cases in which non-Jews are nominated tobe recognized for heroism in aiding Jews during the Shoah.

      Paldiel was born in Antwerp to a family of Polish origin. They fled to the Italian-occupied zone in France, and in 1943, with the assistance of a French priest, they escaped to neutral Switzerland. He emigrated to the United States in 1956 and then to Israel six years later. He earned...

      (pp. 56-65)

      For his extraordinary efforts to assist Jews during the Holocaust, Jan Karski, a Polish Catholic diplomat, was recognized as an authentic hero and benefactor by Yad Vashem, where a tree bearing his name was planted in the “Alley of the Righteous Gentiles among the Nations.”

      He earned two master’s degrees from the University of Lvov in 1935(in Law and Diplomatic Sciences) and continued his education in Germany, Switzerland, and Great Britain. Karski then entered the Polish diplomatic service. He was mobilized in 1939, taken prisoner by the Red Army, and sent to a Russian camp. He quickly escaped, returned to...

      (pp. 66-81)

      In 1983, Marion P. van Binsbergen Pritchard was honored at Yad Vashem for her heroism in saving Jews from Nazi persecution in Holland.

      After witnessing the public abuse of Jewish children by Nazis, Pritchard, six other young Christians, and two Jewish students organized themselves in resistance to such Nazi atrocities. Mter obtaining Aryan identity cards for their Jewish collaborators, the group located hiding places to assist escaping Jewish families and provided food, ration cards, and clothing where they could, while trying to give relief and moral support to host families who were risking their lives to care for strangers. They...

      (pp. 82-96)

      Dr. Leon Wells was taken by the Nazis from his native city of Lvov, Poland, in 1941 and interned in the Janowska concentration camp. He escaped but was recaptured and assigned to what was known as the “Death Brigade,” reflecting his youth and relative good health. The Death Brigade was to obliterate evidence of the Nazi mass-murders when it became clear that Germany would lose the war. Part of Wells’s task included helping to dig the mass graves to dispose of the bodies of victims in secretive ways. He escaped a second time and hid from his captors until liberation....

      (pp. 97-115)

      Whitney Harris was one of the principal members of the U.S. prosecution staff at the Nuremberg trials. During his interrogation of the head of the Interior Intelligence Service in the Third Reich, Otto Ohlendorf, a major breakthrough in the Allied case against the Nazi war criminals occurred. Ohlendorf confessed that he was responsible for the murders of 90,000 people, and the prosecution was able to build from there. Harris was also able to obtain a confession from Rudolf Hoess, the commanding officer of Auschwitz, who admitted responsibility for two and a half million deaths.

      Harris graduated magna cum laude from...

      (pp. 116-122)

      Dr. Leo Eitinger was hom in Czechoslovakia in 1912. In 1939, at the age of twenty-seven, he fled his native country for Scandinavia to escape the Nazi threat. He was captured in Norway and spent much of the war in Auschwitz, where he was able to survive by exchanging identities with a dead, non-Jewish victim. He is one of the world’s greatest authorities on the psychological impact of the Holocaust experience on survivors.

      After initially studying philosophy, Eitinger earned a degree in medicine at the Masaryk University in Brno, Czechoslovakia. After World War II he specialized in psychiatry and earned...

      (pp. 123-130)

      Dorothee Soelle, a leading German Protestant theologian, co-founded with her husband, Fullbert Stefensky; an ecumenical group called Political Evening Prayer, a movement of theological-political reflection and action. Her writings and lectures have made her a major figure in Jewish-Christian relations.

      Ms. Soelle attended the University of Cologne and the University of Freiburg and earned a degree in philosophy in 1954 at the University of Goettingen. She taught and lectured in a number of German institutions and for many years split her time teaching between Germany and the United States, particularly at New York’s Union Theological Seminary. Some of her many...

      (pp. 131-156)

      Dr. Emil Fackenheim was born in Halle, Germany, and has long been considered one of the premier Jewish theologians of the post-World War II period. His writings about the impact of the Holocaust on Jewish religious thinking have been widely influential.

      Fackenheim attended the University of Halle (1937-1938), was ordained a rabbi in Germany the following year, and studied at the University of Aberdeen (1939-1940). Five years later he gained a Ph. D. from the University of Toronto, where he taught in the philosophy department for over thirty years. He and his wife, Rose, emigrated to Israel, where he continues...

      (pp. 157-162)

      Elie Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 and has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times. As artist and activist, writer and peacemaker, he was recognized for his works on behalf of Jewish Holocaust survivors, Cambodians, victims of apartheid, Central American refugees, persecuted Baha’is in Iran, the starving in Ethiopia, and the Miskito Indians in Honduras.

      Born in Romania, Elie Wiesel endured Auschwitz and Buchenwald as a teenager. After the war, he settled first in France, then worked as a United Nations correspondent for an Israeli newspaper, and finally settled in the United States....

    (pp. 163-164)