Last week, I told you how my recent trip to Poland inspired me to read Sala’s Gift and The Lost, but I never got around to talking about the books themselves. I’ll rectify that now and, to thank you for your patience, I’ll throw in a number of bonus book suggestions as well.
In 1945, Ala was executed for participating in the only armed uprising in Auschwitz.
The camp was liberated shortly thereafter.
You’re never going to find a cheerful Holocaust book, but Sala’s Gift by Ann Kirschner is as close as you’ll get, thanks to the resilience of its subject, Sala Garncarz of Sosnowiec, Poland. In 1940, 16-year-old Sala volunteered to take her older, more delicate sister Raizel’s place in a Nazi slave labor camp. Sala was supposed to be there for six weeks; instead she spent five years in seven different camps until she was liberated in 1945. She survived thanks to a combination of luck and personal charisma that helped her create a support network wherever she landed.
Another thing that gave Sala the strength to keep going — and the basis for the book — was the collection of letters from family and friends that she managed to smuggle with her from camp to camp, even though such keepsakes were forbidden. After the war, Sala married a Jewish-American soldier named Sidney Kirschner. Ann Kirschner, the author of the book, is their daughter. Sala didn’t speak of the war to Ann or her other two children until 1991, when, faced with triple-bypass surgery at the age of 67, she handed Ann her collection of letters and photographs, which she had hidden in the box of a game called Spill & Spell. (The collection was donated to the New York Public Library in 2005; the library site is the source of the two photos used above.)
Only two of Sala’s family members survived the war: her sister Blima and — amazingly — Raizel, the sister that everyone thought was too delicate to survive hardship. With Blima’s help, Raizel not only survived the Neusalz slave labor camp; she also survived a 280-mile, two-month-long death march from Neusalz to the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Death marches took place at the end of the war. When the Nazis realized they were losing, they tried to cover up their crimes by tearing down camps and keeping survivors out of the hands of the Allied armies. To achieve the latter, they’d force their barely clothed and starving prisoners on marches to distant camps in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. People dropped dead as they walked from cold and starvation, and others who fell behind were shot. A thousand women began the march with Raizel and Blima; fewer than 100 lived till the end. Those of you who have read the diary of Anne Frank will remember her beau, Peter. He apparently survived a march from Auschwitz, but died shortly after, as others did from the privations they suffered during a march. (Those of you who haven’t read Anne Frank’s diary should read it immediately or be shamed for life. That book is required reading for everyone.)
When my sister and I have bad hair days, we say we have “Anne Frank hair.”
Anne was actually a very beautiful girl.
Another survivor from Sala’s hometown of Sosnowiec was Wladyslaw Szpilman. Szpilman’s family was forced into the Warsaw Ghetto; he was the family’s only survivor, thanks to luck (random good luck is part of every survival story) and his local fame as a pianist and composer. His account of his experiences became a book, The Pianist, which was published immediately after the war but then suppressed for many years by the anti-Semitic Communist authorities in Poland. It was eventually made into the movie The Pianist, which in 2003 won Oscars for best actor (Adrien Brody), best director (Roman Polanski) and best adapted screenplay (Ronald Harwood).
The Pianist is one of only two major movies I can think of — the other being The Godfather — that so far surpass their source material that I’d say it is safe to skip the book entirely (as opposed to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, for instance, where I think the book should still be read by anyone who sees the terrific movie version). The book version of The Pianist by Szpilman is written in a flat, emotionless tone that is haunting in its own right because it is symptomatic of a challenge faced by many survivors of the Holocaust: how can mere words capture the enormity of such an apocalyptic trauma? (I checked with my gorgeous friend Monika, who read it in the original Polish, and she confirmed that the tone of the writing is not the result of the English translation.) You see the same issue with Sala, who didn’t talk to her family about what happened to her for half a century. The challenge of telling a story about such an event is a major part of The Lost, which I’ll get to at the end of this post. I think even Roman Polanski’s direction of The Pianist is emblematic of this issue. Polanski himself was a child survivor of the Krakow Ghetto. He certainly could have done an autobiographical work, but I suspect that recreating his own story would have been too painful. In fact, it’s been said that Polanski was approached by Stephen Spielberg to work on Spielberg’s 1993 movie Schindler’s List, a true story about events in and around the Krakow Ghetto, but that Polanski found it too traumatic. (He passed along that trauma to someone else: There’s a 40-year-old rape case against him.)
I’ve been looking for a clip showing one of the most powerful moments in The Pianist, after an admirer pulls Szpilman out of the line of Jews being loaded onto transportation to a concentration camp. Afterwards, as Szpilman put it in his book, “I turned away and staggered down the empty street, weeping out loud, pursued by the fading cries of the people shut up in those trucks.” What the movie added to that was the visual of Szpilman lurching through a sea of discarded suitcases and personal possessions. I couldn’t find a clip that included that moment, but here’s a still.
Here’s a clip of the scene of Szpilman being saved from the transport. The woman he’s talking to at the beginning of the clip is his sister.
After this scene, Szpilman goes on to spend years in hiding, often entirely alone and nearly starving to death. (Brody lost 30 pounds to play the role.) Towards the end of the war, he’s discovered by a German officer who protects him after Szpilman plays the piano for him. The book describes the scene: “I hadn’t practiced for two and a half years, my fingers were stiff and covered with a thick layer of dirt, and I had not cut my nails since the fire in the building where I was hiding. Moreover, the piano was in a room without any window panes, so its action was swollen by the damp and resisted the pressure of the keys.” Here’s the clip from the movie.
Since I mentioned the movie Schindler’s List, I’ll spend a little more time on that though I already wrote about Oskar Schindler — the ethnic German of whom the Poles are so very proud — in last week’s post. I recommend reading the original Schindler’s List book, a fictionalized account of the Schindler story by Thomas Keneally, as well as seeing the movie by Spielberg. Keneally has a new book coming out, called Searching for Schindler, which is the story behind his original book. Keep an eye out for that. After you read the first book and see the movie, you might want to pick up the book Schindler’s Legacy, which catches up on what happened to some of the List survivors after the war.
Here is a long clip from Schindler’s List, showing the liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto. At about 4:25, you’ll see one of the most memorable appearances in the movie — the little girl in the red coat.
If you want to find out more about the inspiration for that little girl, read The Girl in the Red Coat by Roma Ligocka, who just so happens to be Roman Polanski’s cousin. Roma was only about 3 1/2 at the time the ghetto was liquidated, and she did wear a red coat. She and her mother survived the war thanks to a Polish family who hid them. Unfortunately, the Polish protectors threw the child and the mother out several times, whenever the Poles felt the situation was getting too dangerous. At one point, Roma and her mother wound up hiding in the attic of a strange building, each clutching a cyanide capsule — just in case — as they listened to Nazis pounding on doors and shouting while searching the rest of the building. The Nazis didn’t find them, the mother put the cyanide away for future use, and the two returned to their jumpy Polish saviors.
The Girl in the Red Coat is especially interesting for its insight into the emotional impact of the Holocaust on someone that young. She struggled with her relationship with her mother afterward. “I feel a lot of anger about my lost childhood and it hurts,” Ligocka told the BBC decades later. Like Sala, she didn’t want to talk about her wartime experiences with her son, Jakob. “Years later,” she wrote, “I realized that the psychological wounds suffered by Holocaust victims also causes wounds in their children. But in those days I did not want to admit to it, and so I didn’t tell Jakob much about it. All my strength went into suppressing the past. With will power, and with love, I tried to shut out my memories. It didn’t work.”
Before I get to my last book, here’s a disclaimer. There are thousands of worthwhile Holocaust-related books to read. I’ve probably read hundreds of them over the years. This post is NOT an attempt to list all the books that exist or all the ones that I’ve read. I’m just discussing a few that have been on my mind since my trip to Poland. If you wish to use the comments here to recommend a different book to your fellow commenters, you are more than welcome to do so. Just please don’t start naming the most famous books and asking me if I’ve heard of them because I will get up, take my copy of that book out of my bookshelf, and smack you with it. Seriously, my hand will come out of your computer screen holding a book and you will be smacked by Elie Wiesel or Sophie’s Choice. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The author died in Auschwitz.
Now that I got that off my chest, I can get to The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn. This book pissed some people off, so, naturally, I love it. The subtitle of the book is “A Search for Six of Six Million” and it is ostensibly about Mendelsohn’s investigation into the lives and deaths of his grandfather’s brother, Shmiel Jager; Shmiel’s wife, Ester; and their four daughters in Bolechow, Poland, during World War II. Mendelsohn does find out quite a lot about what the Jagers went through, but he’s also just as concerned with the concept I mentioned above: How do you tell a story about something so big, so terrible, so abundant with individual stories that specifics become lost in the larger narrative of mass mayhem?
To help illustrate the story-telling challenges, Mendelsohn cites, among other things, famous commentary on Biblical stories including Noah (a story of mass extermination), Sodom and Gomorrah (more mass extermination) and Cain and Abel (brother killing brother). Some people think these digressions make the book too meandering. I, however, not only love digressions, as I’m sure you’re all aware, but I also love how the commentaries provide a gloss on human nature throughout the ages. It doesn’t matter whether you read the Bible literally or as literature: The story of Cain and Abel puts the lie to ex-Beatle‘s and beauty-pageant contestants‘ childish wishes for world peace by vividly illustrating humans’ historic predilection for jealousy, greed and violence. (Someday I will get back to my all-time favorite history book, A Distant Mirror — mentioned briefly here — which similarly tells you all you need to know about the 21st century by examining the 14th century.)
It means “Work will set you free.”
An example of the Nazi sense of humor.
Mendelsohn also comes in for some criticism for his intense focus on the story of his relatives, to the point where he feels that his visit to Auschwitz was not particularly helpful to his project. He wrote, “Auschwitz, by now, has become the gigantic, one-word symbol, the gross generalization, the shorthand, for what happened to Europe’s Jews … ” And it is true that for many people, Auschwitz is all they will ever know of the Holocaust. For them it IS helpful to have a general idea and see, for example, the two tons of human hair (cut from the heads of Jewish women) that the Germans planned to turn into fabric.
But, as Mendelsohn went on to say, “…what happened at Auschwitz did not, in fact, happen to millions of Jews from places like Bolechow, Jews who were lined up and shot at the edges of open pits or, failing that, were shipped to camps that, unlike Auschwitz, had one purpose only [My note: Many people still don’t realize that Auschwitz had different sections. Auschwitz I was a slave labor camp. Auschwitz II – Birkenau was a death camp.], camps that are less well known to the public mind precisely because they offered no alternative to death and hence produced no survivors, no memoirs, no stories.”
I agree with Mendelsohn that for people steeped in the history of the Holocaust, the more earth-shaking moments can be the smaller ones. When I arrived at Auschwitz I, with its hordes of tour groups and signs warning us to watch out for pickpockets, I came with about 30 years worth of preparation for the hair, the artificial limbs, the torture rooms. It was all disturbing, but no more so than it had always been. It was at the much quieter Birkenau camp that I was shocked. I had grown up seeing pictures of survivors stuffed into the barracks at Auschwitz like this:
But until I saw the empty women’s barracks close up, I didn’t realize that the bottom bunk level was basically in the dirt.
I get choked up just looking at this. It’s as if on top of the big horror that everyone knows about (or should) — the random violence and starvation in the ghetto, the carefully organized gassing of thousands of people — the Nazis just had to make sure that every tiny aspect of life was pure torment. On top of all your other innumerable sufferings, you had to sleep in the dirt. The story of the Holocaust (or, for that matter, the story of any group’s persecution) is filled with cruelty writ both large and small, so I think it was entirely fair for Mendelsohn to focus on the smaller, untold stories rather than on the larger, often-told ones. The details are just as meaningful as the big picture.
Speaking of the details, all the tour groups at Auschwitz got colored stickers so that we could find each other and our tour guide. MrB and I were barely able to suppress our laughter when our group got yellow ones. Awkward!
Jude here means “Jew,” not “dude in a Beatles song.”
I thought this was so remarkably, yet hilariously, insensitive that I made MrB take a picture of me wearing my yellow sticker at Birkenau. Despite my amusement, I suppressed my ever-present smile out of respect for the dead.
On the way back to our hotel in the bus, I scandalized MrB by borrowing his big yellow square and combining it with mine to form something vaguely star-shaped. What?! Sometimes you have to laugh or else you’re going to cry.
UPDATED 9/11/11 TO ADD: Apologies about all the movie clips that no longer work. YouTube is a bitch that way.
petite and dynamite says
wish you had a chance to meet and speak to my mom – who lived through Auschwitz and then went on to medical school in Austria.. I know, I know, what have you done lately… but she would have loved your posts especially with your ability to have a sense of humor through it all.. after all that was one of the main ways she coped… I love that this is a passion of yours… it’s so important.. keep up the good work.. Wendy B.
I had a bit of shivering moments reading this and for me a little crying is required.
Sometimes you really do have to laugh or you’ll cry – I can’t believe they actually gave out yellow stickers.
The small details and stories of individuals are somehow so much more powerful than the aggregate statistics – that’s counter intuitive, but it is so. When you read and hear enough of those individual stories it does start to give the sense of scale too.
Thanks for a fascinating, informative, and poignant follow-up. I did blush a bit when I read the “don’t ask me if I’ve heard of it” bit because in my previous comment I’d asked you if you’d read Maus…but that was just an upwelling of enthusiasm because I love those two volumes so much. 😛
oh wendy now I know why I love your blog so much! Loved the lost – for all the reasons you stated. It’s the classic Adorno – after Auschwitz, to write a poem is barbaric. My thesis was in literature of the Holocaust. Keep up the great work- cussing, speaking truth to power, reading and talking about history, and wearing fabulous dresses while you do so!
i went to poland with college in february 2007. for months later, it was all i could think about and even now i feel such a rawness about it. i think more young people should go – at 16, it meant more to me than a skiing trip or an art visit to china. it truly was the most life-changing thing i’ve ever experienced and i believe everyone should be there just once, if only to pay their respects.
Make Do and Mend says
I always clumsily try to convey that we are steeped in this in europe because it seems pointless but when you live amongst ghosts adn in close proximity, it is always there. It is also an oral part of life, those of us who listened to relatives and friends from all over Europe, whether Catholic, Jew, Protestant or Orthadox or nothing.
We have lessons from 5 to 16 on the subject – it is core syllabus material. School trips to many of the camps or Anne Franks(her diary was part of reading at school) house still take place although sadly as the 21st century progresses the detail dimishes. I was proud to grow up in a family that didn’t allow the Daily Mail in the house because of it support of Oswald Mosley.
I agree with your digression regarding human nature and violence, greed and envy and I really appreciate the diversion and detail and snippets. I completely understand the wry humour in the depth of discovery, but just so you know it always makes me cry, every element of it, but then in it all is the hope, the hope that springs eternal.
Obviously I prefer your golden girl posts but am ok with you upsetting me now and again!
I don’t know what amazes me more — your insights as a historian and travel writer and reader, or your fine writing. And your amazing blogging! As the author of that cheerful Holocaust book, SALA’S GIFT, I just wanted to say thanks for the perspective you have brought to my mother’s story.
On the day when my mother handed me the Spill and Spell box, I remember thinking that she was bringing me her jewelry for safe-keeping while she was in the hospital, instead of the 300+ letters she had received in Nazi camps. Today I’m thinking….had it been jewelry instead, I would have wished for Wendy Brandes jewelry!
thanks for your warm words.
P&D, I wish I met your mom too! Did she do a tape for the Shoah project or anything like that?
Songy, but I hope you had a chuckle over the dumb yellow sticker.
Lisa, I was most definitely not thinking of you with that comment! I was just lying in wait for the people who expect an exhaustive list rather than my suggestions. And I'm sorry that I never answered your Maus question, because I meant to. I've picked that up a million times — including this summer — and never gotten into it. I don't know why. I'm sure I'll read it someday. Maybe after I finally cave in and get glasses because those pictures are tiny.
Kate, wow, I'm glad to meet the approval of someone with your expertise!
Fash, agreed! Everyone should go.
Make Do, thanks for your thoughtful response. I think I mentioned that when I was in England I went to see Coventry Cathedral, but I never posted the pictures. That made me feel the same way as the Polish trip — seeing the old and new cathedrals next to each other made it feel like it all happened yesterday.
Ann, thanks so much for dropping by my blog! I'm very honored. I'm relieved that what I wrote about your beautiful book met with your approval!
Yellow stickers, unbelievable. Fantastic post, and the part about the bunks got to me, too. In every book I’ve read about the Holocaust (and I’ve read dozens, but not hundreds), the same thought has occurred to me, too…that every moment of every day, from the extreme cold or heat, the starvation, the filth, the vermin, the fear and sadness, was sheer torment. It’s hard to imagine. Thanks for such a fabulous post.
Wendy, my reading pile is big enough. What are you doing to me here? “The Lost” in particular sounds intriguing. I may have to seek that out.
Deja Pseu says
Wendy, amazing post. Thanks for those book recommendations. I’m adding to my list.
A wonderful, stirring post. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us.
Wendy: As always, I love reading your posts. I am inspired by your trip to Poland. My great grandparents were from Poland. My maiden name was Polish (ending in ski). I never really embraced my heritage while growing up because of the jokes, etc. Your writing has encouraged me to do some research to see where my family comes from in Poland. Thank you, Laura
Top bird says
Wendy – such an excellent, thought-provoking post.
I can’t believe that tour groups are ‘sorted’ and ‘colour-coded’ at Auschwitz. Well, I can sort of believe it – I’m a big fan of Lily Brett and one of her characters had trouble suppressing her outrage and inner snark on a trip to Auschwitz. I hope to get there later this year.
I’m off to find Sala’s Gift now – thanks for the recommendation.
Miss Janey says
Excellent post as always, Miss Wendy.
you are incredibly talented this post was inspiring
I have some serious reading to do!
You should think about doing a slide show presentation on the Holocaust – do you know any teachers? This would be a really valuable lecture. It may shock you to hear this but at the high school where I taught, many ESL students had never heard of the Holocaust. And we are nearing a time where there will be no primary sources left . . .
Susie Bubble says
I am feeling incredibly teary now….
Sharon Rose says
Hello there-I feel very humble reading all of this, I hate to think of the atrocities these tremendous people have had to face. Your post is so informative and an extremely riveting read.
pretty face says
Ouch, depressing post. On a lighter note, I’ve heard ‘The Shining’ book is nothing compared to the super-scary film
This is one of the best posts I’ve read… I love the way you structured your ideas. I’ll see if I can get a translation of the book, I really want to read it!
Wendy I am humbled and impressed by you.
Princess Poochie says
I have only visited the Anne Frank museum and house in my teens.
What amazes me is that there are those that claim it never happened. But I’m sure you’ve heard that many times too.
Laughing and crying are intertwined. Who new blogs could be so . . . (for want of a better word) deep?
An absolutely stirring, moving post. As a Jew I obviously find this quite heartbreaking, but I so respect and admire the time and thought and well-rounded information that you imbue these posts with. Bravo.
You have such an interesting way of writing about historical events. You bring things to life. Please, please write a book. You are an historian.
What can be better than writing that draws us in as it makes us think? Really excellent post, Wendy.
I have copied and pasted this post and e-mailed it to myself because I want to get many, if not all, of these books and read them. Thank you. And thanks to all of your readers for their comments. You’ve inspired us all, WendyB.
As an aside, and a complete change of topic, guess what the Word Verification letters are? zazzy. I think that word fits your new hairstyle, WendyB.
LOL @ “zazzy” — thanks Lynette! 😀
just to give you another perspective.. I’m assuming that colored stickers were given to visitors not out of insensitivity but to let them experience being “branded” as belonging to a certain group (any ethnic or national group in a concentration camp had to wear a symbol denoting wearer’s origin), which in itself was humiliating. Unless, therefore, the guides gave out yellow stickers to groups of visitors identified as being of Jewish origin, I don’t see anything insensitive about it. Also, Poles who protected Jews by hiding them in their homes risked their lives and the lives of their families (and sometimes those of their neighbors). I would think that being “jumpy” was justified under the circumstances. On the other hand, many people denounced Jews in hiding (or their Polish neighbors who protected them) or extorted money from them for keeping quiet, so you have both sides of human nature under extreme circumstances (constant terror, random executions on the streets, deportations to camps, constant hunger). Many times I read about Poles being (by birth) anti-semitic and I agree that many are (mostly in a certain lower socio-econ. background), but one has to remember why concentration camps were built mainly in Poland: since the Middle Ages, it was Poland who welcomed Jews thrown out of every European country and before WWII there were 10 M Jews (and Poles of Jewish origin)_ living within its territory. Throughout centuries they lived in harmony, rarely (compared to some other countries, such as Russia) experiencing pogroms. True, there was a lot of anti-semitism, but it erupted mainly before WWII.. that was true also of most European country of that era. Let me also remind you that most country clubs and better universities in the USA either didn’t accept Jews or had a stict quota (during a trip to New Hampshire I was shocked to find out that some towns were designated, until the 50s or the 60s as mainly for Jewish tourist, other hotels didn’t accept them). The change in attitude there is fairly recent but everyone is only too eager to blame the Poles for the Holocaust, forgetting who really came up with and carried out the “final solution” (and who pretended it wasn’t happening). You call them “Nazis”, we, Poles, call them Germans.. and since the entire nation stood by and cheered its troops invading one country after another, why not? Sorry for the rant but I’m sick of having the Holocaust laid at our feet as if everyone else had a clear conscience.
Wow, what an amazing post.
I visited Dachau while in college and it was such a moving and horrible experience.
market publique says
I loved Suite Francaise!
Great book! I wish she had been able to write more. So sad.
Commenter Mills brings up some excellent points, so I’ll expand on where where I stand on these issues:
1) The colored stickers aren’t unique to Auschwitz. At many museums and tourist sites in many countries, you’re given a token or
a sticker to show that you paid. I used to like to keep the metal
badges with dinosaurs on them from the Museum of Natural History in
NYC when I was a kid. Even so, a large yellow badge is a poor choice of token for Auschwitz visitors. I would have been equally bemused by a big pink badge (homosexuals were made to wear pink triangles which the gay rights movement has co-opted for a symbol itself; I’d still find it nutty at Auschwitz). Jews and homosexuals were ticketed and targeted for extermination. At that place, those colors present too painful a reference for too many people.
2) I did consider the bravery of the Polish saviors in question. They
didn’t have to do help, and they were in the minority. I don’t blame anyone for being scared for their lives. However, the behavior of the mother of the house (not the daughter, who was kind) was obviously frightening for the traumatized child (who, incidentally, had dyed blonde hair to make her look “Aryan” and who might have been safely kept by the family even if her mother needed to leave for all of their safety).Some people do the right thing with a nasty attitude and that seems to have been the case here. The mother did seem exceptionally jumpy
compared to similar situations I’d read about. Even so, she deserves credit for the courage of what she did.
3) I agree that you have the full range of human behavior on display
in this situation.
4) I don’t think anyone is by birth anti-Semitic, but by culture. I’m sure that’s what Mills means, but I just want to be clear about my own thoughts. It IS human nature to fear and dislike “the other.” That’s true of people of any socio-economic status, education level, race, nationality or religion.
5) There are many places in Europe where Jews were able to live
peacefully in between occasional pogroms. Poland is certainly one of
them. But there were still pogroms in Poland.
6) I would never deny that there was and still is anti-Semiticism
(and racism and other ‘isms) in the US. My grandfather’s cousin Max
couldn’t come to the US after WWII because quotas still kept out
Holocaust survivors. After all he went through (and even though he was a dentist and able to support himself and contribute to society), the US wouldn’t have him. That doesn’t justify or alleviate the impact of anti-Semitism elsewhere. I know Mills is not arguing
that it does. But sometimes people do make the “he who is without sin”
argument. That argument is nonsense in this case. Just because the US
has done bad things doesn’t mean that I can’t abhor evil done in
7) I don’t blame Poles for the Holocaust and I think that should be
clear from my writing. But did some Poles participate in anti-Semitic acts along with the German invaders? Yes, which happened in other countries too. (At some point I’ll tell Max’s story about how the
Romanians dragged the Jews of his town out of their houses to throw
them to the lions.) As I tried to emphasize, what particularly disturbed me was the emphasis on Polish victimhood in Auschwitz when in fact the number of non-Jewish Poles murdered there was miniscule compared to the numbers of Jews.
8) I don’t know anyone, including myself, who blames the Holocaust on
Poland. The Holocaust was the responsibility of the Germans (or, as I call them affectionately, “Nazis.”) Some Poles, but not all, took advantage of the German occupation to act upon their worst instincts. And some were heroic,
as were some Germans and Austrians.
While I’m discussing these issues, I want to make clear that I don’t
blame current-day Germans for the actions of their parents and
grandparents. However, if I encountered a German/group of
Germans/German institution that minimized the Holocaust in any way, I would be furious. I was fortunate enough never to experience that when visiting Berlin, Stuttgart and the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.
Anyway, thanks to Mills for her thought-provoking comment.
Grant Miller says
I agree, Anne Frank was beautiful and an extremely talented writer. I could read her diary everyday. One of my favorite books.
Grant, are you by any chance a 13 year old girl? Just curious.