No Past Tense: Love and Survival in the Shadow of the Holocaust is the biography of Kati and Willi Salcer, two Czech Jews who as teenagers survived Auschwitz and Mauthausen, respectively. The Salcers never told their son Ron they had been in concentration camps. Wanting to know what happened to them, Ron enlisted D. Z. Stone, a journalist trained in cultural anthropology. Based on 100 hours of interviews conducted in 1999, No Past Tense covers the Salcers’ entire lives, from childhoods in Czechoslovakia to liberation and the return home, and from pre-State Israel to New York City. It is one of the few, if any, biographies covering the entire lives of survivors. The book not only tells the personal story of survival but also touches on important currents in World War II and postwar Jewish history, revealing significant tensions, political realities, contradictions, and challenges. With a unique narrative structure, No Past Tense weaves in the Salcers’ real-time voices as if they are watching a documentary about themselves, a structure that provides a distinctive “whole-life” view of the Holocaust.
No Past Tense: Love and Survival in the Shadow of the Holocaust
- From the Publisher
September 1, 2019
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