No Past Tense: Love and Sur­vival in the Shad­ow of the Holocaust

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2019

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.

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