Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto

Paul B. Janeczko
  • Review
By – March 28, 2012
A poet­ic inter­pre­ta­tion of the phe­nom­e­non that was Terezin. Although the camp was but a way sta­tion on the road to the gas cham­bers, it was peo­pled by humanity’s bright­est, the cream of Czechoslovakia’s Jew­ish tal­ent. Albeit hun­gry and often ill, its chil­dren were taught, inspired, and enter­tained by some mar­velous writ­ers and artists. The author, a poet, express­es the genius of this pop­u­la­tion in orig­i­nal poems based on the ghetto’s inhab­i­tants and its con­di­tions— both the dev­as­tat­ing and the cre­ative. His spare and pow­er­ful poems are accom­pa­nied by dra­mat­ic illus­tra­tions found at the site after World War II. 4,000 illus­tra­tions had been buried in two suit­cas­es by the won­der­ful art teacher, Friedl Dick­er-Bran­deis, before she was trans­port­ed to Auschwitz. This slen­der vol­ume is a trib­ute to the tragedy and mir­a­cle of Terezin. Select­ed Sources” is a fine read­ing list of oth­er books about Terezin. There is also a list of web­sites. For ages 13 and up.
Mar­cia W. Pos­ner, Ph.D., of the Holo­caust Memo­r­i­al and Tol­er­ance Cen­ter of Nas­sau Coun­ty, is the library and pro­gram direc­tor. An author and play­wright her­self, she loves review­ing for JBW and read­ing all the oth­er reviews and arti­cles in this mar­velous periodical.

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