Say the Name: A Sur­vivor’s Tale in Prose and Poetry

Judith H. Sherman
  • Review
By – June 25, 2012
Say the Name is an extra­or­di­nary sto­ry told in the voice of a 14-year-old Jew­ish girl from Kur­mi­na, Czecho­slo­va­kia, whose life changed com­plete­ly in 1939 when the Nazis invad­ed and she was sep­a­rat­ed from her fam­i­ly. Through­out the book, we see through her eyes the hor­rors and atroc­i­ties of Nazi rule — depor­ta­tion, hid­ing, impris­on­ment in Ravens­bruck, the attempt to sur­vive dai­ly under unimag­in­able con­di­tions. 

The nar­ra­tive, in prose and poems, speaks in two voic­es, that of the young girl who watched her fam­i­ly be torn apart and mur­dered, and the oth­er in the voice of an adult sur­vivor attempt­ing to have a con­ver­sa­tion with God, ask­ing where He had been and whether He noticed what was hap­pen­ing dur­ing the Nazi inva­sion, as the world was re-defined and ter­ror ruled. Say the Name is an elec­tri­fy­ing book, told from a per­spec­tive that we do not ordi­nar­i­ly encounter when read­ing about and try­ing to under­stand the fears and feel­ings of those who sur­vived the Holocaust.
Bar­bara S. Cohen is a tri­al attor­ney in Los Ange­les who spe­cial­izes in child abuse cas­es. She is a mem­ber of NAMI and a sup­port­er of NARSAD, and is an advo­cate for those who suf­fer from men­tal illness.

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