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Echoes from the Holocaust: A Memoir (Special Studies; 29) Paperback – 15 Dec 1996

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press (15 Dec. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870499564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870499562
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 15.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,070,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

The Author: Mira Ryczke Kimmelman is a resident of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and lectures widely in schools about her experiences during the Holocaust.

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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A "Must Read" Book 13 April 2006
By Nancy William - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Echoes from the Holocaust by Mira Ryczke Kimmelman is a riveting memoir that recounts her life as a child in Danzig to her life in the United States after World War II. Mira describes how the innocence, effulgence, and peace of her youth are shattered once the Nazi troops force her family to leave their home in Poland in October 1939. Embracing her Jewish heritage, Mira tells of how she strives to preserve her identity and pride as a Jew alive by receiving secret Hebrew lessons, attending prohibited Jewish gatherings, and becoming a member of the Zionist movement. Kimmelman refuses to let herself become discouraged when she learns that more than twenty of her family members and friends are killed by the SS officers.

Infused with aspirations, Mira does whatever she can to cope with the persecution she and others receive at the ghettos and concentration camps. After suffering from typhoid, physical torture, starvation, horrendous living conditions, and simple dehumanization, Mira continues to be a burning flame among all the melted candles. All her struggles and lucky moments become learning experiences.

Mira is able to move on with her life, after the end of the war in 1945. She marries Max Kimmelman, another Holocaust survivor, and has several children and grandchildren after. She gives them the names of her relatives and close companions so that her memories of them will live on. Although life in the United States becomes a bit of a struggle, Mira manages to carve out a content life with her husband and family. She continues to encompass her traditions and tell her story of survival.

The memoir is written simplistically, but with very powerful imagery and episodes, that capture Mira's moments effectively. Metaphors, similes, or hyperboles are not necessary to make this memoir memorable. The book is divided into several short chapters that make it an easy read. With cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, this book becomes a real page-turner. An atmosphere of hope surrounds the events Kimmelman depicts and reiterates the idea that Mira has survived for a purpose. No history book can tell a story such as this one. To capture the meaning and depth of the Holocaust, one must go out and read Mira Kimmelman's account.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Unbelievable horror! 21 May 2001
By Dov B Yair - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
From a priveleged upbringing in pre-war Gdansk, the author and her family are deported first to Warsaw then to other ghettos and camps. The book is written in a frank, no-nonsense fashion and she really states the facts about what happened to her and her family. An amazing book and one that everyone should read.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
more than just a survivor 24 Feb. 2007
By anne - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mira lived to tell the tale of the holocaust. She's carried the message of strength and forgiveness, of working through the horrors she's lived by bringing the message to all who will listen. This is a strange and different book: on the one hand, so repulsive, so unbelievable, yet, on the other hand, compelling. Several questions ran through my mind: how does a person continue to live with any humanity at all after such an experience; why does one person live, while all the rest die; what kind of magnetism did Mira have that encouraged people to help her?

I've met Mira; she lives here in my home town of Oak Ridge. She will speak before my class. Perhaps my questons will be answered, and I will know who Mira is after all.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Heart-wrenching account of loss and survival 11 Dec. 2008
By Trevin Wax - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Echoes from the Holocaust: A Memoir (1997, University of Tennessee Press) tells the story of Mira Ryczke Kimmelman. Mira's story is, like most Holocaust memoirs, a heart-wrenching account of loss and survival. She writes with an eye to detail - using vivid imagery to accentuate the beauty of life and the horror of death.

Echoes from the Holocaust is not primarily about the death camps; it is about surviving with human dignity intact. Mira's narration makes for a gripping story - one that begins with her early life in Poland and ends with her readjustment into society and her eventual immigration to America. The middle part of the book tells the story of the concentration camps and stands as a testament to Mira's will to survive.

What differentiates this story from other books on the Holocaust is Mira's lack of bitterness. Mira does not appear to harbor any hostility towards those who abused her. Of course, she never excuses the horrible behavior of the Nazis. Twenty members of Mira's immediate family perished in the Holocaust. But what impressed me most about this book was the fact that Mira does not tell the story out of bitterness or rage, but out of deep sadness and a sense of responsibility that these stories need to be told.

The enormity of human evil portrayed in this book will shake you to the core.

"Because of Auschwitz, the world will never be the same. Auschwitz was absolute evil and a warning of what mankind is capable of doing." (58)

Likewise, there is a sense that evil leaves a mark that can never be fully erased.

"The scars of war I shall bear for the rest of my life." (92)

Even as Mira recounts her post-Holocaust experienes, an underlying sadness lingers throughout the rest of the book. She questions her father's optimism that kept them from seeking asylum until it was too late. She finds love and laughter in her husband and children. But she also deals with survivor's guilt, especially when she talks about her brother. Why did she survive? Why did he die?

Echoes from the Holocaust: A Memoir serves as a warning to us today. The heart of man is desperately wicked. There is no end to the evil schemes that we can dream up and put into action. That is why it is important to hear the stories of those who have seen the capacity of human sinfulness in its darkest form. We must remember.

"Only by remembering the bitter lesson of Hitler's legacy can we hope it will never be repeated. Teach it, tell it, read it." (165)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Powerful book by a gifted writer 26 Aug. 2010
By Bartleby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recommend this if you want to read a book about the Holocaust by someone who is NOT Elie Wiesel, Viktor Frankl, or Primo Levi. Kimmelman did not plan to be a writer or teacher, and yet this is what she has become. The story of what she witnessed was too powerful and important not to share with the world. I enjoyed reading a woman survivor's perspective on this most harrowing of experiences.
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