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The Krakow Diary of Julius Feldman Paperback – 7 Apr 2002
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|Paperback, 7 Apr 2002||
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Julius appears to have died when he was 19 years old, but before that his clear prose describes life in Krakow from the outbreak of war with Germany, the experience of ordinary people eager for news of the war, with the gradual and sad realisation that their army and government had been no match for the vast and highly-trained German army. Calmly, he writes of the steady erosion of their civil liberties and the herding together of the Krakow Jews and the almost eager part taken by Polish Catholics, Ukrainian auxilaries and ethnic Germans in the containment and stripping of Jewish assets.
First he lost his uncles and aunts, mother, father and brother, then he too was lost and the diary finishes in mid-sentence.
If you are feeling down, buy this book and realise that things are nowhere near as bad as you thought. If you are having a great time, buy the book and consider just how lucky you are. Above all, remember this talented youth who was murdered in the name of ideology.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Although Julius writes calmly and unemotionally, the horror of what he went through is obvious. He lost his entire immediate family -- mother, father and younger brother -- on the same day during a major deportation in the ghetto. During that time he instructed his mother to hide under a table in a workshop, but after he left her, when the Germans called for everyone to come out of the buildings onto the street, for whatever reason she obeyed. When he returned to the spot where she'd been hiding, all he found were the marks of her tears on the table.
The book is illustrated with many black and white photographs, some from Julius's surviving relatives and some general war pictures. There are also endnotes and a timeline to help clarify the diary and place it in its proper historical context.
A decent scholarly effort, and a worthy edition to the shelf of Holocaust diary/memoirs.