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Treblinka: A Survivor's Memory Paperback – 1 Mar 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849163995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849163996
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'His 96-page memoir, translated from the original Yiddish, has a powerful immediacy' Martin Gilbert, The Times. (The Times)

'The small details, both poignant and horrific, leave a mark, which is as it should be' The Irish Examiner. (Irish Examiner)

'This is one of the most horrific books I have read, and I found it impossible to put down ... a major addition to the literature of the Holocaust' Mail on Sunday. (Mail on Sunday)

'This is an important book that deserves a prominent place in Holocaust literature' Victor Sebestyen, Sunday Times. (Sunday Times)

'Rajchman describes the indescribable in this devastating account of surviving Treblinka ... An essential and unforgettable piece of Holocaust testimony' Robert Collins, Sunday Times. (Sunday Times)

From the Inside Flap

Chil Rajchman, a Polish Jew, was twenty-eight years old when he was arrested in October 1942 and sent to Treblinka, a death camp where more than 750,000 Jews were murdered before it was abandoned by German soldiers. His sister travelled with him and was immediately sent to the gas chambers, but Rajchman escaped execution, working for ten months under incessant threats and beatings as a barber, a clothes-sorter, a corpse-carrier, a puller of teeth from those same corpses. In August 1943 there was an uprising at the camp, and Rajchman was among the handful of men who managed to escape. Even before the war was over, while Rajchman was still in hiding, he set down in a notebook this unembellished and exact record of the raw horror he endured every day at the camp. This unique testimony has remained in the sole possession of his family since then, and has never before been published in English. For its description of unspeakable cruelty, Treblinka is a memoir that will not be superseded. In addition to Rajchman's account, this volume includes the complete text of Vasily Grossman's 'The Hell of Treblinka', a powerful and harrowing journalistic essay written only weeks after the camp was dissolved, and an introduction by Samuel Moyn, Professor of History at Columbia University.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's hard to imagine that a simple decision to lie about one's vocation and skills could ever save your life - but this is exactly what happened to Chil Rajchman when, recovering from a severe whipping, he was faced with a life or death decision on his first day at Treblinka - although at the time he didn't realise its gravitas, he held his hand up and declared himself a skilled barber - that one decision, and four others like him, enabled him to survive that first gruelling day.

One cannot stress the importance a document such as "Treblinka: A survivor's Memory" holds in our history; our very being. Without it, and others of its ilk, we would remain to this day uneducated as to the severity of what transpired in camps such as Auschwitz, Sobibór, Be''ec and Treblinka - to name but a few. The mass genocide, the rapes, the brutality, the starvation, the sheer ignominy of the SS and the Ukrainian "murderers" as Chil Rachjman put it - helped shape our lives ensuring no such depravity occurs ever again - we live in hope.

Treblinka: A survivor's Memory is a poignant account of one man's struggle to not only see life one day at a time but to make every second count - survival was by no means guaranteed. By appearing to be sick, taking too long to cut a woman's hair, taking too long to complete an instruction or simply by standing up tall - you would be taken to one side, forced to strip and summarily executed on the spot to cries of laughter and merriment from the on looking officers who considered it nothing more than a sport.

The sheer brutality of this book forces one to take stock and look at one's life and truly appreciate the comforts we take for granted on a daily basis.
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Format: Hardcover
I could not put this book down. People ask why i read such books that upset me. I can only answer that i need to. I'm a very compassionate person ...i love all living creatures and cannot understand why we treat other and other creatures so badly and so cruelly. Books, such as Treblinka, answer some of my questions but they don't make me understand why, when all that has gone before, we are still destroying our world and each other today. Chil Rajchman questions why he writes about such things...his answer..."to turn away, to close ones eyes and walk past is to insult the memory of those who have perished"....page 165..Treblinka.
All people should read such fantastic works...we can only learn from them. Do it! x
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's no redemption for Treblinka, it was a death camp, created for one purpose; the destruction and disposal of as many victims as possible. In Treblinka death and disposal became mechanised, the whole process being controlled by "elite" Nazi's and run by bullying, sadistic guards. Because of the secretive nature of the "work" undertaken in Treblinka very few people survived to tell the tale, working parties were routinely murdered to ensure their silence, and the fact that "Chil" survived to bring us this testament is a miracle in itself. Chil's account is written in his own words and he spares us no horror, he doesn't shy away from any of the evil he witnessed and the simplicity of his words running through the pure evil of those events is so powerful, it's humbling. Nothing I've read has moved me more than this book, nothing ever will, and I found myself torn in two because I didn't want to put it down but, at the same time, I didn't want to carry on reading. Shocking beyond words, harrowing, brutal but ultimately a text that deserves global recognition not just because of it's rarity, but out of respect for Chil Rajchman who survived against all the odds to bring us this testament. Literary and historical gold.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What can I say!...this book ought to be read. At 71 years old , although I had a general appreciation of the holocaust it was not until I read this chilling book that it really came home to me the absolute horror and the suffering of all these poor people. And who is to say this will not happen again. In general terms our young people today have absolutely no idea what went on. God help us.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book straight after reading Spectator in hell which shocked me however this very personal account goes so much further and left me feeling both angry and very sad for all those poor souls who were murdered by a group of insane people without soul. There is no justification in the world for the events that took place during this period of human history and I would implore the younger generation to read this book and reflect upon what we as human beings can be capable off . Very powerful and reflective account that will stay with me for a long time. Thanks to the very brave individuals who have managed to tell their stories and who have been so strong in life . I really admire and empathise with you.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read the story of Hershal ? I was interested to read this account, and I was not disappointed. It is a revelation to know exactly what pain and distress these poor people went through at the hands of the Nazis. They had to endure so much and were treated worse than animals,that the uprising was not at all surprising. These accounts should be part of the school curriculum so that youngsters learn the true facts of the way these people were treated. Heart rending, and almost unbearable to read. We must never let these facts get buried - it is vital that they are remembered and posted for posterity. There but for the grace of God go I - so true.
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