Books by Mendel Grossman

Released: April 1, 2000

During the Nazi occupation of the Lodz ghetto, Mendel Grossman took black and white photographs with a camera hidden under his coat. The photographer died during the war, but before his death he hid thousands of his negatives and distributed copies of his photographs to friends and relatives hoping that some would survive. Powerful images selected from those that still exist in Israeli museum collections show the Jewish experience during 1944. Children harnessed by ropes dragging a heavy cart, adults and children, identified as Jews by stars of David sewn onto their clothing, huddle together with bundles of possessions. Street scenes depict people behind fences, sharing food, working, laughing together. One poignant image shows a woman and several children separated by a fence from another child. The woman seems to be speaking to the lone child saying, "Be strong, my boy." The first-person text purports to be the artists' words. However, there are no explanatory notes about the text in the short biographical sketch of the photographer. Dealing with historical events (which are doubted by some), the author has a responsibility to document his sources. If the text is taken from Grossman's own words, the documentation should be included either in the text or in endnotes. Although the photographs are moving, the text weakens them and does a disservice to children who deserve a rigorous approach to primary source materials. Catalogued as nonfiction, but the text may be fictionalized. (Nonfiction. 9-12)Read full book review >