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ADIEU by Alfred J Lakritz


A Memoir of Holocaust Survival

by Alfred J Lakritz

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2024
ISBN: 979-8989685110
Publisher: Belmonte Press

In this memoir, Lakritz remembers the hardships that his Jewish family endured in Nazi Germany, and their perilous escape from it.

The author was born in Kiel after Adolf Hitler had risen to power, and just in advance of the Nuremberg Laws, passed in 1935, which proved crushing for the country’s Jewish population. His family lost their home and business—his father, Simche, was a wholesaler—and were stricken by poverty and fear. As was common among Jewish people in Germany at the time, Simche had married the author’s mother, Marjem Fass, in a religious ceremony but not a civil one, and in the absence of any official record, German authorities refused to recognize it. Simche had no choice but to change his surname from Weber to Lakritz, the name of the author’s maternal grandmother—a loss of identity that the author poignantly portrays. Lakritz’s family was finally expelled to Poland, and they made their way to Marmande in southwest France; meanwhile, Simche was active in the French resistance and targeted by the Nazis. Eventually, the author’s father was arrested and sent to Majdanek, a concentration camp near Warsaw, and forced into hard labor before he was finally killed at the age of 35. In this remembrance, Lakritz limns an engaging and heartrending chronicle of his childhood losses, and of how he, his mother, and younger brother, Herbert, all eventually resettled in the United States, narrowly escaping death. He powerfully attests to how the passage of time has done little to heal his pain, even decades after the war: “I sometimes have to hold back tears, and once in a while I just let them flow because they overtake me. I wonder if anyone reading my words will feel sympathy or empathy for what I went through.” There is a great deal of literature, personal and historical, written on the Holocaust and its effects, and readers will find this to be a moving contribution to what the author calls the “library of memories.”

A profoundly sad and thoughtful account of a terrifying flight from evil.