NIGHT AND HOPE by Arnost Lustig


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A ""model"" Nazi concentration camp, Terezin in Czechoslovakia, is the scene of the seven tales in this volume, which somehow wrest a measure of hope from what would seem to be all-embracing night. It is one of the series of books of stories by Lustig being issued under the collective title ""Children of the Holocaust."" Lustig himself was a teenage prisoner at Terezin, and the book is a tribute to his ability to transmute the unimaginable into a finely-wrought work of the imagination. These frightened, caged people live--and even love--in the shadow of constant hunger, mocking brutality, and the threat of transport to the death camps in the east. In one of the best tales, ""The Return,"" a Jew who had been hiding in Prague voluntarily joins the prisoners going to Terezin because he must belong to some human group. His experience in the camp gives him the courage to escape--making a second return, this time to a dangerous freedom. The saddest stories concern children, who remain children despite living in a hell that nobody can explain. We are no nearer to explaining it 30-odd years later, but at least in Lustig's work these children have a monument.

Pub Date: May 10th, 1977
Publisher: Inscape Corp.