THE CHILDREN by Charity Blackstock


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The children were the graduates of Belsen and Buchenwald, Auschwitz and Dachau and Riga. They were the sons and daughters of Poles and Germans, cattle drovers and doctors, along with a few from the Parisian slums. The Scheme was to bring them over to live in homes on a ""lovely holiday"" in England, in retrospect something of a ""sentimental fantasy"" since there were many barriers--more than barbed wire. Each was uniformly promoted as a ""charming child"" but they varied from the saintly to the unreachable. Charity Blackstock managed the Scheme of placement from a London office and inevitably ""the anonymous eight million are never so important as the half dozen one happens to know""; Fanny, a sullen face under a headful of lice, who had seen her mother bayoneted; Marcel with his flick knife--he had killed for the maquis and seemed ready to do so again; the brothers Henri and Pierre; the friends Baruch, Nathan and Franz--Nathan felt he had killed his own brother by a sacrificial transfer to Auschwitz, where he cheated death and now he knew he ""would never be quite so much alive again."" Later the author visited some of her children who had forgotten and were married, a miraculous remove from the past...The children are no longer ""faces and curricula vitae""--she tells their story with enough of an emotional edge to make it seem immediate and involving.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1966
Publisher: Little, Brown