A cleareyed, meditative account of an unfathomable evil.



A memoir of a Polish priest’s harrowing imprisonment, including at a concentration camp, during World War II. 

Fabisiak (The Nativity of Jesus, 2017) was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1939 in Poland; just three months later, Germany, under the orders of Hitler, invaded. Fabisiak’s ophthalmologist told him to flee while he still could, but he dithered and was arrested. His treatment was grim; his “days were filled with fear and humiliation.” Fabisiak eventually managed to escape—he was well-equipped with the necessary false documents. The Germans recaptured him, beat him brutally, and summarily sentenced him to hard labor for espionage. After being imprisoned at eight different prisons and two labor camps, he was finally incarcerated at the infamous concentration camp at Dachau, a “place of inhumane suffering and extermination.” This account is a remarkable combination of personal testimony and almost sociological observation. Fabisiak reveals innumerable facets of Dachau—the food, the different kinds of prisoners, the guards, as well as the physical and sexual abuse of the prisoners, the chilling experiments conducted on them, the gas chambers, and the crematorium. The memoir is unsparingly detailed, a brave but disturbing act of bearing historical witness. However, for all the degradations described, this is far from a hopeless indictment of humankind—the author repeatedly records the kindnesses he encountered, even among his German captors and, in some cases, at great risk to themselves. Regarding Dachau, the author heard the worst: “It was said that God’s entrance would be prohibited there.” Though his hardships were grotesque, his remembrance of human decency in the unlikeliest of places is infinitely inspiriting. 

A cleareyed, meditative account of an unfathomable evil. 

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-73211-700-6

Page Count: 452

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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