WHERE LIGHT AND SHADOW MEET by Emilie Schindler

WHERE LIGHT AND SHADOW MEET

A Memoir
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Schindler's list of triumphs and failures as recollected by the Holocaust hero's unsung and oft-stung widow. Schindler shares firsthand impressions of her suddenly celebrated husband, Oskar, whose entrepreneurial, humanitarian efforts saved the lives of many condemned Jews during the Holocaust. Much of what she reveals about Oskar is unflattering, as she is intent on puncturing the myth that has evolved around her husband's life since the phenomenal success of Steven Spielberg's movie Schindler's List. She paints a portrait of a deeply flawed man who was as erratic, immature, and self-serving as he was generous and kind. While she was struggling to scrape money together to obtain enough food on the black market to survive, her husband was squandering it on women and ``small pleasures and on objects for which we had not the slightest need.'' Schindler's appetite for women was insatiable, and his wife learned early on to just grin and bear it if she wished to stay married. While she approached life warily, Oskar almost always acted impulsively in his personal affairs. He often became indiscreetly involved with lower-class women, yet when it came to dealing with the SS high command, Oskar could be at once ``engaging and determined.'' She traces many of her husband's undesirable traits to his turbulent fahter, whom she describes as ``a hopeless alcoholic who, in one of his awful drinking binges, raped his wife's sister and got her pregnant.'' While never diminishing her husband's efforts and accomplishments in rescuing Jews during WW II, her own humanitarian endeavors are the focus here. Often endangering her own life, she did all she could to keep ailing factory workers alive and out of the reach of the Nazis. A stark, strained account of a singularly courageous couple, at the point where black-and-white cinematography meets naked truth. (photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-393-04123-9
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1997