A Jewish Mother From Berlin and Susanna ($22.00; May 1997; 225 pp.; 0-8419-1345-5): A short novel and a long story written, respectively, in 1931 and 1940 by a highly praised German Jewish poet who died at Auschwitz in 1943, first published only in 1978. ``A Jewish Mother from Berlin'' describes in harrowing and sometimes operatic detail the despairing madness that overtakes a grieving widow who searches throughout 1920s Berlin for the rapist who had attacked her four-year-old daughter. ``Susanna,'' set in approximately the same period, traces the rapid personality dissolution of an orphaned girl who can't be dissuaded from sacrificing her life to an imagined grand passion. Slowly paced and intensely emotional, both stories effectively forecast the devastation of the holocaust soon to come. Still, their undeniable fascination and power are, sadly, no more then documentary.