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THE FINAL JOURNEY by Gudrun Pausewang


by Gudrun Pausewang & translated by Patricia Crampton

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-670-86458-0
Publisher: Viking

The horrors of the Holocaust in a haunting novel by Pausewang (Fall-Out, 1995, etc.) that opens as a young Jewish girl who has grown up in Nazi Germany boards a train with her grandfather bound for Auschwitz: It's the beginning of a journey to hell. Pausewang vividly evokes the indignities and cruelties Jewish citizens bore at the hands of their captors, crammed with nine- year-old Alice into the cattle trucks without bathrooms, water, or fresh air. She sees a woman giving birth on the car's floor and struggles to make sense of the previous disappearances of her beloved parents, grandmother, and others. She recalls the past few years: Hitler's rise to power, her family's temple burned to the ground, her father's lost business, and the family's eventual move into hiding. No reader will be immune to the plight of these people, powerless in the face of overwhelming evil. Although Alice's grandfather dies of a coronary and the child marches off to certain death, she is not alone, but holding the hands of a stranger and her daughters. The brutal message of Pausewang's novel lingers long after the last agonizing pages are closed. (Fiction. 10-14)