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An extended interview with Dr. Marek Edelman, who was barely in his 20s when he helped lead the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto at the end of WW II. After the war, he remained in Poland, where he became a heart surgeon. The occupation of saving lives and lessening the discomfort of dying seemed the only significant one after his Ghetto experiences. In recent years, he has emerged as one of the leaders of the Solidarity Movement, even receiving a certain amount of recognition from the Polish government. His thoughts on war, surgery, and Solidarity which make up this thin book are of great interest. But there is more. The interviewer is a highly intelligent and by no means pandering journalist. A friend of Edelman's, she abruptly challenges some of his statements and they argue it out. There is a freshness of repartee, an unstuffiness, a desire to rethink things which have been examined over and over again. As Edelman comments, ""We are not writing about remembering."" Edelman's recollections vary from the tragic to the absurd, with a mixture of the two that seems to approximate reality closer than most previous records, This attitude was no doubt necessary in a Ghetto uprising by 220 Jews against over 10 times that many Germans, the latter with vastly superior weapons. German techniques of hunting down Jews were cruelly effective: e.g., giving a wandering child candy and asking, ""Where is your Mom?"" The reader begins to understand Edelman's belief that God, although He exists, ""is not terribly just."" A fascinating volume, flawed only by a superficial introduction.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1986
Publisher: Henry Holt