A historically valuable and emotionally affecting collection of wartime letters.



In this debut book, a writer compiles letters from two Jewish parents—desperately trying to flee the Nazis in Europe—to their daughter. 

Rosi Baczewski (nee Mosbacher) was born in Nuremberg, Germany, but left for England in 1939 as Nazi rule became increasingly intolerable for Jews, eventually making her way to the United States. Her parents—Hugo and Clemy Mosbacher—intended to reunite with her in New York after fleeing Germany for the Netherlands but were confronted with an entangled skein of bureaucratic challenges trying to secure the necessary documents. They never obtained a visa to enter the Netherlands but decided the deteriorating conditions in Germany made crossing the border illegally unavoidable. They were arrested in early 1940 in the Netherlands and spent two months in detention in Amsterdam, the first time they were separated since they married in 1911. They were released, but a few months later the Nazis invaded the country. Hugo and Clemy sent hundreds of letters to Rosi from 1940 to 1943, right up until they were seized by the Nazis in Amsterdam and ultimately sent to Auschwitz to die. Vasos, Baczewski’s daughter-in-law, assembled those letters in this moving collection, translated by various experts and coupled with a running historical commentary. The volume clearly chronicles not only the efforts of the Mosbachers to escape the Netherlands, but also the general plight of the Jews in Europe. Baczewski held onto those letters for 70 years before she gave them to the author. The correspondence covers a broad spectrum of issues, including the Mosbachers’ attempts to hack their way through a thicket of logistical issues that kept them stranded in the Netherlands and their heroic work to remain optimistic. The epistles are both historically edifying and profoundly moving—Hugo writes of the “immeasurable joy” he experienced each time he received a communication from his daughter. Still, both Hugo and Clemy were entirely aware of the precariousness of their situation and often expressed disconsolateness in response to their troubles. One letter ends with a sober aphorism: “What cannot be cured must be endured.” Vasos astutely situates the letters historically, ultimately producing a loving tribute to Hugo and Clemy as well as a treasure trove of historical insights and moral testimony.

A historically valuable and emotionally affecting collection of wartime letters. 

Pub Date: May 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9997425-2-5

Page Count: 332

Publisher: Pen Stroke Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2019

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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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