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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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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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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