THE LAST BUTTERFLY by Michael Jacot

THE LAST BUTTERFLY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When the Nazis fail to appreciate a rather unsuccessful Czech comic's joke about the ""Heil Hitler"" (""That's how high my dog can jump""), especially one whose mother was a Jew -- Antonin Karas goes too to Terezin, a detention camp for undesirables on the way to Auschwitz. Presumably he is to entertain the children during a carefully staged Red Cross inspection; actually he is to remain a performer in purgatory for the duration of the war, except for a brief, uncharacteristically idealistic interlude in which he helps a group of Polish children (and his lover) escape at least temporarily following a train wreck on the way to the dreaded gas camps. This is a strong, unsentimental, simple tale on a subject so (rightfully) loaded that it is nearly impossible to deal with, particularly on a fictional scale: a triumph of a book about magic and love in the midst of the greatest brutality the world has ever known.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1974
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill