UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN by Michael & Kathleen Janger Korenblit


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The Holocaust story of Jewish teenage-sweethearts Meyer Korenblit and Manya Nagelsztajn--as told, in a slow-moving soap-opera style that minimizes the horror and drama, by their younger son. In 1942 Poland, the Korenblit family goes into hiding, and young Meyer's beloved Manya decides to join him (rather than stay with her family)--as does Manya's still-younger brother Chaim. Helped by an alcoholic Polish friend, the Korenblits and friends successfully stay safe, hidden in a huge haystack. But when their protectors grow fearful, and when Jews seem to be finding safety by doing menial work in the occupied ghetto, the group starts splitting up--with the teenagers cleaning out deserted Jewish homes for the looting Nazis. Meyer even manages to steal some objects, selling them to a Pole, hoping to save up escape-money. Then, however, Meyer is betrayed, wanted by the Gestapo--and must travel around with fake Polish identity papers. (Thanks, again, to decent, courageous Polish friends--including a local police chief.) Meanwhile, Manya witnesses a friend's casual murder by a local Nazi--and is terrified by Meyer's decision to join the underground. (""Pain. . . terror. . . shock--they bombarded her from every direction, ricocheting off the walls."") But before Meyer can act for the underground, things get much worse: the rest of the Korenblits are dead or missing; Chaim disappears; and then both Meyer and Manya are deported to a labor-camp, soon split up and moved from camp to camp (including Auschwitz and Dachau stops)--with all the now-familiar, still-arresting moments of horror. Both young people do survive, however, reuniting (as vowed) in their hometown for marriage and emigration to the US--and decades later, as reported in a brief prologue/epilogue, Chaim is discovered alive in Newcastle, England. Similar tales of hiding appear, more concisely and effectively, in first-person Holocaust narratives (several recent anthologies) and in Leonard Gross' The Last Jews in Berlin. Concentration-camp life is far more powerfully captured in Kitty Hart's Return to Auschwitz. But readers partial to open-throated sentimentality (""Then they cried and cried until no more tears would come. They lingered over each embrace. . ."") may appreciate the fiction-like treatment here--despite the awkward, repetitious dialogue and weak, flat narration.

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 1983
Publisher: Putnam