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IN THE SEWERS OF LVOV by Robert Marshall


A Heroic Story of Survival From the Holocaust

by Robert Marshall

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-684-19320-5
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

 A stirring tale of survival against overwhelming odds, based on oral and written testimony and recounted with novelistic intensity by documentary filmmaker Marshall. Recording unforgettable characters and startling scenes, Marshall explains how a small group of Jews managed to escape the liquidation of the Lvov ghetto by hiding within the city's elaborate sewer system. Living for over a year amid rats, filth, and the constant pounding of rushing water, the ten survivors--from an initial 21--find an unlikely savior in a seemingly ordinary Polish sewer worker made extraordinary by his devotion to the dangerous task he embraces as his ``mission.'' Also a worthy counterpart to his varied flock--including a beautiful, pregnant widow, an energetic Hasid, and two young children--is a daring former black-marketeer who actually smuggles himself into the local forced-labor camp in an attempt to rescue the sister of the woman he loves. Relying on straightforward accumulation of day-to-day detail (crawling through 16-inch pipes to get water; picking off each day's lice; coping with dysentery and spoiled food), heightened by chilling vignettes (the camp commandant having children ``thrown into the air while he took aim and shot at them from the veranda''; mothers wordlessly jumping off roofs after their children are taken away), the narrative renders its nightmare world in brilliantly sensory and emotional terms. Unrelenting and powerful: a notable addition to the crowded field of Holocaust studies. (Eight page photo insert--not seen.)