This book is a translation of an oral history of the concentration camp experience recorded immediately after World War II as told by men and women who endured it and lived to tell about it. Their vivid, firsthand accounts heighten the reality of this experience in ways no third-person narrative can capture. Even when they are at a loss for words, their struggle to find language to express the unspeakable is, in itself, mute testimony to the ordeal etched forever on their memories. The testimonies are arranged to reflect the chronology of camp experience (from deportation to liberation), the living conditions of camp life (from malnutrition to forced labor), and the various methods of abuse and extermination (from castration to gassing and cremation). The chronology gives the accounts a narrative flow and even creates a certain suspense, especially as liberation nears and hopes rise.
About the Author:
EUGÉNE ARONEANU, compiler of the accounts, was a Romanian who was given the task of drawing up the tables of atrocities for the Nuremberg trials. He died prematurely in 1960.
THOMAS WHISSEN, translator of the accounts, is Professor of English, Emeritus, at Wright State University. He is the author of Isak Dinesen's Aesthetics, A Way with Words, The Devil's Advocates: Decadence in Modern Literature, and Classic Cult Fiction: A Guide to Popular Cult Literature (Greenwood, 1992).