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					............................................. THE G U A R D I AN Frfday November 19 1965                      9                                         i
          Nui IIOtdien IOUndlna: up .Jewish famfllee la the Ware•." Ihetto




      Death factories
      by Emanuel Litvinoff
    THE HOLOCAUST KINGDOM.              lngs,' the bartering first for
      by Alu;allder Donat (Seeker small privileges then for life
     and Warhur&. 30$).                itself,:.. gas-.ehambi!r selections.
    DIARY OF A NIGHTMARE: The l~3Z.IS specialised in break-
      Ber/In 1942·1945. by Urnda ing down human personaMy
     >,on Kardorfl, Iran.lation E...an into gr<Jss components.        That
      BUller (Hart.Davi.,30$).         'they succeeded in brutalls,ng
                                           their victims, in setting the
    N0 human experience has so             weak against the weak, even
                                           mothers against their own
         exhausted the resources of
    languag~    with as httle lasting      infants, sometimes a r 0 use s
                                           shocked comment. Mr Donat,
    effect as the literature of the        who only sets out to describe,
    Nazi ghettoes and concentration        has much to teach the
    camps. A callus has thickened          philosophers and psyChologists       lated one another; women Cried      a book that Will not be lived
    our sensibilities and we trJvi·        Who have ~lated on these             and laughed; people began to        d{>wn or forgotten.
    alise the horrors of Auschwitz          difficult matters. It was a         sing psalms in II low VQ1ce;           It Is unfortunate for Miss
    in a whole genr~ of second-rate        miracle that moot of the VIctims      and one grey·haired man spoke      von Kardorff to be reviewed in
    novels. movies. and televiSJon          retained their decency, and it 1s    the blessmgs aloud: How            this company. Her sufferings,
    thrillers While the scalding           about time this was recognised        wonderful it Wall to have seen     those of an upper-class anti·
    testimony of victims goes               as a vicWry greater in its way       such times I "                     Nazi German reduced t.o dis-
    unread.       ''It's so long ago,"                                                                              tress by her country's defeat,
                                           than any won on the battlefield.         But while the young fighters    were real enough. Her diary
    someone told a frIend of mine.             On the eve of tlle gbetto         of the ghetto battled aJjlainst
    ~. Why can't you people learn to                                                                                tells us something of the com-
    forget 1" This raw book, The           rising, when the starving Jews        German tanks and artlllery.        fortable lIIusions that prevailed
    Holocaust Kingdom, annihilates         of Warsaw fought the German           rejecting at last their passive    In Germany. where some were
    that banality. To read it is like       army with home-made petrol           martyrdom, the Donats were         divided between their dislike
    having pieces of flesh torn from        bombs and small arms while the       seized and sent to Maidanek        of Hitler and their feeling that
    one's body; to feel grief, rage,        world at large looked on. Mr         death-camp. They again sur-        good Germans should fight even
    fear. exhaustion, and bitterness:       Donat's I n fan t son was            vived miraculousiy. Alexander      an unpopular war for their
     to become. for a brief space.          smuggled to safety by the wife       was shunted to Radom ghetto.       country. Re«ecting on the cir-
    one of those millions whose             of a former employee, one of         to Auschwitz. to slave labour in    cumstances of a RUSSian domes-
     very multiplicity insulates us         the few Pollsh Christians who        Germany itself. and. finally,      tIc servant employed in a
     from their pain.                       risked their lives to help Jews.     jomed that death march of          friend's house, she wonders if
                                            There Is a harshly sardonic          emaciated prisoners as the          Germans would be as well
        It is the story of a man, ::is       descripthm of the last days of      Allies closed in on HItler's        treated If conditions were
     wife. and his child who pa5'5Cil        the ghetto when crOWds of            Reich. Liberated by Patton',       reversed. There Is also some-
     through several death factories        worshippers on the "Aryan"            Third Army. he returned to         thing about friends who were
      and survived to be together            side of Warsaw. dressed in           Warsaw without any hope of         biding Jews, and the cruelties
      again. The author wag a pros-          their best clothes. came from        finding his wife alive, but sbe    of the occupymg Allled forces
      perous publish~ of a popular           celebrating Easter mass to           bad also surVIved Auschwitz, a     are half·apologetically. half-
      Warsaw dally newspaper before          watch the crucifixion of the         death march to Breslau, Ravens-    resentfully recorded. It WM a
      the Nams drove him and his             Jews. The act of resistance          brUck. and Neustadt·GHlwen,        pretty bad exPerience for a
     family into the ghetto. That            transfigured the v I c t i m s .     and was already in Warsaw.         gently nurtured German girl,
      abrupt descent into Gehenna IS         "Although we were all doomed         reunited with their child. But     but one day In Auschwitz would
      chronicled with painstaking            to a terrible death, we were         thiS marvellous reprieve only      have shown herla kind of night.
      veracity-the disintegration O'f        gripped by a strange ecstasy.        intensifies grief; It cannot       mare from which no one ever
      social dlstlnctions, hunger. beat-    We embraced and C<lngratu-          "purge it. Mr Donat has written      awakened.
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