Sunday, December 19, 2010

review: a lucky child by thomas buergenthal

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In A Lucky Child, Thomas Buergenthal shares his incredible memories of his experience during the Holocaust. As so many memoirs seem to have been discredited lately, Buergenthal states upfront that as he's writing this over 60 years later, it's "colored by the tricks that the passage of time and old age play on memory." Similar statements are made throughout A Lucky Child and I appreciated his honesty about not recalling specific dates and names.

A Lucky Child addresses many of the horrors survived by the author, but the story doesn't become depressing (though it is, at times, heartbreaking). From the introductory remarks, it's clear Buergenthal's mother also survives; knowing this reunion will come makes it all a little more hopeful and easier to stomach. Also, Buergenthal meets some truly wonderful people in the concentration camp. Odd Nansen, who wrote a book of his own, is one of those people. He not only looked after young Buergenthal while in the infirmary, but Nansen also helped after the war. The bright moments make this an even more touching story.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Back Bay Books.

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