Out this Month

Fragments of Isabella - Isabella Leitner

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley


                As I start to write this review, the Internet is somewhat imploding because of a comic book.  No, the character didn’t come out as guy, and no I don’t really want to talk about because it is dumb.  But then you sit and think, and you have to wonder if some people never read books like this one.


                Today, you would think everyone knows about the Holocaust and that we pretty much don’t have to educate people about it.  And then you get smacked in the face by, to use polite langue, idiots.  You have Holocaust Denials.  You have idiots who know there was a Holocaust but think it was one the Jews were killing everyone.  You have comparisons of people like Obama to Hitler.  You just have to wonder about what people are learning about history that even in the modern world where information about the Holocaust is readily available in a wide variety of sources, why people are so filled with stupidity.


                Leitner’s memoir isn’t so much a memoir in the traditional sense of the word.  If you have read Charlotte Delbo’s Auschwitz and After, Leitner’s work is much like that memoir.  It is more of conveying of memoir.  While Leitner isn’t as poetic as Delbo, her book is just as compelling.  In part, this is because Delbo was imprisoned because her involvement with the Resistance, and Leitner was Jewish.


  Leitner’s memoir starts with the deportment from the Ghetto and follows her experiences during the war.  The free form and very short chapters in which the story is told make it all the more compelling because there is a sense of pain that is viscerally felt by the reader.  Leitner conveys more in simple words than other writers do.  It is this aspect of the book that makes this volume essential reading.  The sense of pain is even given more recent context in the afterword by Leitner’s husband.


Maybe if this book was assigned more we would not have to deal with idiots.