Monday, 29 July 2019

Short post after my vacation...

I just got back from a week visiting my oldest friend in Manitoba, and am quite tired from the travel, so this will be a short post before I get to all the chores that go along with catching up after being away for a while.
While I was away I managed to finish a Young Adult book from my school library, To Look a Nazi in the Eye:  a teen’s account of a war criminal trial by Kathy Kacer with Jordana Lebowitz, which was very interesting and well-written.  In this book, Kacer recounts the experiences of University of Guelph student Lebowitz as she attends the first week of the trial of Oskar Groening, “the bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, who in 2015 stood trial as a war criminal and accessory to the murder of 300, 000 Hungarian Jews between 1944 and 1945.   Lebowitz’ grandparents were survivors of concentration camps, and this family history affected her deeply, so when the opportunity arose to attend this trial and share her experiences, she did all she could to make it happen. Kacer came across a mention of her story in a newspaper and decided that partnering with her was the best way to write about this trial, which was something she already wanted to do.  What resulted is a moving account of not only Groening’s involvement in the “machinery of death”, but stories from survivors who were ripped away from their happy childhoods, separated from their families and thrown into concentration camps, witnessing atrocities they should never have had to see and never laying eyes on their family members again. Through this account we also begin to understand how this experience affected one young woman today, and learn about her passionate desire to share her experiences with others in order to learn from history and hopefully avoid repeating it.  It was a fabulous read that I would recommend to anyone interested in WWII history and the pursuit of justice even as much as 70 years later.
That’s all for now.  I have a long list of things to do on this hot, sunny day, but if I start now, I may find some time to read this afternoon.
Bye for now…
Julie

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