Review: Forgotten Voices of The Holocaust: A new history in the words of the men and women who survived – Lyn Smith

Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust Lyn SmithSeries: Forgotten Voices

My version:
Paperback
Genre:
Non Fiction
 WWII, Germany, Holocaust
Publisher: 
Ebury Press
First published: 2005
Bought


Following the success of Forgotten Voices of the Great War, Lyn Smith visits the oral accounts preserved in the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, to reveal the sheer complexity and horror of one of human history’s darkest hours.

The great majority of Holocaust survivors suffered considerable physical and psychological wounds, yet even in this dark time of human history, tales of faith, love and courage can be found. As well as revealing the story of the Holocaust as directly experienced by victims, these testimonies also illustrate how, even enduring the most harsh conditions, degrading treatment and suffering massive family losses, hope, the will to survive, and the human spirit still shine through.


I have actually ‘read’ this twice now. Once as a paperback, and now once as an audiobook. I remember from the paperback, wondering at the way people described their lives before the Nazis came and took it all away. It seemed such a brutal shame that their fine lives, their hopes and dreams for themselves, their future and their children, was taken away. I think that since first reading this book, I’ve been trying to re-capture that moment in time.

I listened to this, recently then, as an audiobook. And it’s different! I had no idea, but the narration is by the incomparable Andrew Sachs, and what are in the book, paragraphs transcribed, maybe edited, of the witnesses recollections, testimony, call it what you will, is actually them speaking. Obviously the author(s) have recorded or used recordings of the people giving their thoughts, their feelings, their eye-witness accounts, and for the book, transcribed them, but for this version, used them as they were given. Think a documentary, without pictures. It captured me all over again.

I won’t hear a word against how powerful and concise and important and affecting this book is.

 

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