Description de l’éditeur
From one of the lone survivors of the Treblinka concentration camp comes a devastating memoir of the Holocaust in the tradition of Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz.
Why did some live while so many others perished? Tiny children, old men, beautiful girls—in the gas chambers of Treblinka, all were equal. A central cog in the wheel of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution, the fires of Treblinka were kept burning night and day.
Chil Rajchman was twenty-eight when he arrived at Treblinka in 1942. At the extermination camp, he was forced to work as a “barber,” shaving the heads of victims, and a “dentist,” pulling gold teeth from corpses. But he escaped eleven months later and survived to tell the shocking and heartbreaking tale of his experience—and of those who didn’t make it out alive.
Elie Wiesel calls The Last Jew of Treblinka “an important, heart-rending contribution to our search for truth.” Poignant and powerful, this memoir provides the only survivors’ record of the horrifying Polish extermination camp. Originally written in Yiddish in 1945, without hope or agenda other than to bear witness, Rajchman’s story shows that remembering is sometimes the bravest and most painful act of all.
Available in English for the first time, Rajchman's chilling, vivid, and concise account of his horrific experiences as a laborer who survived Treblinka during WWII is an important addition to the survivor narrative. Rajchman details the grisly work he and others were forced to perform in hopes of surviving, such as shearing off the hair of train transport victims en route to the gas chamber, or sorting the clothing of the dead to retrieve valuables like suits and watches for the German officers, and "fine dresses" for their wives. Posing as a dentist, Rajchman was sent to clean fillings, crowns, and bridges of the deceased after which they were sorted into piles according to value. Perhaps the most shocking and physically demanding job Rajchman held was carrying corpses from the gas chambers to burial pits all the while being whipped by his captors for moving too slowly. The only shred of hope that one can take from this astonishing account is the ability of one man to maintain strength and humanity during an unimaginable year. First published in 1945 in Yiddish, Rajchman's memoir is especially unique for being the only existing account of a Treblinka survivor in print.
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Sad yet greatly written.
This book seems to go by very quickly due to the great writing of the author. He gave such painful descriptions of what he witnessed yet allowed each traumatic event to flow perfectly. This is a great book to read as it gives deep insite to the crimes of Treblinka and shows a side that not many are aware of. Treblinka the camp made for one purpose: murder!