“Guilt, shame, heroism and the Holocaust.”
Since the 1960s, the Holocaust has been presented as an aberration, confined to Germany and the Nazi leaders who held power during the twelve years after 1933. Responsibility has been heaped upon a few villains in jackboots and black uniforms, whose names have become synonymous with evil. Yet behind these nightmare monsters lie other spectres whose names are barely remembered; whose lives are forgotten.
The Nightmare Dance focuses on the lives of five very different individuals who were at the heart of the Holocaust, but whose names are known only to a few specialist historians of the period. Two were committed Nazis, perpetrators of the foulest crimes: Josef Blösche and Christian Wirth, both psychotic killers. Stella Goldschlag was a Jewish woman yet she willingly aided the Gestapo and betrayed her culture and her people.
But there were people who fought back: Janusz Korczak, whose life and hero’s death has ensured that he will always be seen by those who know his story as a secular saint. King Christian X of Denmark denied that his country had ‘a Jewish problem’. The actions of the King, and the Danish people, demonstrated the leadership and bravery of a nation pitted against an implacable enemy, as well as the unifying strength that comes from doing what is right.
The Nightmare Dance tells the story of the small lives affected by the Holocaust, from those who had souls as black as pitch, to others filled with exquisite goodness. It will appeal particularly to those interested in Second World War history and Jewish studies.