By Eugène Aroneanu, Thomas Whissen
This book is a translation of an oral history of the concentration camp experience recorded immediately after World War II as told by men and women who endured it and lived to tell about it. Their vivid, firsthand accounts heighten the reality of this experience in ways no third-person narrative can capture. Even when they are at a loss for words, their struggle to find language to express the unspeakable is, in itself, mute testimony to the ordeal etched forever on their memories. The testimonies are arranged to reflect the chronology of camp experience (from deportation to liberation), the living conditions of camp life (from malnutrition to forced labor), and the various methods of abuse and extermination (from castration to gassing and cremation). The chronology gives the accounts a narrative flow and even creates a certain suspense, especially as liberation nears and hopes rise.