We crossed an historical bridge from one millennium to another, from the 20th to the 21st century—a century of the most powerful human cruelty, death, and destruction, as well as the human ability of rebuilding new lives. This was the first time in history when Jews were not given a chance of survival. In the past, conversion and expulsion were among the major options. During the Holocaust, Jewish blood was the primitive definition of identity. Even escape was impossible, for the gates in the occupied territories and in most countries around the globe were tightly locked.
This very moving book records the memories of Holocaust survivors, of the most painful human experience. Despite the recollections, hate is not the message, but rather to learn from the most cruel mistakes of European civilization during the Holocaust so that future generations will never be part of such atrocities.
The memories of Holocaust survivors in this book represent the majority of the countries under German occupation. Individuals who experienced the Holocaust—ranging from young children to mature adults—are recalling their past. The book also presents American liberators who opened the gates to hell and brought back to life the ultimate victims.
Future generations will learn countless lessons from this book. They can read about every element of suffering during the Holocaust, death and survival. These experiences are presented in short touching sparks of memory, rather than in long autobiographical accounts. The reader can open the book and focus on any work, sentence, or paragraph, and will immediately be drawn into a close personal relationship with the individual whose touching, heartbreaking, and accurate memories are told. Flares of Memory is indeed leading us across the bridge to a creative present and a safe future.
Professor Yaffa Eliach