Holocaust survivor Harry Gordon recalls in brutal detail the anguished years of his youth, a youth spent struggling to survive in a Lithuanian concentration camp. A memoir about hope and resilience, The Shadow of Death describes the invasion of Kovno by the Red Army and the impact of Soviet occupation from the perspective of the ghetto's weakest and poorest class. It also serves as a reminder that the Germans were not alone responsible for the persecution and extermination of Jews.
This is a no holds barred account of what the Nazis and their local collaborators did to the Jews of Kovno, modern day Kaunas. The reader is spared no detail. The writing is plain rather than literary and the reading a little flat but this does not pretend to be a work of art. Rather it is the testimony of one of the lucky survivors concerning the calculated and brutal murder of his family, their rich culture and the world they inhabited before the Second World War. I found it both touching and at times almost unbearablle. This is a must read for anyone, like me, with Jewish roots in Lithuania or indeed anyone who wishes to understand how the most cultured nation in Europe proved itself capable of the most unspeakable barbarity.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Shadow of Death: The Holocaust in Lithuania in three words, what would they be?
A story of a young Lithuanian Jewish boy's experience of the Holocaust. The story is very personal and told from the point of a boy. It is both heart wrenching and touching. The episodes of family's love for each other is a poignant contrast to the horrors they were forced to lived through. The narration described and conveyed the emotions of fear, disgust and love of the protagonist.
What other book might you compare The Shadow of Death: The Holocaust in Lithuania to and why?
Vilnius: A City of Strangers by Laimonas Briedis
What does Adam Behr bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It made me cry. Disgust
Any additional comments?
I felt like the story held nothing back.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful