I Light a Candle, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (1 rating)




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The remarkable account, soberly and carefully told, of a holocaust survivor, a Polish Jew who lived through the ghettos and death camps, then came to Britain and started a new life. She suffered awful deprivations, including the death or disappearance of most of her many siblings, and describes a culture of intense cruelty. Bearing witness is the key here, as the writing is convincing and clear, but not dispassionate: one always feels clearly that this is a real person giving a real, unaffected account of events and experiences.It all seems so long ago now, or rather so 'culturally' distant , so it is amazing to get a clear, contemporary telling us the tale. And indeed I heard the author, Gena Turgel, aged in her late 80s, addressing an audience of students and staff at the College of North West London, on Holocaust Remembrance Day in January 2010. And her direct, clear voice, describing simply and honestly but still emotionally, was profoundly touching, bringing the rather blase 21st century audience to a stunned reflectiveness. For me, knowing the history of the era all too well, but knowing what I now realise was a rather depersonalised history, it really brought home to me the horrors of the 1940s in Europe; and I won't be able to gloss over them quite so neatly again.