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Country of Ash: A Jewish Doctor in Poland, 1939-1945

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  188 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Country of Ash is the starkly compelling, original chronicle of a Jewish doctor who miraculously survived near-certain death, first inside the Lodz and Warsaw ghettoes, where he was forced to treat the Gestapo, then on the Aryan side of Warsaw, where he hid under numerous disguises. He clandestinely recorded the terrible events he witnessed, but his manuscript disappeared ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Bellevue Literary Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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May 06, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I won this in a librarything giveaway but that doesn’t affect my opinion.

I never know what to say about Holocaust memoirs. I read them because they’re like a bright light I feel I have to stare into until I’m blind. Reicher’s book is plain, not varnished either with embellishment or with naturally beautiful prose, and for that reason it’s more painful to read than many books on the subject. It’s a book that should be read by everyone; anyone who does read it won’t forget it.
An interesting memoir by a Jewish doctor who was in both the Lodz and the Warsaw Ghettos. Dr. Reicher actually got fairly close to the Lodz Ghetto's controversial chairman, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, and his impressions of the man are invaluable to history. Beyond that, however, this memoir doesn't really stand out that much among all the other Holocaust books out there.

(I got this book for free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.)
Ronald Roseborough
May 14, 2013 Ronald Roseborough rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war, memoir, world-war-ii
This is an astonishing book. This highly recommended book is the memoir of a Jewish doctor in Poland during World War II from 1939-1945. It is hard to believe that Dr. Edward Reicher lived to tell his story, considering that millions of Jewish people were slaughtered in Poland during the Nazi occupation. Even more astounding, Reicher managed to save his wife and baby daughter from the SS and countless Polish informers, who made a living off of other peoples misery. Dr. Reicher was not a military ...more
May 26, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it
COUNTRY OF ASH by Dr. Edward Reicher
Dr. Reicher’s memoir tells of his experiences as a Jew in Poland during World War II. He relates the most horrific details in a matter of fact voice. He, his wife and their small daughter all survive the destruction of the Jewish ghetto and the uprising in the city of Warsaw.
For anyone seeking information about Hitler’s edicts and their effect on Jews and Aryans in Poland, this account will be riveting in its details. Because this is a translation from the ori
Gail Scaryblondechick
Jan 09, 2014 Gail Scaryblondechick rated it it was amazing
This man's simple memoir reads like a novel. The details of his survival from day to day through the times and trials which killed nearly everyone he knew and left his community empty are often simple and prosaic, yet so entirely unlikely that people who meet him after the war literally cannot believe it's him. This memoir is heartbreaking in its simplicity and in the nearly emotionless "and so this happened" narrative which doesn't much distinguish in tone between the bloodiest and the most ...more
May 27, 2013 Laurin rated it it was amazing
One of the best accounts of the Holocaust that I've ever read. It was well written, and made me feel like I was there with him. This was an amazing story of survival, and I'm grateful to have been given the opportunity to read it. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the Holocaust. I have read many other books about living through/surviving the Holocaust, and this is one of the best that I've ever read.

*I received this book through LibraryThing's early reviewer program, but that i
Aug 22, 2016 Marsmannix rated it it was amazing
I hesitate to call a Holocaust memoir a page-turner, but Country of Ash reads like a spy novel. I finished it in 2 days.
Dr. Reicher was able to survive the Holocaust with his wife and daughter through a series of moves and disguises worthy of a Ken Follet novel. He enouters a Jewish doctor charged with inspecting circumcisions, a broken-down prostitute, a Polish princess and a crazy Russian who loved saving Jews.

Along, with "Hidden Gold" I'll remember this as not only a serious and important s
Sep 07, 2013 Pam rated it it was amazing
Dr. Edward Reicher endured the Holocaust years with his wife and young daughter in the Lodz and Warsaw Ghettos. When he could no longer keep them safe in the ghetto, he and his family walked away from a roundup and entered the Polish side to pass as Aryans. His descriptions of both ghettos are amazing. I definitely recommend this book.
Diane Luzar
Jun 24, 2013 Diane Luzar rated it it was amazing
I am amazed that Dr. Reicher was able to go back and remember so many incidents to write this book. He lost the original diary at the end of the occupation and some 20 years later started recalling everything he and his family had been through. This is a true story but reads like a novel. A very different book from other Holocaust remembrances I have read. It continually kept my interest.(
Apr 05, 2014 Bkwilko rated it it was amazing
One of the best Holocaust survival accounts I have read. In addition to telling his story, the author also provides some insights on what happened to the various people in the book after the war ended. That was really interesting.
frederick l payette
Terrifying and inspiring at once

Have a new understanding of evil and intolerance . Have wonder and marvel at how good can triumph over the insanity of hate.
Katie Sunsdahl
Apr 18, 2015 Katie Sunsdahl rated it really liked it
True story- very disturbing to read what he and his family and countless others went through. Tiny little twists of fate that saved them time after time.
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