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Kaddish for Kovno: Life and Death in a Lithuanian Ghetto 1941-1945
In Kaddish for Kovno (the Kaddish is a prayer for the dead) William W Mishell documents in passionate detail the creation and then the obliteration of ghetto Kovno in Lithuania during the Nazi occupation of World War II. It is a troy of ingenuity and heroism as well as of horror and destruction. It illuminates the indomitable human spirit as the Jews of Kovno secured food, ...more
Paperback, 406 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Chicago Review Press
(first published 1988)
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Aug 19, 2013 Meaghan rated it really liked it · review of another edition
I talk about an incident from this book on my August 18, 2013 Executed Today entry. On August 18, 1941, 534 Lithuanian-Jewish intellectuals were rounded up and shot by the Nazis. William Mishell nearly became victim number 535.
This is a memoir of a Jewish Lithuanian Holocaust survivor from the Kaunas (Kovno)ghetto. It is a must read on many levels -- for Jews, for Lithuanians, and for those interested in history so that the past may never have to repeat itself. Parts of the book are heart-breakingly difficult to read, so much so that I had to put the book down at times and continue reading another day. For example, the description of the "children's action" (kinder akstye) was particularly difficult for me to read. ...more
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“Another letter complained about the soldiers suffering in Stalingrad, asking God why He let things like this happen to the brave German people. This letter was a classic. The godless barbarians who had forgotten the image of God in the hour of their victories, the murderers who were shooting tens of thousands of Jews and Russian prisons of without blinking an eye, suddenly now remembered that there was a God somewhere after all. Where was God when they were massacring innocent women and children in the forts of Lithuania, piling them on top of the other in huge mass graves? Why didn't they look up to Him at that hour? But at that time they were playing God themselves, with the lives of millions of "subhumans." Oh, how good it felt to hear a German Nazi clamour of God! God! This was our revenge. God was no in Stalingrad. This was the Ninth Fort for the Germans.”More quotes…