Helen's Reviews > The Last Jew of Treblinka

The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Rajchman
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's review
Feb 23, 13

bookshelves: holocaust
Read in September, 2011

I've met Jews who survived Auschwitz. I have never met anyone who survived Treblinka, never even heard of someone who survived. Now I know why. This book is a testament of unimaginable, incomprehensible horror.
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message 1: by Elizabeth (last edited Feb 23, 2013 02:59PM) (new)

Elizabeth Please be careful with generalizations and pronouncements made because of your experiences. Jews were not the only prisoners and those who were either murdered, tortured, starved to death or close to death, or somehow managed to survive the death camps.

I'm Jewish. I had family members who were murdered in Auschwitz and other camps, and I have friends and know others who had family members who survived Auschwitz and know of people who survived Treblinka. It's unnecessary to compare and in my opinion ridiculous to compare the experiences of those who went through hell on earth in Treblinka and Auschwitz, that neither you nor I could ever begin to fathom.

Treblinka and that which you read in this book (although I haven't read THIS book about Treblinka, but I have read others about Treblinka) speak of "unimaginable, incomprehensible horror." That said, "now you" DON'T know why, because your knowledge or information is incomplete. Anyone and everyone who ever set foot in any concentration camp faced unimaginable and incomprehensible horror.

Your sentiments may be well intended, but your facts are incorrect.

message 2: by Elizabeth (last edited Feb 23, 2013 03:01PM) (new)

Elizabeth All you need to do to know that the fact that you've never heard of or met anyone who survived Treblinka, and after reading this book you pronounce, "now I know why" is untrue, is to use your fingers and google:

survivors of Treblinka or Treblinka survivors

You might also try going to the official and accredited site of Treblinka, or google Yad Vashem and take a few minutes to learn.

I know that I'm being extraordinarily intense, but the truth and the facts of The Holocaust must be maintained. Statements such as yours even though they may be on the side of all that is good and empathic in this world does damage to the preservation of historical facts and could mislead others.

Helen I would never, God forbid, demean the experiences of anyone who went through the Hell that was Europe, 1939-1945. That was not my intention. Elizabeth, I did not write this review lightly or carelessly. I have read extensively on the Holocaust over the years. My parents are survivors, as are three of my grandparents. (The fourth died in Treblinka.) And I have never read anything like I read in this book.

message 4: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Helen,

What I was trying to say was that it's always important to have the absolute facts about The Holocaust before making comments about what did or did not happen. I took your words that follow LITERALLY.
Your words, "I've met Jews who survived Auschwitz. I have never met anyone who survived Treblinka, never even heard of someone who survived. Now I know why." To me that meant that you were saying that no one except this author survived. And now that I know what you've shared about your family obviously more people than this author survived the Hell that was Treblinka.

If you go to the following link, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,73... at "Jewish World' online, you will "meet" two men who are believed to be the two only remaining survivors (plural)from Treblinka. It is believed that only sixty seven people out of ALL who entered Treblinka survived.

Although only sixty seven people are known to have survived, at least sixty seven people did survive. That is a tiny number but it is in my opinion critical that "that" fact be etched in stone forever. I understand your passion and your good intentions. Perhaps this additional information will explain why I took what you said literally. Even if only sixty seven survived, that is different than saying that only one or none survived.

I didn't think that you were demeaning as you said above, "anyone who went through the Hell that was Europe, 1939-1945", but I did feel like you may have been comparing the Hell that people went through at different death camps. After reading your new reply I can see that was not your intention.

If you step back for a moment and read your comments as someone who is not you, could you see how someone could have taken what you wrote literally, and how someone could think that you 'were' comparing the degree of Hell that those who went through the Hell of Treblinka with those who went through the Hell of Auschwitz?


message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve Sckenda Helen, I am so honored to be your friend. You have taken your family tragedy and relentlessly pursued knowledge on this horrible human tragedy. Your massive amount of reading and your reviews always humble me. Your reviews force me to pause and to remember.

message 6: by Helen (last edited Feb 24, 2013 06:00PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Helen No, Steve, it's me who is honored. (Is that proper English?) You are too kind, always. Thank you.

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