Holocaust and genocide discussion

RECOMMENDATION > Unravelled--Fictional Account of Mengele's Twins

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message 1: by Anna (new)

Anna Scanlon (theannascanlon) Unravelled by Anna Scanlon

I'm not sure how self-promotion is handled, but I thought you may be interested in this book as it is something not often talked about in conjunction with the Holocaust. I'm a PhD student studying the time period, so a lot of research went into my book and I hope you'll check it out and find it interested/informative.

"No one heard us. They decided not to, to turn their heads away.

It was too much to bear. Too much to know. Too hard to swallow.

But now that the world knows, now that the world has heard, it all seems so simple, so easy to defray.

I screamed and no one heard.

Next time, will you be listening?"

Aliz and her twin sister, Hajna, are enjoying their playful, carefree and comfortable life with their parents in Szeged, Hungary just before the Nazis invade. Seemingly overnight, their lives change drastically as they are transported to the ghetto on the outskirts of the city and then to Auschwitz to be used in Mengele's deadly experiments. After several months of brutal torture, Aliz is liberated to find that she is the only survivor in her family. At not even 11 years old, Aliz must make the journey to San Francisco alone, an entire world away from everything she's known, in order to live with her only known relatives whom she has never met-- a depressed aunt and teenage cousin who is more than ready to escape her mother's melancholy. Told through the eyes of both Aliz and her cousin Isabelle, Unravelled tells a story of survival, hope, family and the lives war and genocide haunt long after liberation.

message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Scanlon (theannascanlon) This book is free/Pay What You Can for 48 hours on Smashwords! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

message 3: by cameron (new)

cameron | 17 comments I have put this on my to read list but I have grave reservations about fictionalizing this subject. As there is so much non-fiction and so many true stories, why would you write a novel?

message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna Scanlon (theannascanlon) The novel deals with something many survivors have been hesitant to write about, namely the integration back into society afterward. Instead of pressuring someone to divulge their story, I decided to bring awareness with fictionalization. As such, fiction can be written in any genre and the holocaust is no exception.

message 5: by cameron (new)

cameron | 17 comments Interesting. Did you do interviews or research to fill in the blanks? Looking forward to reading this.

message 6: by Anna (new)

Anna Scanlon (theannascanlon) Yes, quite a bit...although some of the after effects of the Holocaust are made up based on what I have read about people's psyche afterward. I am a PhD student on the Holocaust as well, so don't worry, it is well-researched!

message 7: by cameron (new)

cameron | 17 comments Why do you think it is that there are so few personal memoirs of the task of surviving AFTER liberation? You're right, the exhaustion of the ordeal must overshadow how people recovered and how long it took and where they were treated and how they began to get started again to be human. Shock also I guess. I've ordered your book.

message 8: by Anna (new)

Anna Scanlon (theannascanlon) Thanks Cameron!

I think it is partially because of the way people are asked to tell their stories and what they are asked about. Very few people are interested in hearing someone going through so much misery and then more misery. Also, if you listen to survivor narratives, life after the Holocaust is typically overshadowed or downplayed as "amazing." It is only when you truly talk to them that they begin to reveal that it wasn't.

Also, books on the after-effect just don't really sell, do they? Night, by Elie Wiesel, is a trilogy including what happened after the Holocaust, but not many people are even aware of the 2nd and 3rd books.

message 9: by cameron (new)

cameron | 17 comments Is he third of the trilogy titled Day or The Accident? I remember it as Day. Also I think the second two books are just not as well written. Neither is primarily about the character and his daily struggle but rather the philosophical bigger question of, Is it possible to go on and have a life again, which is a different kind of writing than the individual's story.
Anyway, I'll let you know my reaction to your book .

message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter | 38 comments Anna,

You are partially correct and partially wrong. All Holocaust survivors had difficulties living with their traumatic memories. We all suffered from PTSD syndrome, a term which at the time was not even invented. As I write in my memoir, we all had difficulties in making our way back to normalcy, an always circuitous route, strewn with obstacles. Some of us made it back better than others. Some Holocaust survivors simply refused to speak of their memories, and took these to their graves.

Nevertheless, there are many factual memoirs written by Holocaust survivors. I think these are definitely preferable to fictional accounts. That said, I totally agree with you that factual books don't sell, while some truly badly written fiction about the Holocaust have earned millions for their authors.

Case in point: John Boyne's "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" -- my bête noir of Holocaust fiction which I have relentlessly critiqued before.

On the other hand, there is my own memoir, "Memories of Evil -- Recalling a World War II Childhood" which will never earn its author enough to buy dinner. In truth, I do receive monthly royalties between $20 - 30 which I proudly declare on my annual tax return.

Peter Kubicek

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