By Henia Karmel, Ilona Karmel
Buchenwald survivors Ilona and Henia Karmel have been seventeen and 20 years outdated after they entered the Nazi hard work camps from the Krak?w ghetto. those amazing poems have been written in the course of that point. The sisters wrote the poems on worksheets stolen from the factories the place they labored through day and concealed them of their garments. in the course of what she proposal have been the final days of her existence, Henia entrusted the poems to a cousin who occurred to go her within the compelled march on the finish of the battle. The cousin gave them to Henia's husband in Krak?w, who wouldn't find and reunite together with his spouse for one more six months. this can be the 1st English booklet of those impressive poems. Fanny Howe's deft diversifications safeguard their freshness and innocence whereas making them solely compelling. they're provided with a biographical creation that conveys the strong tale of the sisters' survival from trap to freedom in 1946.
Read or Download A Wall of Two: Poems of Resistance and Suffering from Krakow to Buchenwald and Beyond (S. Mark Taper Foundation Books in Jewish Studies) PDF
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Additional info for A Wall of Two: Poems of Resistance and Suffering from Krakow to Buchenwald and Beyond (S. Mark Taper Foundation Books in Jewish Studies)
In New York an ad hoc group called the Association of Friends of Our Tribune (Our Tribune having been the last Polish Jewish newspaper existing in Warsaw before the war) managed to publish them. It was 1947. The sisters, still hospitalized in Sweden, were asked to write a preface to this collection. This came as a complete surprise, since no one had asked their permission to print the poems, but they were happy to see it through. They never learned who read these poems or how they were received; the collection was titled Spiew Introduction xxxiv Za Drutami (Song behind barbed wire) and included the statement that prefaces this volume.
The sisters were moved to another hospital, where the nurses either intentionally or thoughtlessly increased their thirst with salty food. Here they at least had a radio and were able to learn a few things from the news. Henia had no idea whether Leon was still alive. Eventually they were taken to Leipzig. For six months they lay in a hospital there, knowing nothing of the outside world. Their poems had long since disappeared. After the war Leon returned directly to Kraków to look for Henia and Ilona as promised.
While there she fell deeply in love with the philosopher and physicist Francis Zucker, and he with her, and they married soon after meeting. They moved to Germany for his career and there Ilona worked in an orphanage for many years while she wrote her masterpiece, An Estate of Memory. In 1978 she began to teach writing at MIT. Both sisters would write only prose ﬁction in English—possibly because English was exempt from the source of their experiences. Their ﬁction was, in that sense, already a translation of past into present, a rejection of the experiential taste of the mother tongue in favor of something strange but uncontaminated.
A Wall of Two: Poems of Resistance and Suffering from Krakow to Buchenwald and Beyond (S. Mark Taper Foundation Books in Jewish Studies) by Henia Karmel, Ilona Karmel