Posted by: Leah | August 27, 2011

Day after Night

 

I am not a bookworm. My reading patterns really fluctuate – I go from reading a LOT to reading virtually nothing for months.

However, recently I finished reading a book called Day After Night by Anita Diamant. This is probably one of the best books on Holocaust I have ever read. It takes it on a whole new level, looking at the lives of people, their personal grief and how they rebuild their lives after what happened.

The story takes place in Israel before its independence, in Atlit, a camp for illegal prisoners run by the British. It revolves around the stories of girls who having survived in Holocaust came here – different backgrounds, different religious observance, and different grief patterns.

I especially loved about this book is that Holocaust survivors are not shown as ultimate heroes who sacrificed everything. As we know, when there is a choice between life and death, sometimes painful decisions have to be made. This is the story of Leonie, a Parisian beauty who was in a brothel during Holocaust.

And of course, there is a painfully bittersweet story of a Polish woman, Kristina who saved a boy she was a nanny for, took his late mother’s name, Esther and went to Israel with him, because it was not safe to be a Jew in rural Poland at that time.

The stories of people in this book create a beautiful web full of undertones, hidden tears, hopes and optimism. It ends when girls are able to escape Atlit and ready to go to different kibbutzuim to start their new lives, which is not going to be easy, but there is always that hope that ultimately is there for Jewish people. There is always a day after any however long night.

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