Sunday, April 17, 2011
"'Write, Jewish Children!' ('Schreibts, Jidische Kinder!') were supposedly Simon Dubnov’s, the famous Jewish historian’s, last words from the death-train before it left the railway station of Riga."
Survival is an autobiography in which the author relates her experiences and her struggle to survive during her captivity as a young, 18-year-old girl in the three German concentration camps: Auschwitz, Bremen, and Bergen-Belsen.
"Before us now is her 'magnum opus' called Survival. Magda Herzberger describes in her book the fight between life and death. It is a 'death-dance' (known as 'Totentanz'). The naked reality of the death camps is before our eyes. Total lack of compassion, inhumanity, and despotic harshness is the daily reality of her and her fellow inmates. Magda Herzberger looks in vain for human understanding among her captors. In that unbelievable hell, she finds human voices only in her sensitive heart. She prays. She believes in a better future."
Survival gives an insight into the author's childhood and adolescent years, where the concept of anything like this happening was beyond belief. The reader finds out about her family background and the historical events that took place in her native city in Romania/Hungary during that time. The political changes which occurred during World War II played a crucial role in her destiny and the fate of the Jewish people.
Magda also conveys how she coped with the grief and pain of losing so many members of her family, including her father, in the Holocaust. Then she speaks about her gradual recovery from the wounds of the Holocaust and her ultimate reunion with her mother.
Magda's poetry is included in the book.
All quotes are from the Foreword by Dr. Moshe Carmilly-Weinberger.