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Country of Ash: A Jewish Doctor in Poland, 1939–1945
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Bellevue Literary Press 2013
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Description

“[Dr. Reicher] lived through the Second World War in Poland, dodging bullets, uprisings and deportations—not to mention betrayal, starvation and airless hideouts—in a manner more reminiscent of a talented outlaw than a mild-mannered dermatologist . . . It is the impressive simplicity of the good doctor's writing that makes [t]his book resemble [Victor] Klemperer's, and the detailed observations of its report that makes it emotionally memorable. . . . William Carlos Williams once said that people who prize information are perishing daily for want of the information that can be found only in poetry. By the same token, there will never be a time when we will not need the information that an important, evocative book like Country of Ash provides." —VIVIAN GORNICK, Moment magazineCountry of Ash is the starkly compelling, original chronicle of a Jewish doctor who miraculously survived near-certain death, first inside the Lodz and Warsaw ghettoes, where he was forced to treat the Gestapo, then on the Aryan side of Warsaw, where he hid under numerous disguises. He clandestinely recorded the terrible events he witnessed, but his manuscript disappeared during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After the war, reunited with his wife and young daughter, he rewrote his story.Peopled with historical figures like the controversial Chaim Rumkowski, who fancied himself a king of the Jews, to infamous Nazi commanders and dozens of Jews and non-Jews who played cat and mouse with death throughout the war, Reicher's memoir is about a community faced with extinction and the chance decisions and strokes of luck that kept a few stunned souls alive.Edward Reicher (1900–1975) was born in Lodz, Poland. He graduated with a degree in medicine from the University of Warsaw, later studied dermatology in Paris and Vienna, and practiced in Lodz as a dermatologist and venereal disease specialist both before and after World War II. A Jewish survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, Reicher appeared at a tribunal in Salzburg to identify Hermann Höfle and give an eyewitness account of Höfle's role in Operation Reinhard, which sent hundreds of thousands to their deaths in the Nazi concentration camps of Poland.Country of Ash, first published posthumously in France, was translated from the French by Magda Bogin and includes a foreword by Edward Reicher's daughter Elisabeth Bizouard-Reicher.

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Street Date:
03/28/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781934137598
ASIN:
B00BHOSTU6
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Edward Reicher. (2013). Country of Ash: A Jewish Doctor in Poland, 1939–1945. Bellevue Literary Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Edward Reicher. 2013. Country of Ash: A Jewish Doctor in Poland, 1939–1945. Bellevue Literary Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Edward Reicher, Country of Ash: A Jewish Doctor in Poland, 1939–1945. Bellevue Literary Press, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Edward Reicher. Country of Ash: A Jewish Doctor in Poland, 1939–1945. Bellevue Literary Press, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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“[Dr. Reicher] lived through the Second World War in Poland, dodging bullets, uprisings and deportations—not to mention betrayal, starvation and airless hideouts—in a manner more reminiscent of a talented outlaw than a mild-mannered dermatologist . . . It is the impressive simplicity of the good doctor's writing that makes [t]his book resemble [Victor] Klemperer's, and the detailed observations of its report that makes it emotionally memorable. . . . William Carlos Williams once said that people who prize information are perishing daily for want of the information that can be found only in poetry. By the same token, there will never be a time when we will not need the information that an important, evocative book like Country of Ash provides." —VIVIAN GORNICK, Moment magazine

Country of Ash is the starkly compelling, original chronicle of a Jewish doctor who miraculously survived near-certain death, first inside the Lodz...

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title
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fullDescription

“[Dr. Reicher] lived through the Second World War in Poland, dodging bullets, uprisings and deportations—not to mention betrayal, starvation and airless hideouts—in a manner more reminiscent of a talented outlaw than a mild-mannered dermatologist . . . It is the impressive simplicity of the good doctor's writing that makes [t]his book resemble [Victor] Klemperer's, and the detailed observations of its report that makes it emotionally memorable. . . . William Carlos Williams once said that people who prize information are perishing daily for want of the information that can be found only in poetry. By the same token, there will never be a time when we will not need the information that an important, evocative book like Country of Ash provides." —VIVIAN GORNICK, Moment magazine

Country of Ash is the starkly compelling, original chronicle of a Jewish doctor who miraculously survived near-certain death, first inside the Lodz and Warsaw ghettoes, where he was forced to treat the Gestapo, then on the Aryan side of Warsaw, where he hid under numerous disguises. He clandestinely recorded the terrible events he witnessed, but his manuscript disappeared during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After the war, reunited with his wife and young daughter, he rewrote his story.

Peopled with historical figures like the controversial Chaim Rumkowski, who fancied himself a king of the Jews, to infamous Nazi commanders and dozens of Jews and non-Jews who played cat and mouse with death throughout the war, Reicher's memoir is about a community faced with extinction and the chance decisions and strokes of luck that kept a few stunned souls alive.

Edward Reicher (1900–1975) was born in Lodz, Poland. He graduated with a degree in medicine from the University of Warsaw, later studied dermatology in Paris and Vienna, and practiced in Lodz as a dermatologist and venereal disease specialist both before and after World War II. A Jewish survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, Reicher appeared at a tribunal in Salzburg to identify Hermann Höfle and give an eyewitness account of Höfle's role in Operation Reinhard, which sent hundreds of thousands to their deaths in the Nazi concentration camps of Poland.

Country of Ash, first published posthumously in France, was translated from the French by Magda Bogin and includes a foreword by Edward Reicher's daughter Elisabeth Bizouard-Reicher.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Jewish Daily Forward
      • content:

        "Stirring"

      • premium: False
      • source: Midwest Book Review
      • content: "A riveting account of the will to survive."
      • premium: False
      • source: World Literature Today
      • content: "A moving memoir, a finely crafted and beautifully written story."
      • premium: False
      • source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
      • content: "It's the rough texture of Reicher's tale--like grainy celluloid from a bygone era--that gives such a powerful, deeply disturbing immediacy to the ghetto inhabitants he remembers. Reicher tells us they're no more, but he is wrong. Their ghosts still walk in books like this one--haunting the reader, forever."
      • premium: False
      • source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
      • content: "Edward Reicher recorded his Holocaust nightmares from the ghettos of Lodz and Warsaw to the chilling attempts for his family to live as Aryans in a world of blackmail, informants and circumcision checks. . . . 'This book has no literary pretensions,' he writes. 'It is the description of the life of a Jewish doctor who survived the worst years.' Yet it's far more than that . . . Country of Ash is worth reading because the riveting survival drama is framed by larger questions."
      • premium: False
      • source: Arts Fuse
      • content: "What makes this diary so powerful is that Reicher dwells on very little--for it is all so crazy--and tells the facts and his story with dispatch, so that we are so caught up in events that we begin to feel as if we are living them with him, that we have somehow been dropped into a Beckett or Ionesco play where absurdity at its most extreme is reality. . . . We can give thanks to all who worked to bring Country of Ash into our lives, then read it with care, and heed its warnings."
      • premium: False
      • source: VIVIAN GORNICK, Moment magazine
      • content: "[Dr. Reicher] lived through the Second World War in Poland, dodging bullets, uprisings and deportations--not to mention betrayal, starvation and airless hideouts--in a manner more reminiscent of a talented outlaw than a mild-mannered dermatologist . . . It is the impressive simplicity of the good doctor's writing that makes [t]his book resemble [Victor] Klemperer's, and the detailed observations of its report that makes it emotionally memorable. . . . William Carlos Williams once said that people who prize information are perishing daily for want of the information that can be found only in poetry. By the same token, there will never be a time when we will not need the information that an important, evocative book like Country of Ash provides."
      • premium: False
      • source: ARTHUR L. CAPLAN, Ph.D., Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Chair Director, Division of Medical Ethics, NYU Langone Medical Center and author of When Medicine Went Mad: Bioethics and the Holocaust
      • content: "A riveting first-hand account of the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto. Edward Reicher presents events from the perspective of a Jew, a physician, a survivor, a chronicler, a husband but mainly a humanitarian caught in the flux of horrific events that, but for memoirs such as this, would fade with the absolution of time. Reicher's astonishing book insures that will not happen."
      • premium: False
      • source: AUSTIN RATNER, Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature-winning author of The Jump Artist and In the Land of the Living
      • content: "Dr. Reicher's memoir tells a gripping, tragic, unforgettable tale that, like Wladyslaw Szpilman's The Pianist, recounts the horrors of being a Jew in Poland during World War II. This important historical document distinguishes itself from other Holocaust narratives in many ways, but perhaps in none more so than this: its perseverant hero not only saved his wife and daughter but helped bring one of the most notorious Nazis of all to justice."
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A Jewish Doctor in Poland, 1939–1945
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13
publisher
Bellevue Literary Press
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tableOfContents

Translator's Foreword by Magda Bogin
Introduction by Elisabeth Bizouard-Reicher
Author's Preface by Edward Reicher
Part I: Our Wandering Begins
Part II: In the Warsaw Ghetto
Part III: Becoming Aryan
Part IV: The Endless Road