Waiting for Leah
Waiting for the Train is set in Theresienstadt, the ghetto created by the Nazis in northern Bohemia as a staging post for the transport of Jews to ... Show synopsis Waiting for the Train is set in Theresienstadt, the ghetto created by the Nazis in northern Bohemia as a staging post for the transport of Jews to Poland. The time is September 1944; the war is going badly for the Germans, and they are in a hurry to complete their 'Final Solution'. Rumours are rife among the Jews in the ghetto, even though nothing definite is known of the Nazis' intentions, or perhaps it is deliberately not believed. The heroine of the novel, Leah, an 18-year-old girl from Holland, has, like most of those around her, given up living in accordance with her beliefs. The narrator is a lad of seventeen, likewise still relatively unaffected by the moral disintegration around him. By chance he encounters Vili Feld, a pre-war acquaintance who had seduced his young girlfriend. Vili takes the narrator to the tiny attic he shares with Leah. Thus begins an erotic entanglement that ends with the narrator and Vili being sent to their deaths in the East. Leah travels with them, but in a different part of the train. Conditions on this journey are unspeakable; Lustig evokes them memorably in this novel about impossible moral choices made in appalling circumstances.