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Rogasky says several times during her narrative that normal people in a normal world cannot imagine the horrors of Nazi Germany. This is true, yet she successfully draws a vivid picture of the world in which the Jews (and others) lived and died. The ghettoes, train rides, and concentration camps take on a stark new reality. The sorrows and secret, brief joys of the people who lived there are sensitively portrayed. Rogasky's prose has an underlying anger at the past; the reader feels and shares her almost-uncomprehending horror at the regime which changed the world. She employs the use of photographs, statistical reports and other original source materials to flesh out the narrative and bring the era to life.
This book is aimed specifically at middle-graders, and is not appropriate for younger readers. Parents should probably read along with their kid since they'll have lots of questions on the subject.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-08-26 When Smoke and Ashes: The Story of the Holocaust by Barbara Rogansky first appeared in 1988, PW noted the author's ability to "elicit considerable power from an unexpected source statistics and lists, and the cold-blooded notations of officers carrying out their duties." Now, Rogansky's account has been revised and expanded, with roughly one-third of the volume including new information that has come to light since publication.
Publishers Weekly, 1991-04-26 Numerous black-and-white photographs provide stirring accompaniment to this examination of the Holocaust and its aftermath; in PW 's words, ``Rogasky elicits considerable power from an unexpected source--statistics and lists, and the cold-blooded notations of officers carrying out their duties.'' Ages 12-up. (Apr.) *HOW-TO*
Publishers Weekly, 1988-05-13 Aimed at the same age group as Miriam Chaikin's recent A Nightmare in History, this book also examines Hitler's rise to power in the context of long-standing anti-Semitism, and the devastation and horror wrought by his policies of imprisoning and exterminating the Jews. Whereas Chaikin moved readers by fleshing out stories of individuals, Rogasky elicits considerable power from an unexpected sourcestatistics and lists, and the cold-blooded notations of officers carrying out their duties: ``3208 people had to be transported three miles before they could be liquidated. . . . '' She compares the numbers and aspects of other holocauststhose suffered by American Indians, Armenians, etc.to implore readers to understand what made this Holocaust unique. Other areas of focus include the late, inadequate response of the United States and United Kingdom, and the rise of anti-Semitism in the '80s. Most compelling is the attention given to rebellion and resistance by Jews; it stuns the imagination to read of the man who leaped from a body-filled pit to tear out the throat of an SS commander with his teeth. Perhaps the saddest statistic is the one revealing that many were too weak to live even when liberated. ``In the areas freed by the Americans, French and British, 60,000 Jews were found alive. Within one week, 20,000 had died.'' Black-and-white photos from archival collections, documents and maps give this volume accessibility, and add to the tragic mood that pervades each set of sobering numbers. Ages 11-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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