The Forger by Cioma Schönhaus; The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto by Susan Lee Pentlin (ed) - review by Carole Angier

Carole Angier

The Living Reminders

The Forger


Granta Books 200pp £9.99

The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto


Oneworld Publications 350pp £14.99

In a few years the last Holocaust survivors will be gone, and memory will begin to hand over to history. Our understanding will change, perhaps for the better. But when you watch children take in the seamed faces and tattooed arms on Holocaust Memorial Day, you know that something important will be missing: the living reminder that they are just like us, and yet it happened; that it happened in ordinary time, and so could happen again.

At the same time, books like these will cease too. Then something very similar will be gone – the sense of living words, the closest thing to a living person. Cioma Schönhaus is alive and living in Switzerland, Mary Berg is probably alive and living in America. Neither is like

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RLF - March