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A Final Reckoning, A Final Reckoning, 0817318097, 0-8173-1809-7, 978-0-8173-1809-3, 9780817318093, , , A Final Reckoning, 0817387188, 0-8173-8718-8, 978-0-8173-8718-1, 9780817387181, , , A Final Reckoning, 0817359931, 0-8173-5993-1, 978-0-8173-5993-5, 9780817359935,

A Final Reckoning
A Hannover Family's Life and Death in the Shoah
Ruth Gutmann, Foreword by Kenneth Waltzer

Trade Cloth
2013. 232 pp.
19 B&W figures
Price:  $34.95 t
E Book
2013. 232 pp.
19 B&W figures
Price:  $19.95 d
Quality Paper
2020. 232 pp.
19 B&W figures
Price:  $19.95 t

A work of both childhood memory and adult reflection undergirded with scholarly research

Ruth Herskovits Gutmann’s powerful memoir recounts her life not only as a concentration camp inmate and survivor, but also as a sister and daughter. Born in 1928, Gutmann and her twin sister, Eva, escaped the growing Nazi threat in Germany on a Kindertransport to Holland in 1939
Gutmann’s compelling story captures many facets of the Jewish experience in Nazi Germany. She describes her early life in Hannover as the daughter of a prominent and patriotic member of the Jewish community. Her flight on the Kindertransport offers a vivid, firsthand account of that effort to save the children of Jewish families. Her memories of the camps include coming to the attention of Josef Mengele, who often used twins in human experiments. Gutmann writes with moving clarity and nuance about the complex feelings of survivorship.

A Final Reckoning provides not only insights into Gutmann’s own experience as a child in the midst of the atrocities of the Holocaust, but also a window into the lives of those, like her father, who were forced to carry on and comply with the regime that would ultimately bring about their demise.

Ruth Herskovits Gutmann was born in 1928 in Germany. From 1943, she and her twin sister were interned in Thereisenstadt, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and other concentration camps. She was liberated on a transport near Hamburg on May 1, 1945. After her retirement from Columbia University in 1988, she studied the history of the Second World War and the Holocaust.

“Like most survivors, Ruth asks as the memoir of her wartime experience comes to an end, how she and her twin sister, Eva, were able to survive. Despite marrying and creating a family, she says she struggled with this burden the rest of her adult life.”
—Kenneth Waltzer

“Written in measured and dispassionate prose, Ruth Gutmann’s story of her German childhood and years in assorted Nazi concentration camps brings a compelling voice to the genre of Holocaust memoir. By quietly revealing how the Nazis slowly tore apart the fabric of her comfortable middle-class existence in the city of Hannover and by unashamedly confronting her father’s efforts as a Jewish official to save his family and his community, she demonstrates the complete inadequacy of words like ‘passivity’ or ‘collaborator’ to illuminate the complex human response to evil.”
—Muriel R. Gillick, author of Once They Had a Country: Two Teenage Refugees in the Second World War
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