Read The World The House on Prague Street by Hana Demetz (Czech Republic)
Blurb from goodreads.com, please scroll down for my review.
The House on Prague Street is a story told with translucent simplicity and freshness. It is a story of haunting innocence and terrible devastation, of lost love, of survival. It has an impact we have not felt since The Diary of Anne Frank and John Hersey’s The Wall.
In pre-World War II Czechoslovakia, Helene Richter’s childhood glows with an idyllic richness and grace. Summers are spent in grandfather’s great house on Prague Street, tranquil, shimmering days, strung together like shining jewels. Until the war. As the half-Jewish Helene reaches adolescence, her serene existence becomes a holocaust of disintegration and death. Her uncles, aunts, cousins are gone — to a place called Theresienstadt, from which they send postcards once a month with the same message: we are well we are healthy thinking of you how are you. As the war comes inexorably closer to her German father and her Jewish mother, Helene falls in love. But the war will close in on that love too…
Quote’ At night all the curtains were drawn and all the windows were closed before any lights were turned on, as if the old house were a fortress ringed by the enemy, and as if it were a matter of life and death to keep secret from all eyes what went on inside.”
This book taught me some difficulties about having a German father and a jewish mother during the Second World War.
Fresh, fast, easy read, about a young girl living in the then Czechoslovakia not long before and during the Second World War, starting with an innocent childhood changing into something else due to all the experiences she has to go through, her normal teenage life and how it was disrupted.
Full of little details, often details only children see. It has been written in a simple way, like it was written for children, easy to understand and it is very clear what is going on.
Reflexive, it makes you think, about the other side of the war, the parts where is not often seen, people living their lives, don’t forget to check out the 5 star review of Night by Elie Wiesel, and his harrowing story, how jews were treated, and how easy it was for the Nazi germans to inflict all this pain without any resistance.
This book has some memoir in it as the author Hana Demetz (1928- 1993) herself was the daughter of a German and a Jew. How much is the real life of the author?, I don’t know.
The life of the main character and her parents were divided as her mother is a jew and her father a German.
Simply written, quite a fast read but well worth it to never forget the events that occurred during the Second World War. I am giving this book 4 stars due to it’s simplicity and making things obvious.
Originally published at http://readinginecuador.wordpress.com on January 10, 2022.