Otto Dov Kulka: Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death

Cit while retaining an emotional power that sneaks up on the reader through long erudite sentences and dense prose The choice of Landscape in the title isn t arbitrary for these musings are founded in the physical landscapes of Kulka s memories of the woods around Auschwitz its imposing ates the crematoriums the black spots that mark the snow on the train from the hetto to this Metropolis of Death It s a travelogue a Cond Nast of Hell and a moving personal and artistic statement on the inexpressible Prometheus in Hades silence and desolation from horizon to horizon Otto Dov Kulka Czechoslovakian Jew Holocaust survivor eminent Israeli historian and memoirist of the cataclysm writes slowly sparingly and movingly of a return visit to Auchwitz and the childhood memories he has been unable to shake off over a long long lifeIt s a risk that in a book so rich and deep that image layers upon image horror upon horror until the reader is overwhelmed Yet the author remains in control dealing the vignettes with a masterly hand You think enough has been written about the extermination of six million people that Anne Frank s diary is sufficient memorial or that we all know enough about Hitler s perverted ideas Given the rise of Holocaust denial the far right and a eneration of young people for whom the Third Reich is as real or unreal as the Spanish Inuisition or the Transatlantic slave trade think again Probably the most striking and emotive story is not Kulka s it s the three poems written by a young Czech Jewish woman of 20 and handed to an orderly in the form of a sheaf of papers as she was frogmarched into the Go-Go-Go! gas chamber Extraordinary and profoundly touching that these fragile artefacts just a few thin sheets of wartime economy paper could survive when millions perished We The Dead Accuse Alien Grave and I Would Sooner Perish stand elouent though inadeuate testimony to the terrors of a worldone completely mad Hashem yikom dam nekiim God shall avenge the blood of the innocents In Kulka He may just have found His avenging angel A tough one to review this It s uite an unusual kind of book not uite autobiography not straightforward history either but rather an Auschwitz survivor s reflections on his experience and the impact it s had on him especially on a subconscious level This is interspersed with photographs and other illustrations and the book also features three amazing poems written by a young female prisoner who remains unknown Prior to reading this I did not know that the camp authorities had kept 5000 prisoners alive under much better conditions than the rest for the purposes of deception The author s dream about Mengele struck me as profound although it s hard to put into words exactly why This is an interesting poetic haunting book I personally feel that many other books about the holocaust and experiences in Auschwitz will be very different from this one though I have not read much on the subject However judging from what I have read this book is organized in a very intentional mannerIn the first section the author recounts the main parts of the book remaining objective in his subjectivity and does his best to portray truthThe following section of his diary entries showed a vulnerable side and is subjectiveAnd the last section in the appendix an academically written paperThe language throughout the book was careful and the author is trying to tell the truth as much as possible to the reader as well as to come to terms with something about his pastBeautifully written. One side He has nevertheless remained haunted by specific memories and images thoughts he has been unable to shake off The extraordinary result of this is Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death a uniue and powerful experiment in how one man has tried to understand his past and our history.

Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death ↠ BOOK by Otto Dov Kulka –

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Saurus I must confess that I was expecting a much better book I don t mean to be disrespectful it is a powerful and moving story of hardships and survival but for a memoir I found it very confusing and unfocused There is no clear narrative as opposed to Elie Wiesel s Somato Respiratory Integration Workbook grandpiece Night nor clear timetable It is in reality a mere collage of thoughts and flashback on the author s 1 and a half imprisonment in Auchwitz with little to no dramatization or careful narration If it wasn t for the brilliant editing work the book is full of awesome historical photographs and the chapters are beautifully rendered this book would be almost unreadable All and all a book that could bereat but falls short due to its author s lack of ambition It Reine Mädchensache gets 3 stars solely due to the subject matter Otto Dov Kulka is an esteemed historian and also himself an Auschwitz survivor In this book Kulka the historian walks through theates of Auschwitz and awakens the eleven year old child that he was It is Kulka the child inmate who takes us back to his metropolis of death This is a very personal rendition with the historian in the background and the child in the foreground For those who have read Saul Friedlander s Nazi Germany and the Jews throughout the two volumes Friedlander always brings the individual voice of the journal or letter writer as an additional dimension to the history But in Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death the individual story of the child is at the center and Kulka allows us to insert ourselves into the consciousness of the child that he was There are several utterly devastating moments in this personal account that actually make you stop for a minute before moving on to the next page the fate of his mother the twenty year old Animal Babies girl who at theates of the Offenders and Detainees gas chamberoing to her death pushes three poems into the hands of a zonderkommando poems that will rip through you and the unmitigated acceptance by the child of the inevitability of death as the rule of existence in Auschwitz And finally there is the realization there aren t any spoilers when referring to Auschwitzof Kulka the adult that he is forever bound to Auschwitz that there is no liberation from the metropolis of death A necessary addition to the Literature of the Holocaust Kulka a professor of Jewish History had until writing this collection of memories kept his personal experience as a survivor of Terez n and Auschwitz compartmentalized and separate The chapters are written as fragments of memory each one a prose poem each one a bubbling up of the images emotions and sensory details of life in the camps With brutal honesty and frank clarity he allows us inside the terrain of his early life At times bordering on the surreal as his life must have done each limpse takes us deep inside this dark and strangely beautiful landscape This book is monumentally important painfully insightful and above all that rare jewel of horror and hope that leaves the reader profoundly changed Memory not memoir from Kulka a historian of his childhood as a prisoner in Auschwitz succeeds where most memoirs fail in its ability to poetically mirror the funhouse reflections of a subjective past into an experience that can be shared Illustrated throughout jumping in time and space from Poland to Israel the incomprehensible nature of the Holocaust is not made understandable but visceral without exploitation It is the searching nature of his narrative the uestioning and the uest which is what held me through horrific imagery that is never expli. Rian Otto Dov Kulka was sent first to the hetto of Theresienstadt and then to Auschwitz As one of the few survivors he has spent much of his life studying Nazism and the Holocaust but always as a discipline reuiring the reatest dispassion and objectivity with his personal story set to.

A bit of an odd book I bought it a few years ago because it was referenced in something else I read The subtitle is descriptive of the book The author was born in Czechoslovakia and as a young Jewish boy deported by the Nazis to Theresienstadt and later to the family camp at Auschwitz Birkenau He survived the war unlike most of his family although he was reunited with his fatherKulka became a renowned historian His expertise is the history that lead to the Holocaust and he has schooled himself to be impersonal and neutral to the best of his ability For this reason he never actually handled the Holocaust professionally Out of practical reasons he couldn t be neutral when discussing the Holocaust because it has impacted him indelibly Perhaps there is a touch of emotional self preservation too He also never read any of the books that other survivors wrote At some point out of professional politeness he did read one of the books and could not identify with what this fellow survivor of Auschwitz experienced I think it is perhaps because he was so young only ten when he arrived in Auschwitz that he remembers things differently Children interpret things differentlyKulka has memories that come unbidden He has dreams about being back in the camps Here he tries to analyse and examine them This book is mostly about his personal experience these thoughts and dreams that come unbidden Apparently there has been some criticism that he did not mention at all close family members who were murdered in the camps but that was not the point of this bookThe book also contains three poems These were written by a young Jewish woman of about twenty years of age She was in the ueue to the crematorium when she managed to pass on these papers to one of the workers He then passed them on to Kulka s father They are very profound and deserve a large audience Her name is lost forever She did not include it on her papers and did not Is it natural to feel strange reviewing a book on the Holocaust I uess so I ll keep this as short as possible In the introduction and first few pages Otto mentions that he never really felt the need to talk about his childhood and what happened and that a lot of survivors feel the same waySo what makes some people stand up and speak out Who knows Is it Dead-End Road Mysteries good that they do I think so What does it offer I m not sure Why do I personally read books about this dark past I really don t know Iuess I just need to know what happened over and over and hope we never Hear the Wolves go there againAll I can say about this book and collection of memories is that there are things that will stay with me forever and there are things that are uickly forgotten I don t think a lot of it was needed for me personally at least and Iuess that s what I m trying to say I m not sure what we re meant to Valors Measure get from this but I mlad it exists and I m BFI Film Classics glad I ve read it That s all I feel a not inconseuential amount ofuilt for Tni Tata Dunia Baru Sistem Pertahanan giving this book two starsiven that it is a memoir of a man who lived in Auschwitz as a boy but I couldn t connect with this at all I found it oddly disjointed detached and was almost like a stream of consciousness style of writing which I don t enjoy I found that I felt nothing during or after reading this unlike Night Also I feel like he threw a bit of shade on that and other Holocaust memoirs at one point in the book although I may have misinterpreted that I also found myself وصف الاستعباد في مملكة فاس - مذكرات أسير سويدي على عهد السلطان مولاي عبد الله getting irrationally irritated at the number of times he used the word immutable Translator really needed toet a the. Otto Dov Kulka's Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death translated by Ralph Mandel and Ina Friedman is a memoir of astounding literary and emotional power exploring the permanent and indelible marks left by the Holocaust and a childhood spent in AuschwitzAs a child the distinguished histo.