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Herfstdagen Mirjam Akavia


Mirjam Akavia

Published 1980
112 pages
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 About the Book 

This true Holocaust story is a work of art - complex, touching and riveting. The narrator is Yurik, the authors brother who did not survive the Holocaust, and from this stems the open ending of the story.Yurik, seventeen years old, was born into a wealthy Jewish family in Cracow. His father is a timber merchant and the family lives very comfortably in a large house. When the Germans invade Poland in 1939 and the family is dispossessed, they are forced to move to the ghetto. They huddle together in an apartment they share with three other families.When the aktions in the Cracow ghetto begin, the father buys false papers for Yurik and his sister Anya and sends them to Lvov. Yurik is the first to arrive and he begins establishing contacts with the Polish underground. It soon becomes evident that the two are not safe in Lvov because their papers are bad forgeries and they run the risk of being turned in at any moment. Yurik and Anya are not registered at the Labor Bureau and have difficulty finding work. They are also unable to find suitable lodgings. For a time Yurik is lucky because he is attached to a group of workers doing hard labor outside of the jail, but after one of the prisoners escapes the entire group expects to die. Yurik manages to escape to the alleys of the ghetto, and at this point, as he stands between life and death, the story ends.