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The Wall (1946)

by John Hersey

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640430,766 (4.23)65
Riveting and compelling, The Wall tells the inspiring story of forty men and women who escape the dehumanizing horror of the Warsaw ghetto. John Hersey's novel documents the Warsaw ghetto both as an emblem of Nazi persecution and as a personal confrontation with torture, starvation, humiliation, and cruelty -- a gripping and visceral story, impossible to put down.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, cbict, Calaf49, rocklands, ShaarShalomLibrary, GnarLibary, galuf84, luciarux
Legacy LibrariesRuth Bader Ginsburg, Nelson Algren
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This is a fictional account of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. We see the mundane daily lives of the Jews living in the Ghetto, as well as the horrors the Nazis inflict. There are a large number of characters covering a broad spectrum of society.

Soon after taking Warsaw, the Nazis evicted all non-Jews from a designated area, and required all Jews not already living there to move there. A governing council, the Judenrat, was established, and the area was walled in, using the labor of the Ghetto's inhabitants. At its height over 400,000 Jews were contained within an area of slightly more than one square mile.

The novel takes us from the confiscation of Jewish businesses, to the mass deportations of 1942 (when 250,000+ Jews were sent to the camps), to the final uprising in April 1943, when the few Jews remaining in the Ghetto, massively outnumbered and outarmed, fought valiantly. Overall, the death toll of Ghetto residents was approximately 300,000 Jews executed by gas or bullet, with an additional 92,000 dying of starvation, disease, and in the uprising.

The book is presented as a rediscovered journal intended to record as many of the experiences and events of the Ghetto as possible, from beginning to end. Each entry begins with a date for the entry, a date for the occurrence, and the name of the person who related the event to Noah, who was keeping the journal, and sometimes other explanatory matter. I found this technique to be disruptive to the narrative flow. Otherwise, this is a very good book.

4 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Apr 13, 2018 |
This is one of the most important books I have ever read. I read this as a young adult and it taught so much about taking my advantages for granted and appreciating the little things. ( )
  epazia | Oct 7, 2011 |
NO OF PAGES: 0 SUB CAT I: Holocaust SUB CAT II: SUB CAT III: DESCRIPTION: In October 1940, the Germans round up the Jewish families of Warsaw and force them into a walled-up area that becomes known as the Warsaw Ghetto. The Wall tells the haunting, powerful and explosive story of its inhabitants. For the Apt family and their friends, it will be a time of love, marriage, birth, betrayal, hunger and fear, rage and sorrow. Within their family, as within the community itself, there are those who choose to stay, those who choose to flee, and those who have no choice but to fight for their lives. The formation of a resistance within the wall hardens their resolve to survive. On April 19th, 1943, the Germans decide to level the ghetto. An operation they expect to take 24 hours takes over 28 days. By the time the ghetto finally falls, only a handful of more than half a million Jewish citizens that had entered its walls will escape through the sewers beneath the city to join the Resistance in the hills of Poland.NOTES: SUBTITLE: HBO Home Video
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  BeitHallel | Mar 23, 2011 |
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Events November 11, 1939. Entry November 17, 1939. N.L. ...Of all the pleasures in this surprisingly agreeable week in Pawiak Prison, I think the greatest was making the acquaintance of Berson.
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Riveting and compelling, The Wall tells the inspiring story of forty men and women who escape the dehumanizing horror of the Warsaw ghetto. John Hersey's novel documents the Warsaw ghetto both as an emblem of Nazi persecution and as a personal confrontation with torture, starvation, humiliation, and cruelty -- a gripping and visceral story, impossible to put down.

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