By Charlotte Delbo
Delbo’s beautiful and unflinching account of existence and loss of life lower than Nazi atrocity grows fiercer and richer with time. the excellent new advent by means of Lawrence L. Langer illuminates the subtlety and complexity of Delbo’s meditation on reminiscence, time, culpability, and survival, within the context of what Langer calls the afterdeath’ of the Holocaust. Delbo’s robust trilogy belongs on each bookshelf.”Sara R. Horowitz, York University
Winner of the 1995 American Literary Translators organization Award
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Additional resources for Auschwitz and After
They're dead. '5 Her hand flutters once more, like a shout—yet she is not shouting. In what language would she shout if she were to shout? Here comes a dead woman who moves toward her. A dummy in a striped uniform. A matter of two steps and the dead woman has 28 reached her. She pulls her by the arm, drags her over to our side so that she may assume her place within the ranks. The black cape of the SS has come close. The dead woman is dragging nothing more in our direction than a dirty yellow sack which just lies there.
Today we are waiting longer than usual. The sky grows paler than usual. We are waiting. What are we waiting for? An SS appears at the end of the Lagerstrasse, walking towards us. He stops in front of our ranks. Judging by the caduceus on his cap he must be the doctor. He scrutinizes us. Slowly. He begins to speak. He does not scream. He is actually speaking. " MarieClaude steps forward. " The SS looks at us. Magda, our blockhova, standing by his side, looks at us and, taking a step to one side, blinks ever so slightly.
Such frail shoulders. There she is in the hollow of the ditch with her hands scratching the ground, her feet looking for support, straining to lift her heavy head. Her face is now turned toward us. Her prominent cheekbones are violet, her swollen mouth a black violet, her eye sockets filled with dark shadows. Her face reflects naked despair. For a while she struggles against her limbs' intractability in order to right herself. She thrashes like someone drowning. Then she stretches out her hands to hoist herself onto the other bank.