A reappraisal of the giant massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, and then the Turkish Republic, against their Christian minorities. Between 1894 and 1924, three waves of violence swept across Anatolia, targeting the region's Christian minorities, who had previously accounted for 20 percent of the population. By 1924, the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks had been reduced to 2 percent. Most historians have treated these waves as distinct, isolated events, and successive Turkish governments presented them as an unfortunate sequence of accidents. The Thirty-Year Genocide is the first account to show that the three were actually part of a single, continuing, and intentional effort to wipe out Anatolia's Christian population. The years in question, the most violent in the recent history of the region, began during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II, continued under the Young Turks, and ended during the first years of the Turkish Republic founded by Ataturk. Yet despite the dramatic swing from the Islamizing autocracy of the sultan to the secularizing republicanism of the post-World War I period, the nation's annihilationist policies were remarkably constant, with continual recourse to premeditated mass killing, homicidal deportation, forced conversion, mass rape, and brutal abduction. And one thing more was a constant: the rallying cry of jihad. While not justified under the teachings of Islam, the killing of two million Christians was effected through the calculated exhortation of the Turks to create a pure Muslim nation.
Americans call the Second World War "The Good War."But before it even began, America's wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens--and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war's end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness. Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power.
East West Street looks at the personal and intellectual evolution of the two men who simultaneously originated the ideas of "genocide" and "crimes against humanity," both of whom, not knowing the other, studied at the same university with the same professors, in a city little known today that was a major cultural center of Europe, "the little Paris of Ukraine," a city variously called Lemberg, Lwów, Lvov, or Lviv. The book opens with the author being invited to give a lecture on genocide and crimes against humanity at Lviv University. Sands accepted the invitation with the intent of learning about the extraordinary city with its rich cultural and intellectual life, home to his maternal grandfather, a Galician Jew who had been born there a century before and who''d moved to Vienna at the outbreak of the First World War, married, had a child (the author''s mother), and who then had moved to Paris after the German annexation of Austria in 1938. It was a life that had been shrouded in secrecy, with many questions not to be asked and fewer answers offered if they were. As the author uncovered, clue by clue, the deliberately obscured story of his grandfather''s mysterious life, and of his mother''s journey as a child surviving Nazi occupation, Sands searched further into the history of the city of Lemberg and realized that his own field of humanitarian law had been forged by two men--Rafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht--each of whom had studied law at Lviv University in the city of his grandfather''s birth, each considered to be the father of the modern human rights movement, and each, at parallel times, forging diametrically opposite, revolutionary concepts of humanitarian law that had changed the world. In this extraordinary and resonant book, Sands looks at who these two very private men were, and at how and why, coming from similar Jewish backgrounds and the same city, studying at the same university, each developed the theory he did, showing how each man dedicated this period of his life to having his legal concept--"genocide" and "crimes against humanity"--as a centerpiece for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. And the author writes of a third man, Hans Frank, Hitler's personal lawyer, a Nazi from the earliest days who had destroyed so many lives, friend of Richard Strauss, collector of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. Frank oversaw the ghetto in Lemberg in Poland in August 1942, in which the entire large Jewish population of the area had been confined on penalty of death. Frank, who was instrumental in the construction of concentration camps nearby and, weeks after becoming governor general of Nazi-occupied Poland, ordered the transfer of 133,000 men, women, and children to the death camps. Sands brilliantly writes of how all three men came together, in October 1945 in Nuremberg--Rafael Lemkin; Hersch Lauterpacht; and in the dock at the Palace of Justice, with the twenty other defendants of the Nazi high command, prisoner number 7, Hans Frank, who had overseen the extermination of more than a million Jews of Galicia and Lemberg, among them, the families of the author''s grandfather as well as those of Lemkin and Lauterpacht. A book that changes the way we look at the world, at our understanding of history and how civilization has tried to cope with mass murder.
In 1929 Stalin launched his policy of agricultural collectivization--in effect a second Russian revolution--which forced millions of peasants off their land and onto collective farms. The result was a catastrophic famine, the most lethal in European history. At least five million people died between 1931 and 1933 in the USSR. But instead of sending relief the Soviet state made use of the catastrophe to rid itself of a political problem. In Red Famine, Anne Applebaum argues that more than three million of those dead were Ukrainians who perished not because they were accidental victims of a bad policy but because the state deliberately set out to kill them. Applebaum proves what has long been suspected: after a series of rebellions unsettled the province, Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. The state sealed the republic's borders and seized all available food. Starvation set in rapidly, and people ate anything: grass, tree bark, dogs, corpses. In some cases, they killed one another for food. Devastating and definitive, Red Famine captures the horror of ordinary people struggling to survive extraordinary evil. Today, Russia, the successor to the Soviet Union, has placed Ukrainian independence in its sights once more.
In 1994 more than 800,000 people were slain in the small African country of Rwanda. This anthology brings together a variety of viewpoints that debate the causes of this genocide, the world's reaction to these events, and the rebuilding of this scarred nation.
The first full account of the involvement of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh that led to war between India and Pakistan, shaped the fate of Asia, and left in their wake a host of major strategic consequences for the world today. Giving an astonishing inside view of how the White House really works in a crisis, The Blood Telegram is an unprecedented chronicle of a pivotal but little-known chapter of the Cold War. Gary J. Bass shows how Nixon and Kissinger supported Pakistan's military dictatorship as it brutally quashed the results of a historic free election. The Pakistani army launched a crackdown on what was then East Pakistan (today an independent Bangladesh), killing hundreds of thousands of people and sending ten million refugees fleeing to India--one of the worst humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. Nixon and Kissinger, unswayed by detailed warnings of genocide from American diplomats witnessing the bloodshed, stood behind Pakistan's military rulers. Driven not just by Cold War realpolitik but by a bitter personal dislike of India and its leader Indira Gandhi, Nixon and Kissinger actively helped the Pakistani government even as it careened toward a devastating war against India. They silenced American officials who dared to speak up, secretly encouraged China to mass troops on the Indian border, and illegally supplied weapons to the Pakistani military--an overlooked scandal that presages Watergate. Drawing on previously unheard White House tapes, recently declassified documents, and extensive interviews with White House staffers and Indian military leaders, The Blood Telegram tells this thrilling, shadowy story in full. Bringing us into the drama of a crisis exploding into war, Bass follows reporters, consuls, and guerrilla warriors on the ground--from the desperate refugee camps to the most secretive conversations in the Oval Office. Bass makes clear how the United States' embrace of the military dictatorship in Islamabad would mold Asia's destiny for decades, and confronts for the first time Nixon and Kissinger's hidden role in a tragedy that was far bloodier than Bosnia.
A brilliant, haunting, and profoundly original portrait of the defining tragedy of our time. In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first. Based on new sources from eastern Europe and forgotten testimonies from Jewish survivors, Black Earth recounts the mass murder of the Jews as an event that is still close to us, more comprehensible than we would like to think, and thus all the more terrifying. The Holocaust began in a dark but accessible place, in Hitler's mind, with the thought that the elimination of Jews would restore balance to the planet and allow Germans to win the resources they desperately needed. Such a worldview could be realized only if Germany destroyed other states, so Hitler's aim was a colonial war in Europe itself. In the zones of statelessness, almost all Jews died. A few people, the righteous few, aided them, without support from institutions. Much of the new research in this book is devoted to understanding these extraordinary individuals. The almost insurmountable difficulties they faced only confirm the dangers of state destruction and ecological panic. These men and women should be emulated, but in similar circumstances few of us would do so. By overlooking the lessons of the Holocaust, Snyder concludes, we have misunderstood modernity and endangered the future. The early twenty-first century is coming to resemble the early twentieth, as growing preoccupations with food and water accompany ideological challenges to global order. Our world is closer to Hitler's than we like to admit, and saving it requires us to see the Holocaust as it was and ourselves as we are.
In this groundbreaking history of the Armenian Genocide brings us a riveting narrative of the massacres of the Armenians in the 1890s and genocide in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Using rarely seen archival documents and remarkable first-person accounts, Peter Balakian presents the chilling history of how the Young Turk government implemented the first modern genocide behind the cover of World War I. And in the telling, he also resurrects an extraordinary lost chapter of American history. During the United States' ascension in the global arena at the turn of the twentieth century, America's humanitarian movement for Armenia was an important part of the rising nation's first epoch of internationalism. Intellectuals, politicians, diplomats, religious leaders, and ordinary citizens came together to try to save the Armenians. The Burning Tigris reconstructs this landmark American cause that was spearheaded by the passionate commitments and commentaries of a remarkable cast of public figures, including Julia Ward Howe, Clara Barton, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alice Stone Blackwell, Stephen Crane, and Ezra Pound, as well as courageous missionaries, diplomats, and relief workers who recorded their eyewitness accounts and often risked their lives in the killing fields of Armenia. The crisis of the "starving Armenians" was so embedded in American popular culture that, in an age when a loaf of bread cost a nickel, the American people sent more than $100 million in aid through the American Committee on Armenian Atrocities and its successor, Near East Relief. In 1915 alone, the New York Times published 145 articles about the Armenian Genocide. Theodore Roosevelt called the extermination of the Armenians "the greatest crime of the war." But in the turmoil following World War I, it was a crime that went largely unpunished. In depicting the 1919 Ottoman court-martial trials, Balakian reveals the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide confessing their guilt -- an astonishing fact given the Turkish government's continued denial of the Genocide. After World War I, U.S. oil interests in the Middle East steered America away from the course it had pursued for four decades. As Balakian eloquently points out, America's struggle between human rights and national self-interest -- a pattern that would be repeated again and again -- resonates powerfully today. In crucial ways, America's involvement with the Armenian Genocide is a paradigm for the modern age.
In 1993, as a 23-year-old correspondent covering the wars in the Balkans, I was initially comforted by the roar of NATO planes flying overhead. President Clinton and other western leaders had sent the planes to monitor the Bosnian war, which had killed almost 200,000 civilians. But it soon became clear that NATO was unwilling to target those engaged in brutal "ethnic cleansing." American statesmen described Bosnia as "a problem from hell," and for three and a half years refused to invest the diplomatic and military capital needed to stop the murder of innocents. In Rwanda, around the same time, some 800,000 Tutsi and opposition Hutu were exterminated in the swiftest killing spree of the twentieth century. Again, the United States failed to intervene. This time U.S. policy-makers avoided labeling events "genocide" and spearheaded the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers stationed in Rwanda who might have stopped the massacres underway. Whatever America's commitment to Holocaust remembrance (embodied in the presence of the Holocaust Museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C.), the United States has never intervened to stop genocide. This book is an effort to understand why. While the history of America's response to genocide is not an uplifting one, "A Problem from Hell" tells the stories of countless Americans who took seriously the slogan of "never again" and tried to secure American intervention.
This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title. With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa.
In the spring of 1994, Rwanda was the scene of the first acts since World War II to be legally defined as genocide. Two years later, Clea Koff, a twenty-three-year-old forensic anthropologist analyzing prehistoric skeletons in the safe confines of Berkeley, California, was one of sixteen scientists chosen by the UN International Criminal Tribunal to go to Rwanda to unearth the physical evidence of genocide and crimes against humanity.The Bone Womanis Koff’s riveting, deeply personal account of that mission and the six subsequent missions she undertook—to Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo—on behalf of the UN. In order to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, the UN needs to know the answer to one question: Are the bodies those of noncombatants? To answer this, one must learn who the victims were, and how they were killed. Only one group of specialists in the world can make both those determinations: forensic anthropologists, trained to identify otherwise unidentifiable human remains by analyzing their skeletons. Forensic anthropologists unlock the stories of people’s lives, as well as of their last moments. Koff’s unflinching account of her years with the UN—what she saw, how it affected her, who was prosecuted based on evidence she found, what she learned about the world—is alternately gripping, frightening, and miraculously hopeful. Readers join Koff as she comes face-to-face with the realities of genocide: nearly five hundred bodies exhumed from a single grave in Kibuye, Rwanda; the wire-bound wrists of Srebrenica massacre victims uncovered in Bosnia; the disinterment of the body of a young man in southwestern Kosovo as his grandfather looks on in silence. Yet even as she recounts the hellish working conditions, the tangled bureaucracy of the UN, and the heartbreak of survivors, Koff imbues her story with purpose, humanity, and an unfailing sense of justice. This is a book only Clea Koff could have written, charting her journey from wide-eyed innocent to soul-weary veteran across geography synonymous with some of the worst crimes of the twentieth century. A tale of science in the service of human rights,The Bone Womanis, even more profoundly, a story of hope and enduring moral principles.
The Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people. In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in Central Africa, Gerard Prunier offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval. Prunier vividly describes the grisly aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, when some two million refugees--a third of Rwanda's population--fled to exile in Zaire in 1996. The new Rwandan regime then crossed into Zaire and attacked the refugees, slaughtering upwards of 400,000 people. The Rwandan forces then turned on Zaire's despotic President Mobutu and, with the help of a number of allied African countries, overthrew him. But as Prunier shows, the collapse of the Mobutu regime and the ascension of the corrupt and erratic Laurent-Désiré Kabila created a power vacuum that drew Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and other African nations into an extended and chaotic war. The heart of the book documents how the whole core of the African continent became engulfed in an intractible and bloody conflict after 1998, a devastating war that only wound down following the assassination of Kabila in 2001. Prunier not only captures all this in his riveting narrative, but he also indicts the international community for its utter lack of interest in what was then the largest conflict in the world.
A riveting account of exile from Turkish genocide, brought to light for the first time ever in Sano Halo's personal story Not Even My Name exposes the genocide carried out during and after WW I in Turkey, which brought to a tragic end the 3000-year history of the Pontic Greeks (named for the Pontic Mountain range below the Black Sea). During this time, almost 2 million Pontic Greeks and Armenians were slaughtered and millions of others were exiled. Not Even My Name is the unforgettable story of Sano Halo's survival, as told to her daughter, Thea, and of their trip to Turkey in search of Sano's home 70 years after her exile. Sano Halo was a 10-year-old girl when she was torn from her ancient, pastoral way of life in the mountains and sent on a death march that annihilated her family. Stripped of everything she had ever held dear, even her name, Sano was sold by her surrogate family into marriage when still a child to a man three times her age. Not Even My Name follows Sano's marriage, the raising of her ten children in New York City, and her transformation as an innocent girl who was forced to move from a bucolic life to the 20th century in one bold stride. Written in haunting and eloquent prose, Not Even My Name weaves a seamless texture of individual and group memory, evoking all the suspense and drama of the best told tales.
A landmark assessment of Turkish culpability in the Armenian genocide, the first history of its kind by a Turkish historian In 1915, under the cover of a world war, some one million Armenians were killed through starvation, forced marches, forced exile, and mass acts of slaughter. Although Armenians and world opinion have held the Ottoman powers responsible, Turkey has consistently rejected any claim of intentional genocide. Now, in a pioneering work of excavation, Turkish historian Taner Akcam has made extensive and unprecedented use of Ottoman and other sources to produce a scrupulous charge sheet against the Turkish authorities. The first scholar of any nationality to have mined the significant evidence--in Turkish military and court records, parliamentary minutes, letters, and eyewitness accounts--Akcam follows the chain of events leading up to the killing and then reconstructs its systematic orchestration by coordinated departments of the Ottoman state, the ruling political parties, and the military. He also probes the crucial question of how Turkey succeeded in evading responsibility, pointing to competing international interests in the region, the priorities of Turkish nationalists, and the international community's inadequate attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice. As Turkey lobbies to enter the European Union, Akcam's work becomes ever more important and relevant. Beyond its timeliness, "A Shameful Act" is sure to take its lasting place as a classic and necessary work on the subject. "
For the first time in the United States comes the tragic and profoundly important story of the legendary Canadian general who "watched as the devil took control of paradise on earth and fed on the blood of the people we were supposed to protect." When Romeo Dallaire was called on to serve as force commander of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda, he believed that his assignment was to help two warring parties achieve the peace they both wanted. Instead, he was exposed to the most barbarous and chaotic display of civil war and genocide in the past decade, observing in just one hundred days the killings of more than eight hundred thousand Rwandans. With only a few troops, his own ingenuity and courage to direct his efforts, Dallaire rescued thousands, but his call for more support from the world body fell on deaf ears.
Former United States Marine Brian Steidle served for six months in Darfur as an unarmed military observer for the African Union. There he witnessed first-hand the ongoing genocide, and documented every day of his experience using email, audio journals, notebook after notebook and nearly 1,000 photographs. Gretchen Steidle Wallace, his sister, who wrote this book with Brian, corresponded with him throughout his time in Darfur. Fired upon, taken hostage, a witness to villages destroyed and people killed, frustrated by his mission's limitations and the international community's reluctance to intervene, Steidle resigned and has since become an advocate for the world to step in and stop this genocide. The Devil Came on Horseback depicts the tragic impact of an Arab government bent on destroying its black African citizens, the maddening complexity of international inaction in response to blatant genocide, and the awkward, yet heroic transformation of a formerMarine turned humanitarian. It is a gripping and moving memoir that bears witness to atrocities we have too long averted our eyes from, and reveals that the actions of just one committed person have the power to change the world.
The bestselling first installment of the graphic novel. A brutally moving work of art--widely hailed as the greatest graphic novel ever written--Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author's father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats. Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father into an astonishing retelling of one of history's most unspeakable tragedies. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma.
The bestselling second installment of the graphic novel. Maus recounts the chilling experiences of the author's father during the Holocaust, with Jews drawn as wide-eyed mice and Nazis as menacing cats. Maus is a haunting tale within a tale, weaving the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father into an astonishing retelling of one of history's most unspeakable tragedies. It is an unforgettable story of survival and a disarming look at the legacy of trauma.
From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, Rebecca Frankel's Into the Forest is one family's inspiring true story of love, escape, and survival.In the summer of 1942, the Rabinowitz family narrowly escaped the Nazi ghetto in their Polish town by fleeing to the forbidding Bialowieza Forest. They miraculously survived two years in the woods--through brutal winters, Typhus outbreaks, and merciless Nazi raids--until they were liberated by the Red Army in 1944. After the war they trekked across the Alps into Italy where they settled as refugees before eventually immigrating to the United States.During the first ghetto massacre, Miriam Rabinowitz rescued a young boy named Philip by pretending he was her son. Nearly a decade later, a chance encounter at a wedding in Brooklyn would lead Philip to find the woman who saved him. And to discover her daughter Ruth was the love of his life.From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, one family's inspiring true story.
At the age of sixteen, Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Hours after her parents were killed, Nazi officer Dr. Josef Mengele, forced Edie to dance for his amusement and her survival. Edie was pulled from a pile of corpses when the American troops liberated the camps in 1945. Edie spent decades struggling with flashbacks and survivor's guilt, determined to stay silent and hide from the past. Thirty-five years after the war ended, she returned to Auschwitz and was finally able to fully heal and forgive the one person she'd been unable to forgive--herself. Edie weaves her remarkable personal journey with the moving stories of those she has helped heal. She explores how we can be imprisoned in our own minds and shows us how to find the key to freedom. The Choice is a life-changing book that will provide hope and comfort to generations of readers.
This memoir by a Holocaust survivor who saved an untold number of lives at Auschwitz through everyday acts of courage and kindness--in the vein of A Bookshop in Berlin and The Nazi Officer's Wife. In March 1942, twenty-five-year-old kindergarten teacher Magda Hellinger and nearly a thousand other young women were deported as some of the first Jews to be sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The SS soon discovered that by putting prisoners in charge of the day-to-day accommodation blocks, they could deflect attention away from themselves. Magda was one such prisoner selected for leadership and put in charge of hundreds of women in the notorious Experimental Block 10. She found herself constantly walking a dangerously fine line: saving lives while avoiding suspicion by the SS and risking execution. Through her inner strength and shrewd survival instincts, she was able to rise above the horror and cruelty of the camps and build pivotal relationships with the women under her watch, and even some of Auschwitz's most notorious Nazi senior officers. Based on Magda's personal account and completed by her daughter's extensive research, this is "an unputdownable account of resilience and the power of compassion" (Booklist) in the face of indescribable evil.
A Holocaust survivor pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom, and living his best possible life. Born in Leipzig, Germany, into a Jewish family, Eddie Jaku was a teenager when his world was turned upside-down. On November 9, 1938, during the terrifying violence of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Eddie was beaten by SS thugs, arrested, and sent to a concentration camp with thousands of other Jews across Germany. Every day of the next seven years of his life, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors in Buchenwald, Auschwitz, and finally on a forced death march during the Third Reich's final days. The Nazis took everything from Eddie--his family, his friends, and his country. But they did not break his spirit. Against unbelievable odds, Eddie found the will to survive. Overwhelming grateful, he made a promise: he would smile every day in thanks for the precious gift he was given and to honor the six million Jews murdered by Hitler. Today, at 100 years of age, despite all he suffered, Eddie calls himself the "happiest man on earth." In his remarkable memoir, this born storyteller shares his wisdom and reflects on how he has led his best possible life, talking warmly and openly about the power of gratitude, tolerance, and kindness. Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. With The Happiest Man on Earth, Eddie shows us how. Filled with his insights on friendship, family, health, ethics, love, and hatred, and the simple beliefs that have shaped him, The Happiest Man on Earth offers timeless lessons for readers of all ages, especially for young people today.
In this remarkably moving memoir Ariana Neumann dives into the secrets of her father's past: years spent hiding in plain sight in war-torn Berlin, the annihilation of dozens of family members in the Holocaust, and the courageous choice to build anew. In 1941, the first Neumann family member was taken by the Nazis, arrested in German-occupied Czechoslovakia for bathing in a stretch of river forbidden to Jews. He was transported to Auschwitz. Eighteen days later his prisoner number was entered into the morgue book. Of thirty-four Neumann family members, twenty-five were murdered by the Nazis. One of the survivors was Hans Neumann, who, to escape the German death net, traveled to Berlin and hid in plain sight under the Gestapo's eyes. What Hans experienced was so unspeakable that, when he built an industrial empire in Venezuela, he couldn't bring himself to talk about it. All his daughter Ariana knew was that something terrible had happened. When Hans died, he left Ariana a small box filled with letters, diary entries, and other memorabilia. Ten years later Ariana finally summoned the courage to have the letters translated, and she began reading. What she discovered launched her on a worldwide search that would deliver indelible portraits of a family loving, finding meaning, and trying to survive amid the worst that can be imagined. When Time Stopped is an unputdownable detective story and an epic family memoir, spanning nearly ninety years and crossing oceans. Neumann brings each relative to vivid life. In uncovering her father's story after all these years, she discovers nuance and depth to her own history and liberates poignant and thought-provoking truths about the threads of humanity that connect us all.
When Glenn Kurtz stumbles upon an old family film in his parents' closet in Florida, he has no inkling of its historical significance or of the impact it will have on his life. The film, shot long ago by his grandfather on a sightseeing trip to Europe, includes shaky footage of Paris and the Swiss Alps, with someone inevitably waving at the camera. Astonishingly, David Kurtz also captured on color 16mm film the only known moving images of the thriving, predominantly Jewish town of Nasielsk, Poland, shortly before the community's destruction. "Blissfully unaware of the catastrophe that lay just ahead," he just happened to visit his birthplace in 1938, a year before the Nazi occupation. Of the town's three thousand Jewish inhabitants, fewer than one hundred would survive. Glenn Kurtz quickly recognizes the brief footage as a crucial link in a lost history. "The longer I spent with my grandfather's film," he writes, "the richer and more fragmentary its images became." Every image, every face, was a mystery that might be solved. Soon he is swept up in a remarkable journey to learn everything he can about these people. After restoring the film, which had shrunk and propelled across the United States; to Canada, England, Poland, and Israel; and into archives, basements, cemeteries, and even an irrigation ditch at an abandoned Luftwaffe airfield as he looks for shards of Nasielsk's Jewish history. One day, Kurtz hears from a young woman who had watched the video on the Holocaust Museum's website. As the camera panned across the faces of children, she recognized her grandfather as a thirteen-year-old boy. Moszek Tuchendler of Nasielsk was now eighty-six-year-old Maurice Chandler of Florida, and when Kurtz meets him, the lost history of Nasielsk comes into view. Chandler's laser-sharp recollections create a bridge between two worlds, and he helps Kurtz eventually locate six more survivors, including a ninety-six-year-old woman who also appears in the film, standing next to the man she would later marry. Painstakingly assembled from interviews, photographs, documents, and artifacts,Three Minutes in Poland tells the rich, harrowing, and surprisingly intertwined stories of these seven survivors and their Polish hometown. "I began to catch fleeting glimpses of the living town," Kurtz writes, "a cruelly narrow sample of its relationships, contradictions, scandals." Originally a travel souvenir, David Kurtz's home movie became the most important record of a vibrant town on the brink of extinction. From this brief film, Glenn Kurtz creates a poignant yet unsentimental exploration of memory, loss,and improbable survival--a monument to a lost world.
Unstoppable is the ultimate immigrant story and an epic David-and-Goliath adventure. While American teens were socializing in ice cream parlors, Siggi was suffering beatings by Nazi hoodlums for being a Jew and was soon deported along with his family to the darkest place the world has ever known: Auschwitz. Siggi used his wits to stay alive, pretending to have trade skills the Nazis could exploit to run the camp. After two death marches and near starvation, he was liberated from camp Mauthausen and went to work for the US Army hunting Nazis, a service that earned him a visa to America. On arrival, he made three vows: to never go hungry again, to support the Jewish people, and to speak out against injustice. He earned his first dollar shoveling snow after a fierce blizzard. His next job was laboring in toxic sweatshops. From these humble beginnings, he became President, Chairman and CEO of a New York Stock Exchange-listed oil company and grew a full-service commercial bank to more than $4 billion in assets. Siggi's ascent from the darkest of yesterdays to the brightest of tomorrows holds sway over the imagination in this riveting narrative of grit, cunning, luck, and the determination to live life to the fullest.
For three months in the spring of 1994, the African nation of Rwanda descended into one of the most vicious and bloody genocides the world has ever seen. Immaculée Ilibagiza, a young university student, miraculously survived the savage killing spree that left most of her family, friends, and a million of her fellow citizens dead. Immaculée's remarkable story of survival was documented in her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust. Led By Faith, Immaculée takes us with her as her remarkable journey continues. Through her simple and eloquent voice, we experience her hardships and heartache as she struggles to survive and to find meaning and purpose in the aftermath of the holocaust. It is the story of a naïve and vulnerable young woman, orphaned and alone, navigating through a bleak and dangerously hostile world with only an abiding faith in God to guide and protect her. Immaculée fends off sinister new predators, seeks out and comforts scores of children orphaned by the genocide, and searches for love and companionship in a land where hatred still flourishes. Then, fearing again for her safety as Rwanda's war-crime trials begin, Immaculée flees to America to begin a new chapter of her life as a refugee and immigrant--a stranger in a strange land. With the same courage and faith in God that led her through the darkness of genocide, Immaculée discovers a new life that was beyond her wildest dreams as a small girl in a tiny village in one of Africa's poorest countries. It is in the United States, her adopted country, where Immaculée can finally look back at all that has happened to her and truly understand why God spared her life . . . so that she would be left to tell her story to the world.
In the late 1990s, French author and journalist Jean Hatzfeld made several journeys into the hilly, marshy region of the Bugesera, one of the areas most devastated by the Rwandan genocide of April 1994, where an average of five out of six Tutsis were hacked to death with machete and spear by their Hutu neighbors and militiamen. In the villages of Nyamata and N'tarama, Hatzfeld interviewed fourteen survivors of the genocide, from orphan teenage farmers to the local social worker. For years the survivors had lived in a muteness as enigmatic as the silence of those who survived the Nazi concentration camps. In Life Laid Bare, they speak for those who are no longer alive to speak for themselves; they tell of the deaths of family and friends in the churches and marshes to which they fled, and they attempt to account for the reasons behind the Tutsi extermination. For many of the survivors "life has broken down," while for others, it has "stopped," and still others say that it "absolutely must go on." These horrific accounts of life at the very edge contrast with Hatzfeld's own sensitive and vivid descriptions of Rwanda's villages and countryside in peacetime. These voices of courage and resilience exemplify the indomitable human spirit, and they remind us of our own moral responsibility to bear witness to these atrocities and to never forget what can come to pass again. Winner of the Prix France Culture and the Prix Pierre Mille, Life Laid Bare allows us, in the author's own words, "to draw as close as we can get to the Rwandan genocide."
What did the American people and the US government know about the threats posed by Nazi Germany? What could have been done to stop the rise of Nazism in Germany and its assault on Europe's Jews? Americans and the Holocaust explores these enduring questions by gathering together more than one hundred primary sources that reveal how Americans debated their responsibility to respond to Nazism. Drawing on groundbreaking research conducted for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Americans and the Holocaust exhibition, these carefully chosen sources help readers understand how Americans' responses to Nazism were shaped by the challenging circumstances in the United States during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, including profound economic crisis, fear of communism, pervasive antisemitism and racism, and widespread isolationism. Collecting newspaper and magazine articles, popular culture materials, and government records, Americans and the Holocaust is a valuable resource for students and historians seeking to shed light on this dark era in world history. To explore further, visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's digital exhibit, available here: https://exhibitions.ushmm.org/americans-and-the-holocaust. Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The first genocide of the twentieth century remains unrecognized and unpunished. Turkey continues to deny the slaughter of over a million Ottoman Armenians in 1915 and the following years. What sets the Armenian genocide apart from other mass atrocities is that the country responsible has never officially acknowledged its actions, and no individual has ever been brought to justice. In Turkey and the Armenian Ghost, a translation of the award-winning La Turquie et le fantôme arménien, Laure Marchand and Guillaume Perrier visit historic sites and interview politicians, elderly survivors, descendants, authors, and activists in a quest for the hidden truth. Taking the reader into remote mountain regions, tiny hamlets, and the homes of traumatized victims of a deadly persecution that continues to this day, they reveal little-known aspects of the history and culture of a people who have been rendered invisible in their ancient homeland. Seeking to illuminate complex issues of blame and responsibility, guilt and innocence, the authors discuss the roles played in this drama by the "righteous Turks," the Kurds, the converts, the rebels, and the "leftovers of the sword." They also describe the struggle to have the genocide officially recognized in Turkey, France, and the United States. Arguing that this giant cover-up has had consequences for Turks as well as for Armenians, the authors point to a society sickened by a century of denial. The face of Turkey is gradually changing, however, and a new generation of Turks is beginning to understand what happened and to realize that the ghost of the Armenian genocide must be recognized and laid to rest.
A haunting WWII memoir of two sisters who survived Auschwitz that picks up where Anne Frank's Diary left off and gives voice to the children we lost. On March 28, 1944, six-year-old Tati and her four-year-old sister Andra were roused from their sleep and arrested. Along with their mother, Mira, their aunt, and cousin Sergio, they were deported to Auschwitz. Over 230,000 children were deported to the camp, where Josef Mengele, the Angel of Death, performed deadly experiments on them. Only a few dozen children survived, Tati and Andra among them. Tati, Andra, and Sergio were separated from their mothers upon arrival. But Mira was determined to keep track of her girls. After being tattooed with their inmate numbers, she made them memorize her number and told them to "always remember your name." In keeping this promise to their mother, the sisters were able to be reunited with their parents when WWII ended. An unforgettable narrative of the power of sisterhood in the most extreme circumstances, and of how a mother's love can overcome the most impossible odds, the Bucci sisters' memoir is a timely reminder that separating families is an inexcusable evil.
A New Translation From The French By Marion Wiesel Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man's capacity for inhumanity to man. Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
In December 1937, in what was then the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking (Nanjing) and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured, and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the story of this atrocity--one of the worst in world history--continues to be denied by the Japanese government. Based on extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents in four different languages (many never before published), Iris Chang, whose own grandparents barely escaped the massacre, has written what will surely be the definitive, English-language history of this horrifying episode--one that the Japanese have tried for years to erase from public consciousness. The Rape of Nanking tells the story from three perspectives: that of the Japanese soldiers who performed it; of the Chinese civilians who endured it; and finally of a group of Europeans and Americans who refused to abandon the city and were able to create a safety zone that saved almost 300,000 Chinese. It was Chang who discovered the diaries of the German leader of this rescue effort, John Rabe, whom she calls the "Oskar Schindler of China". A loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler but far from the terror planned in his Nazi-controlled homeland, he worked tirelessly to save the innocent from slaughter. But this book does more than just narrate details of an orgy of violence; it attempts to analyze the degree to which the Japanese imperial government and its militaristic culture fostered in the Japanese soldier a total disregard for human life. Finally, it tells one more shocking story: Despite the fact that the death toll at Nanking exceeded the immediate deaths from the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined (and even the total wartime casualty count of entire European countries), the Cold War led to a concerted effort on the part of the West and even the Chinese to court the loyalty of Japan and stifle open discussion of this atrocity. Indeed, Chang characterized this conspiracy of silence, which persists to this day, as "a second rape".
The landmark, bestselling account of the crimes against American Indians during the 19th century, now on its 50th Anniversary. First published in 1970, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee's Dee Brown's eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of American Indians during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold almost four million copies and has been translated into seventeen languages. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown introduces readers to great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes, revealing in heart wrenching detail the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that methodically stripped them of freedom. A forceful narrative still discussed today as revelatory and controversial, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee permanently altered our understanding of how the American West came to be defined.
Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched book is a comprehensive and chilling history of an American genocide. Madley describes pre-contact California and precursors to the genocide before explaining how the Gold Rush stirred vigilante violence against California Indians. He narrates the rise of a state-sanctioned killing machine and the broad societal, judicial, and political support for genocide. Many participated: vigilantes, volunteer state militiamen, U.S. Army soldiers, U.S. congressmen, California governors, and others. The state and federal governments spent at least $1,700,000 on campaigns against California Indians. Besides evaluating government officials' culpability, Madley considers why the slaughter constituted genocide and how other possible genocides within and beyond the Americas might be investigated using the methods presented in this groundbreaking book.
Through inmates own voices and artwork, Terezín explores the lives of Jewish people in one of the most infamous of the Nazi transit camps. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany turned the small town of Terezín, Czechoslovakia, into a ghetto, and then into a transit camp for thousands of Jewish people. It was a "show" camp, where inmates were forced to use their artistic talents to fool the world about the truth of gas chambers and horrific living conditions for imprisoned Jews. Here is their story, told through the firsthand accounts of those who were there. In this accessible, meticulously researched book, Ruth Thomson allows the inmates to speak for themselves through secret diary entries, artwork, and excerpts from memoirs and recordings narrated after the war. Terezín: Voices from the Holocaust is a moving portrait that shows the strength of the human will to endure, to create, and to survive.
When Adolf Hitler created the model camp at Theresienstadt (Terezin in Czech) for the better-known of Europe's Jewish transporters, he gathered together many of the continent's finest musicians. This examination of the associations, the compositions, the performances, and above all, the people in Terezin accentuates the roles the active musical life played in the struggle for hope in those darkest of times.
After accusing fellow historian David Irving of being a Holocaust denier, Deborah Lipstadt is sued for libel and forced to provide proof of her claims in court. Mick Jackson directed this docudrama, with David Hare penning the screenplay based on Lipstadt's 2005 account of the trial.
Businessman Oskar Schindler arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons. When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.
During World War II, 8-year-old Bruno and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father has just become commandant. Unhappy and lonely, he wanders out behind his house one day and finds Shmuel, a Jewish boy of his age. Though the barbed-wire fence of the camp separates them, the boys begin a forbidden friendship, oblivious to the real nature of their surroundings.
Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters, and endeavor to build a village, in order to protect themselves and about one thousand Jewish non-combatants.
In January 1942, as the United States enters World War II, a conference assembles near Berlin. SS Gen. Heydrich and his associate, Lt. Eichmann call the meeting to discuss the "evacuation" of Germany's Jews and other undesirables, a code word for their extermination in concentration camps. To begin this Final Solution, they must change the mind of a small group of men opposed to the idea, led by Chancellor Kritzinger.
Director Claude Lanzmann spent 11 years on this sprawling documentary about the Holocaust, conducting his own interviews and refusing to use a single frame of archival footage. Dividing Holocaust witnesses into three categories -- survivors, bystanders and perpetrators -- Lanzmann presents testimonies from survivors of the Chelmno concentration camp, an Auschwitz escapee and witnesses of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, as well as a chilling report of gas chambers from an SS officer at Treblinka.
In this utterly heart-affecting and enthralling film, two Holocaust survivors in South Florida form a klezmer band and begin an extraordinary musical journey that celebrates life and the transcendent power of music to heal.
Jewish teenager Salek is separated from his family when they flee their home in Germany after Kristallnacht. He ends up in a Russian orphanage for two years, but when Nazi troops reach Russia he convinces them he is a German Aryan, and becomes an invaluable interpreter and then an unwitting war hero. His deception becomes increasingly difficult to maintain after he joins the Hitler Youth and finds love with beautiful Leni, a fervent anti-Semite.
Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt's famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg, she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court.
In this adaptation of the autobiography "The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945," Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jewish radio station pianist, sees Warsaw change gradually as World War II begins. Szpilman is forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, but is later separated from his family during Operation Reinhard. From this time until the concentration camp prisoners are released, Szpilman hides in various locations among the ruins of Warsaw.
A gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice, meets Dora, a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with his charm and humor. Eventually they marry and have a son, Giosue. Their happiness is abruptly halted, however, when Guido and Giosue are separated from Dora and taken to a concentration camp. Determined to shelter his son from the horrors of his surroundings, Guido convinces Giosue that their time in the camp is merely a game.
Julien, an 11-year-old Catholic boarding-school resident during the Nazi occupation of France. He is witness to the courage of his instructors, who defy the German's anti-Semitic policies and quietly enroll Jewish children into the school under assumed names. Manesse befriends Jean, one of these "instant Catholics." The refugee children are betrayed by a hostile ex-employee of the school, forcing Julien once more to be a bystander to history as Jean and the teachers are arrested. For this return to the French film industry after several years in the US, Louis Malle purged himself of his own bitter memories of life under the thumbs of the Nazis
Academy Award-winning documentary chronicling the mass exodus of Jewish children from pre-World War II Germany into neutral countries, where they were adopted by new families. Narrated by Dame Judi Dench.
Sol Nazerman survived the Holocaust. His wife and children did not -he witnessed their murder in a concentration camp. He is now a Harlem pawnbroker, emotionally dead and indifferent to the desperation around him, running his shop as a front for a racketeer. Made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Rod Steiger, this is one of the most moving pieces in modern fiction.
Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu, manages the Hôtel des Mille Collines and lives a happy life with his Tutsi wife and their three children. But when Hutu military forces initiate a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Tutsi minority, Paul is compelled to allow refugees to take shelter in his hotel. As the U.N. pulls out, Paul must struggle alone to protect the Tutsi refugees in the face of the escalating violence later known as the Rwandan genocide.
. Kinyarwanda traces a handful of interconnected stories of both hatred and compassion amidst the bloodshed of 1994. As Hutus launch their massacre of the Tutsis, a powerful Muslim leader opens his mosque to those on either side who seek peaceful refuge. The Mufti is joined by a Catholic priest who is being hunted down due to his Tutsi background. Two Rwandan soldiers bond as they try to keep order and help refugees as they discuss their feelings on the massacre. A young boy unwittingly invites the violence into his family's home as a young couple finds their mixed ethnic heritage puts them both at risk
Allied troops marching into Germany at the end of World War II found evidence of atrocities which have tortured the world's conscience. As these troops entered Nazi concentration camps and faced the horrors, they made a film record of what they saw.
This documentary chronicles the events in the Chinese capital city of Nanking following the Japanese invasion of 1937. Combining archival footage with interviews and cinematic recreations of historic events, the film follows German businessman John Rabe, surgeon Bob Wilson and American missionary Minnie Vautrin as they sacrifice their own safety to protect Chinese refugees from the marauding Japanese army.
This extraordinarily rich, true-life journey follows two Sudanese refugees as they travel from Africa to America to forge a new life, all the while grappling with the unfamiliar complexities of contemporary American life.
While serving with the African Union, former Marine Capt. Brian Steidle documents the brutal ethnic cleansing occuring in Darfur. Determined that the Western public should know about the atrocities he is witnessing, Steidle contacts New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof, who publishes some of Steidle's photographic evidence.
In the face of horrific living conditions, Jewish inmates of Terezin concentration camp-artist, musicians, poets and writers-fought back with art and music. Led by conductor Rafael Schachter, they re-imagined a Catholic liturgical work, Verdi's Requiem, as a condemnation of the Nazis. They performed for Nazi brass, singing what they dared not say. Six decades later, a new conductor and choir take Verdi's Requiem back to Terezin to bring the story of Schachter's artistic uprising back to life.
In 1940, at the beginning of World War II, Soviet soldiers conduct a mass execution of captured Polish officers. With Hitler's forces rapidly advancing into Eastern Europe, a surviving Polish officer, Lt. Jerzy, at great risk to his own life, chooses to stay behind with his wife, Anna. As the Germans round up Lt. Jerzy and other officers, propaganda efforts cover up the truth about the Soviet soldiers' shocking brutality.
The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
This is the record of two years in the life of a remarkable Jewish girl whose triumphant humanity in the face of unfathomable deprivation and fear has made the book one of the most enduring documents of our time.
Man's Search for Meaning is the chilling yet inspirational story of Viktor Frankl's struggle to hold on to hope during the unspeakable horrors of his years as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Through every waking moment of his ordeal, Frankl's training as a psychiatrist lent him a remarkable perspective on the psychology of survival. As a result of these experiences, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning. Frankl's assertion that "the will to meaning" is the basic motivation for human life has forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering. Frankl's riveting memoir was named one of the Ten Most Influential Books in America after a 1991 survey by the Library of Congress and Book of the Month Club. This revised and updated version includes a new postscript: "The Case for a Tragic Optimism."
Summary from the British Library on Michael Tippett's A Child of Our Time. The Oratorio is a story woven around the Jewish teenager Herschel Grynszpan, whose assassination of a Nazi official in November 1938 led to, or was at least the pretext for, the Nazis’ vengeful pogrom against the Jews called Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass). Tippett, an ardent pacifist, saw in Grynszpan a ‘child of his time’, a young man driven to desperation as the century darkened, a figure through whom the oratorio could call for peace from the depths of the war. Inspired by the chance hearing of a radio broadcast, he decided to punctuate the music with arrangements of five African-American spirituals, universalised expressions of suffering and hope that serve as contemporary equivalents to the Lutheran chorales in Bach’s Passions.
Music written by composers imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp; includes lieder, cabaret songs, lullabies, and a sonata for solo violin. The 7th work is a contrafactum of the song Komm mit nach Varasdin from the operetta Gräfin Maritza by Emmerich Kálmán. Performers nne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano (1st-3rd, 5th-6th, 8th-9th, 11th-13th works) ; Christian Gerhaher, baritone (4th, 7th, 10th, 14th works) ; Daniel Hope, violin (last work) ; Bengt Forsberg (1st-3rd, 5th-6th, 8th, 11th-13th works), Gerold Huber (4th, 7th, 10th, 14th works), piano ; Bebe Risenfors, accordion (1st-3rd works), double bass (5th work), guitar (9th work) ; Ib Hausmann, clarinet (10th work) ; Philip Dukes, viola (10th work) ; Josephine Knight, violoncello (10th work).
Messiaen wrote the piece while a prisoner of war in German captivity. The quartet is written for the instruments Messiaen had access: Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano. The first performance of the piece was at Stalag VIII-A pow camp.