30 October 2011

Novelization of the Lodz Ghetto

I've been reading THE EMPEROR OF LIES, Sem-Sandberg's novelization of the Lodz ghetto, and Rumkowski's tenure there as the Nazi-approved "Eldest of the Jews."  Here's a review of the book from The Guardian.

It is, as you might expect, a depressing read. Yet in its way compelling. 

I wonder about the following passage.  Does the character "Zawadzki the smuggler" represent anybody historic?

"When the Germans heard that the Jews had caught Zawadzki themselves, they rang for a car from the centre of Litzmannstadt.  The Jewish officers realised this was the end for Zawadzki and asked him if he had a final request. He replied that he wished to go to the toilet. Two policemen escorted Zawadzki to the latrines out in the yard.  They handcuffed Zawadzki to the latrine door and then stood guard outside, keeping a careful watch on the shoes clearly visible beneath the locked door. The policemen stood staring at Zawadzki's shoes for a good hour.  Then one of them plucked up the courage to break down the door.  The shoes were still there, and the handcuffs, but no Zawadzki."  

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.