TheRemnants: Stories from the Jewis Resistance by Othneil J. Seiden
The Remnants: Stories of the Jewish Resistance.
By Othneil J. Seiden
I loved this book! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got it, but upon reading the forward I was prepared for a wonderful historical novel. What I got was even better! I got a novel that was so based in fact and true stories that almost every encounter, every event, could be looked up and backed by historical fact. I did.
I love a book that takes me so deep in the history of an event and makes it all so real that it sends me into research mode to verify things and learn more. This book did this in spades. What should have been a day or two read, turned into almost a week because I had to keep stopping and looking things up; I have over two pages of notes on events and people and rumors that I had to chase down. And Mr. Seiden never disappointed me, every part was true, from the Trench at Babi Yar, to the constant gun fire going on there by the Nazi’s once they invaded Kiev. The fact that Soviet held countries, the Jews in particular, welcomed the German’s as liberators from the prejudice, suppressive Communist party, only to find themselves in worse shape than they were before. The small bands of resistance fighters, turning into larger bands, the woods of Russia and the Russian weather providing the native fighters hiding places and advantages over the better equip German army. The pain of the bands too far away to heed the calls from the Warsaw Ghetto when they had their uprising Passover of 1943, and with each call they knew that no one was going to help them, not the closer resistance groups, not the allies, no one went the aid of these people that fought for over a month with no back up.
The mob mentality of the people, turning on their neighbor’s wasn’t a surprise to me, having learned all this from a historical view point growing up more than 40 years after the fact, but in this author’s writing I can see that it wasn’t a surprise to him either, or his characters he writes about, having been pushed to the background, into slums, ignored by their government and spit up on by their peers over time, they expected it. The Pogrom’s that the Church organized and the Government looked the other way during which they went in and massacred as many Jews as they could for centuries. What surprised them was the way the supposedly civilized German people treated them. The dislike and distrust of the Vatican and the Catholics in general, the people of the time had came through loud and clear in this work, but what came through also was the belief that people could go against what they had been taught all their life. By accepting some Genitals into their group, and trusting the fledgling groups location and plans to the couple that saved Solomon, and the Priest that spoke against the killings, and later sent Jews to them, and eventually joined them; yes, Mr. Seiden was able see all sides of the fallible humans that got caught in Hitler’s quest for power and world domination.
I give this book a rating of five solid stars, and am recommending it to any of my friends that have any type of interest in this area of history. Thank you for writing this book, and for giving me something new to learn about a time I thought I had pretty much exhausted all avenues on. I loved every part of this book, every death cut me, but I know it was war and it wasn’t going to be pretty going into it. There wouldn’t be roses and birds singing all through the story line, but they were there when it was most unexpected. A great tale very carefully and thoroughly researched and plotted out. Thank you for sharing it.