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Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 30, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 30, 1980

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Pu'ND HOPE, Pisar. Little, Brown , BOston. S 12.95. by Gene Starn he was a prisoner at At ,32, he was an )residents. Samuel more than a and in his new "'Of Blood and his fascinating continually points between the past preservation of the tale of the of the Holocaust, Pisar's conver- style makes for reading. His rise horrors of to become a lent counsel to corporations -- an expert on trade who was negotiating the ever arranged the Soviet Union and an corporation -- is friendships and with world SUch as Golda Meir. Qiscard d'Estaing, Ssinger. Saudi's Yamani. Senator and others. and Hope" is a Story, brought to life l,arresting style and with some 39 r, his and peers. in Europe. "'Of Hope" is a a warning that our deepest fears s. In his prologue. as I observed shock r mankind new disasters, herself falling her white gave me (teslionat)h. il tt)c t('t,enlhal. lOLlli,st Iuho tlzc, hc'dd ol the ('ror tt,hhian in t',/t'l, will bc il, linch.i when it o/ /hi' Isltel in Jcvu.sdh'/n, bul 'li DcIM/Ime/H Ol h,r,, flivc'n him ol pin., mcclal. anct cvcnd kind matte in 1( '. Monchlte dthl c'li. dn thnutgh it.'; with the rag(: of helplessness, or some crazed hope of last- minute deliverance, or the hallucinatory peace of the immenence of death. At the back of the room, in a space clear of prisoners, I see a barrel of water, and alongside it a pail, brush, and rag. Slowly, I creep forward freedom soiled in a on the floor. The people senseless war, her youth whose legs I touch are in rebellion, her insti, too benumbed to notice. tutions vulnerable, her Reaching the pail ! wet economy fragile; as I the brush in the water observed a President and begin scrubbing the assassinated, another floor. unable to govern, a third I go over one section, chased from office, then another, scrubbing confidence in political and drying vigorously as leadership undermined; hard as I can, like a good as I observed this theater worker performing an of the absurd, the feeling assigned task. Slowly, I mounted within me that inch my way toward the the past was again exiL Now, one of the becoming presenL guards who had brought "Increasingly, I found us in catches sight of me myself drawing on that through the open door pastforinsightsintowhy and looks indifferently my world had once the other way, supposing collapsed, into how my ! am carrying out orders. children's world could be Another cars out to me: preserved." "Hey, a--hole, over there, that part's still Born into a prominent, dirty." cultivated Jewish family in My heart thumps as, Bialystock. Poland. Samuel gradually, I cover the Pisar was I I when the Soviets cleared area and work occupied the town. Two years my way ever closer to the later, after the Nazis drove the door, past the legs of the Russians out. Pisar was other condemned prison. deported to Auschwitz. At 16. era too terrified to notice the sole survivor of his family, that I am one of them. I liberated by the Americans. he am close to the threshold made his way to Australia when the same guard where he graduated from the calls out; University of Melbourne. A "Hey, you back there. brilliant scholar, he received Clean that corner, you his doctorate in international lazy slob. " law at Harvard. later another Ilift my pailandslouch doctorate from the Sorbonne back to where he stands. in France. "Yes. sir. "" Pisar's memoirs are filled with many generalities we Or. years later in the sum- have read before, but his mar of 197] as a member of narrative style is sometimes an American delegation in spell-binding. Kiev to seek better coopera- tion with the Soviets, Pisar One day l found myself dared to answer the hostile. among the condemned.., rhetorical diatribes against the We stand closely packed Jews by their Russian hosts. in a dread silence, the His outrageous reply leads the faces around me flushed American delegation Ii II I( I( I( II II II tl II [I ii J A-I PERSONAL COMPUTER CENTER Your one stop store for all vour personal computer needs.  WE CARRY DISCOUNT l COMPUTER SUPPLIES & COMPUTER SYSTEMS! WE HAVE A LARGE SELECTION OF BOOKS, _ MAGAZINES & PREPACKAGED  ^O SOFTWARE FOR TRS-8Os, ,- "O" APPLES, PETS ETC.! IF '." YOU LIKE YOU CAN L...%-' EVEN RENT TIME ON OUR /'  INSTORE COMPUTER / / n.  SYSTEMS FOR AS LOW AS kl \\; , X "  $2.00. 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Patricia Harris and General James Gavin -- to ecommend a visit to Babi Yar. an official Soviet 'noplace" where nearly one- hundredthousand Jews were massacred and buried by the Nazis. We asked for a bus. and we got one. We arrived at the edge of a wood  the entire American dele- gallon -- and walked across a clearing. As Yevtushenko has writ. ten, there was no monument at Babi Yar. no plaque, nothing to tell of the infamous mass grave under the newly planted birch trees. Yet the Soviet guide faltered and dabbedat her eyes as she recounted what the Soviet government preferred to hush up- how tens of thousands of men, women and children (there were Ukranians, Gypsies, and others among them. but the vast majority were Jews) were taken to this place by the Nazis, made to dig their own graves, and shoL The guide was still talking when another bus drove up and stopped, and out piled lhe Soviet delegation. My heart leaped. Withoul a word, like late arrivals at a funeral service, they hurried across the clearing and joined our line. There was Kornei. chuk. bareheaded. There was Po!evy, of the long mustache. I caught his eye and thought I detected a hint of -- what? I could not lell. but I was sure il was not HERITAGE. Florida Jewish News. May 30. 1980. Pzgz 5 AUTHOR SAMUEL PISAR hostility. There was Arbatov. the American. ist. and Yuri Zhukov. the editorialist of Pravada. and the scientist Fedorov, and the others, every single one of them standing with head bowed, hat in hand. listening in respectful silence while the Soviet guide continued with her story. "Of Blood and Hope" is sometimes chilling, inspiring. and revealing. 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