A Nightmare's Fairy Tale: A Young Refugee’s Home Fronts, 1938-1948 (October, 2006)
Fleeing the Nazis in the months before World War II, the Korman family scattered from a Polish refugee camp with the hope of reuniting in America. The father sailed to Cuba on the ill-fated St. Louis, the mother left for the United States after sending her two sons on a kindertransport assembling near Warsaw. One of the sons was Gerd Korman, whose memoir Nightmare's Fairy Tale follows his own path-from the family's deportation from Hamburg, through his time with and Anglican family in rural England, to the family's reunited life in New York City's Jewish neighborhoods.Korman's story is at once a classic account of American immigration and uniquely Jewish tale of trauma, anxiety, and familial separation during and after the Holocaust. Drawing on his own personal letters and other document, Korman-now and emeritus professor of history-deftly and sensitively explores the extraordinary pressures on Jewish children during these years. Displaced from home and family, and relying on the kindness of Christian and Jewish organizations and individuals, these children could never fully belong in new wartime surroundings. Even after Korman and his brother were finally reunited with both their parents in New York, their lives remained charged by ethnic tensions and by political conflict within the American Jewish community. But youth was not entirely stamped out: Korman vividly recounts his life in New York as something close to a typical soccer-loving teenager. With elements of both nightmare and fairy tale, his memoir plumbs the depths of twentieth-century history to tell the remarkable story of one of its survivors. [from dust jacket]
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 186 pages.
Call number: DS135.P63 K5695 2005