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Bruckstein's two novellas, published for the first time in English, offer a fascinating depiction of rural life in the Carpathians around the time of the Second World War, tracing the chilling descent into disorder and fear of two cosmopolitan communities that had hitherto appeared to be havens of religious and racial acceptance, but which were in fact constructed on foundations of prejudice and discrimination. Bruckstein presents the effects of the Holocaust not only on the Jewish community, but also the wider Christian society. His novellas tell cautionary tales of how gradual changes that individually seem inconsequential can lead to catastrophic alterations in the very fabric of society which, by the time they are acknowledged, are irreversible. These stories serve as a warning that passivity and political apathy can sometimes be just as harmful as actions.
Romania, Jewish Literature of WWII, Maramures, literary Fiction