Jagendorf's Foundry: Memoir of the Romanian Holocaust, 1941-1944

by Siegfried Jagendorf

Other authorsAron Hirt-Manheimer
Book, 1991



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New York, N.Y. : HarperCollins Publishers, c1991.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Scotland
Because of the horrific subject matter, and the heroic role of the main author in the saving of countless lives, and the everpressing need for all survivors of all holocausts to have their voices heard, I am initially hesitant to say something bad about this book, but the truth is, this is not a
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very good book.
The book is comprised of two sections, Jagendorf's memoirs, and background information by Aron Hirt-Manheimer. The book states at the beginning that Jagendorf's first attempt to publish his memoirs ended in failure. Not a wonder. His material was divided into seven sections, consisting of between 4 to 7 chapters, with the average chapter length being 2-3 pages. Jagendorf's writing style is more of a listing of his activities, with very little emotion, background or insight. It might even be suggested that despite the hardships and horror that was the Romanian Holocaust, that Jagendorf was basically full of himself. The notion was politely repeated several times by Hirt-Manheimer and several of the sources he interviewed.

Hirt-Manheimer's role was to flush out the book, which he attempted to do with commentary after each section featuring interviews with survivors, a time-line, introduction of historical documents, and a re-interpreting of Jagondorf's claims. It was a noble attempt, but one that could not overcome the disappointment of the source manuscript.

If you want a book to learn of the pain and trauma of Transnistria, this isn't it. If you are looking for source material for Transnitria, this book may have some merit, as it cannot be disputed that Jagendorf was a major figure during those years, and his contribution did save tens of thousands of jews. And on that note, that is perhaps the most thought provoking part of this book, analysising exactly the type of role Jagendorf played, was he a saviour, a power broker, or a little of both.
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006016106X / 9780060161064
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