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Grief & Bereavement Issues

Review of "Remembering Georgy"

By Serge Klarsfeld
Aperture, 2001
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Apr 8th 2002
Remembering Georgy

This book is about Georg Halpern, who was eight years old when he was murdered at Auschwitz.  It contains reproductions of his letters and drawings he made for his parents, which he wrote from a series of children’s homes, to which he was first sent in 1940.  He ended up at the House of Izieu in the Italian occupied zone, which Jews had hoped was a safe area, but tragically the Gestapo came to the home and took away the children. 

            Together with these pictures of Georg are photographs of his parents, who survived the holocaust.  Indeed, they were two the few parents of children from Izieu who survived the war.  They both died in 1989, and spent many years living in hope that that their son had survived, but their hopes were never fulfilled. 

            Evidence about the children from Izieu helped to convict the infamous Klaus Barbie, “the Butcher of Lyon,” in his trial of 1987.  At the end of the book is printed a plea by Serge Klarsfeld on behalf of the children of Izieu.  It lists each child, the parents, and other relatives, and explains what happened to each of the children. 

            Remembering the holocaust and paying tribute to those who lost their lives at the hands of the Germans is still important.  Remembering Georgy is well produced, and clearly shows what a devoted and loving son Georg was.  It is heartbreaking to think of his terrible death.

            Remembering Georgy presents the facts simply, and lets them speak for themselves.   It’s a powerful document. 

© 2002 Christian Perring. First Serial Rights.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is editor of Metapsychology Online Review. His main research is on philosophical issues in psychiatry. He is especially interested in exploring how philosophers can play a greater role in public life, and he is keen to help foster communication between philosophers, mental health professionals, and the general public.