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I finished this book last night It was difficult to do and not because it isn t transfixing This is a book I would not have picked up on my own and I was skeptical when my professor assigned it for workshop I tend to avoid holocaust narratives, in part because I feel inundated with them, in part because you know they will as Allison says make you want to drink the bleach.Reznikoff collaged fragments from the courtroom transcripts of various trials e.g., the Nuremberg trials, the Eichmann trial He focused on the first person accounts in the transcripts he pared down the testimonials but did not add to them He did arrange them under various subheadings massacres, work camps, children, etc The resulting poem is brutal Things that will stick the flashy competitive brutality of the s.s men paired with their interest in destroying all evidence leaving no trace the strange focus on data collection and other methods the roll call, the body count, the torture of every 5th man, etc the haunting image of gold teeth extracted from ashes and the mouths of the dead Something about the form lends to the absorbility the narrative maybe it is the rhythm imposed by the line breaks, the spare language It is so unsettling to be in these landscapes that are cramped and overpopulated only to be emptied and erased a few lines down. Wow I m very glad and horrified that I read this This collection of prose poems are taken directly from source material from the Nuremberg Trials and the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem They are stunning in their barbarity They are stunning in their inhumanity It was an important reminder to me of what it looks like to be human in all of its glory and in all of its depravity It s a stunning, stunning read I m very glad I read it and I hope it changes me. By appropriating material from court testimonies about the Holocaust and then reworking, in minor ways, the words he stole, Reznikoff makes a harrowing, truthful account of what really went on during the Nazi regime He does this in small stories about people, recounting nameless victims with hyperclarity The book is a quick read, even for poetry, and is a must read if you re grappling with how to appropriate sources as a poet. Charles Reznikoff is the poet laureate of police reports His huge poetic compilation, Testimony, is a line break rewriting of volumes of police reports and paints a scene of the worst of humanity and the US of A It s like a Hieronymus Bosch in words rather than paint Its cumulative effect is devastating, and even in short doses it rattles consciousness.Holocaust is his rendering of transcripts from the Nuremberg Trials, and Eichmann s trial in Jerusalem, and tells the history of the Holocaust in chapters It is another devastating volume.Thanks to Black Sparrow Press for keeping Mr Reznikoff in print. ( Download Pdf ) ☲ Holocaust ♴ Black Sparrow Is Proud To Restore To Print One Of The Great Long Poems Of The Late Th Century, Charles Reznikoff S Holocaust, Originally Published InReznikoff S Subject Is One People S Suffering At The Hand Of Another His Source Materials Are The US Government S Record Of The Trials Of The Nazi Criminals Before The Nuremberg Military Tribunal And The Transcripts Of The Eichmann Trial In Jerusalem Except For The Twelve Part Titles, None Of The Words Here Are Reznikoff S Own Instead He Has Created, Through Selection, Arrangement, And The Rhythms Of The Testimony Set As Verse On The Page, A Poem Of Witness By The Perpetrators And The Survivors Of The Holocaust Themselves He Lets The Terrible History Unfold In History S Own Words Reznikoff S Technique, Says David Lehman, Contradicts The Very Faculty Of Understanding He Lets Reality Speak For Itself, Lets It State The Externals Of The Thing Or Event, And Leaves Unspoken Or Edits Out The Emotions, Which The Reader May Be Counted On To Provide For Himself Few Readers Will Forget The Emotions They Bring To Holocaust In its spareness, eloquence, and simplicity, Charles Reznikoff s poem Holocaust remains one of the best literary attempts to come to grips with this bleak tragedy Reznikoff 1894 1976 wrote the poem in 1975 when it was published by John Martin and Black Sparrow Press It is good to have it back in print.Reznikoff was little known during his life He wrote objectivist poetry which took as its motto no ideas but in things Poetry for Reznikoff directs the reader to things to reality and experiences rather than to ego or to the feelings of the author.Holocaust was Reznikoff s final work It is based entirely on the records of the Nuremberg trials and of the Eichmann trial There is no narrative voice or I in the poem Further, there are no names given, with the exception of the salutation Heil Hitler by members of the S.S.The poem is told in a roughly chronological way in 12 sections beginning with the early deportations of Jews and ending with the pending liberation of the camps The cruelty and destructiveness of the Holocaust are shown in spare, understated short poems Here is the concluding poem of Section IV, Ghettos One of the S.S men caught a woman with a baby in her arms.She began asking for mercy if she were shotthe baby should live.She was near a fence between the ghetto and where Poles livedand behind the fence were Poles ready to catch the babyand she was about to hand it over when caught.The S.S man took the baby from her armsand shot her twice,and then held the baby in his hands.The mother bleeding but still alive, crawled up to his feet.The S.S man laughedand tore the baby apart as one would tear a rag.Just then a stray dog passedand the S.S man stooped to pat itand took a lump of sugar out of his pocketand gave it to the dog Here is a section from part V of the Poem, Massacres They gathered some twenty Hasidic Jews from their homes,in the robes these wear,wearing their prayer shawls, too,and holding prayer books in their hands.They were led up a hill.Here they were told to chant their prayersand raise their hands for help to Godand, as they did so,the officers poured kerosene under themand set it on fire Reznikoff works hard so that his ego and judgment do not intrude upon the events he describes The writing is simple, understated, and direct The reader feels he is witnessing the events described without an overlay To the extent possible, the reader is allowed to respond to the events directly, without the intermediary of the author, and with no superfluities or ideological commitments beyond the events themselves.There a bleak scenes of horrors and killings in Holocaust , both of individual people and of masses, in gas chambers, gas trucks, firing squads, burnings, and elsewhere There are also a small number of episodes of acts of kindness Reznikoff presents his materials throughout lucidly, simply, and with understatement Here is one final passage from the book, from section VI, Gas Chambers and Gas Trucks The bodies were thrown out quicklyfor other transports were coming bodies blue, wet with sweat and urine, legs covered with excrement,and everywhere the bodies of babies and children.Two dozen workers were busyopening the mouths of the dead with iron hooksand with chisels taking out teeth with golden caps and elsewhere other workers were tearing open the deadlooking for money or jewels that might have been swallowed.And all the bodies were then thrown into the large pits dug near the gas chambersto be covered with sand Reznikoff is an American poet who deserves to be read and remembered This poem of his old age will help the reader to reflect upon the Holocaust.Robin Friedman This is one of those collections of poetry that just leave you hurting Reznikoff used courtroom transcripts to create poems that are maddeningly painful By choosing not to use names, he created work that exemplifies what could happen to anyone, and makes us question the hows and whys of the Holocaust Additionally, he does not shy away from details, some of which after having read many books about WWII, I have never heard Further, he exacerbates what is common knowledge, and explodes it in ways I think only he could through his methods I would recommend this book to all readers, and ask them to look at the values of such work. Does one ever really like holocaust books This book is daunting, despite it s brevity, and haunting That being said, I think it will really change the way I teach the book Nightthis year I think there is a certain truth to it that most memoir doesn t convey While the trials are made up of testimony memories themselves, the process of making testamonies in court seems to havevalidity than most diary style memoirs The challenge is going to be choosing which poems to teach How Reznikoff edited the trials down to these is beyond me. Needless to say, everytime I read this book it made me very sad I hated that people would be so cruel to other people I hated reading about it I also hated discussing this book in class Going over and over and over what the poem ment, and why it was put in the book I hated it This book is a great work of art though It go the message across effectively, but I hated reading it It made me feel ill Charles Reznikoff is a genius He put the pieces and testimonies of these crimes together amazingly However, I will never, ever read this book again unless I have to. This book is actually a long poem cut into sections that represent different aspects of the Holocaust This topic has been an area of intense study for me since childhood and have read many books about the Holocaust I found that Mr Reznikoff s poem was heartfelt, touching and objective Although this subject can be very disturbing, this book gives the horrific details without being too graphic for the reader Also, have some Kleenex nearby