The Nizkor Project

50 Years of Silence

History and Voices
of the Tragedy in Romania and Transnistria

Readers' Reactions

The publication of Shattered! 50 Years of Silence, History and Voices of the Tragedy in Romania and Transnistria elicited an overwhelming, heart-warming response. Numerous book reviews appeared in the media, in Canada, U.S.A., Israel, Romania, Venezuela, Australia, etc. In addition, we received a multitude of appreciative letters from individual readers of all walks of life. Following are excerpts from some of these letters:

"All English-speaking readers are indebted to Dr. Felicia (Steigman) Carmelly. She, at long last, has shattered the silence surrounding the broken lives of a generation of Romanian and Ukrainian Jews during World War II, particularly in that artificial creation which was called Transnistria. Drawing on a multiplicity of sources in a number of languages, Dr. Carmelly produced an invaluable and comprehensive volume which is at once history, documentary, memoir, and memorial."

Manuel Prutschi, National Director, Community Relations, Canadian Jewish Congress

"This anguished book brings together the apocalyptic horrors visited upon the victims, the depredations and the disgrace besmirching the perpetrators, and the perverse cruelty of ordinary citizens whose church-sanctioned anti-Semitism had stored up incendiary savagery for centuries. Christian readers will have to assess their churches and search their hearts as they own the unspeakable outcome of falsification and degradation in the name of the Christian faith. Those who are frustrated with yet another exploration of the Holocaust and who ask impatiently (if not self-righteously), 'Can't the Jews forgive?', must be reminded that only victims can ever forgive, and the Jewish victims of Christian cruelty have been slain."

Reverend Victor A. Shepherd, Toronto

"This is the volume we have all been waiting for to close the gap in Holocaust history studies. This valuable publication should be in every Holocaust Resource Center and in every personal library. The author, a survivor of Transnistria and the Founder of the Transnistria Survivors' Association, has produced a well researched anthology which generates awareness of the genocide during the Holocaust in Romanian and in south-western Ukraine."

Pnina Zilberman, former Director of Holocaust Education and Memorial Center of Toronto

"This first English-language anthology is well documented. It enlightens the reader and intensifies our determination against racism and discrimination. "

Dr. Shlomo Leibovici-Lais, President, World Cultural Association of Jews from Romania, Israel

"Sincere congratulations on your most important book! I know from experience how difficult it must have been to work on it. As a therapist, you understand so well that the psychological scars will remain with us till our last day on earth. And yet, we are constantly attracted to these memories and to the associated pain, the way people keep scratching and reopening a wound... However, your book is so much more then just a return to personal memories. Transnistria has definitely been 'the forgotten cemetery,' until the publication of your book... All of us owe a debt to history, to ourselves, to the memory of those victims, our own flesh and blood, as well as to those who have no one left to remember them. And you have discharged this debt in the most outstanding way! Your book is the most clear, readable and impressive on the subject! You deserve all our gratitude and admiration! Yishar Koah!"

Samuel Aroni, Professor Emeritus, Director of International Studies and Overseas Programs, UCLA

"I am a professor of political science and consider myself well-read on the subjects of World War II, the Holocaust, and the general history of post-war Eastern Europe. Recently I have focused my research on the political and social history of Romania. Yet, Dr. Carmelly's book about the treatment of the Jews in Transnistria took me by surprise. It was a shockingly unexpected tale, about which I had known only fragments. Almost as shocking, however, are the responses I have received from some colleagues I have told about this book. Some seem eager to protect currently disparaged Romania from another story of tragedy. Others seem eager to protect their version of the Holocaust from another point of reference. Others seem anxious to add this story to a list of examples of Balkan extremism, but want to ignore the details of this account.

For me this makes Dr.Carmelly's book even more important as a history for scholars from many fields to read and to discuss. As a carefully documented account, it has value in its own right. And then, having read it, it seems important to ask what implications this history has for those involved in the reconfiguration of Europe today."

Judith R. Dushku, Associate Professor, Government Dept. Suffolk University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

"I have your book... Marvellous! I have been reading it with tears in my eyes. I never met many of my relatives who perished there. For some of them I don't even have a name, and now, with my parents gone, I will never find out. My sister Klara (Claire) was born in Panca and I see it on the map in your book. I never thought I would see it on a map. Somehow I thought that it was a figment of my parents' imagination -- the dirt, desolation, cold, heat, hurt, insults, fires, and all that they endured there as poor human beings and as Jews."

Bernice Grant, Elmvale, Ontario

"This publication is an invaluable contribution to the struggle against the obscurity of the Holocaust in Romania. Anyone interested in Jewish life, history and personal testimonies must read this long-overdue, heartfelt book."

Dr. Shmuel Ben-Zion, The Open University of Tel Aviv and The institute of Holocaust Studies, University of Haifa

"I am very happy with the success of your book, which constitutes an important contribution for the unveiling of a largely unknown chapter of the Holocaust in Romania and for maintaining in people's consciousness the horrors of Nazism and anti-Semitism during World War II. Many institutions here are interested in ordering your book and I gave them copies of your pamphlet. I am hoping that our collaboration will continue in the same spirit of friendship as before."

Professor/author Iehiel Benditer, Israel

"There are quite a few Transnistria survivors in Sydney. We all congratulate you for your fantastic book! Thank you very much!"

Benno Finger, Holocaust Educator, Sydney, Australia

"I am thoroughly impressed as I am reading your book. The book is truly a living monument in memory of those who suffered so much during the deportations and of those who were not lucky enough to return. Since Transnistria was forgotten for so many years, it is remarkable that finally somebody is reminding the world about those horrors. Many thanks on behalf of my entire family."

Jacques Gabor, engineer, Israel

"...My sincerest congratulations and thanks for the publication of Shattered! 50 Years of Silence. In a history contest at the Moana Lua High School in Honolulu, many students have denied the events of the Holocaust. After a vigorous educational campaign, many of our schools have introduced educational programs in order to enlighten their students about the reality of the Holocaust. Your book with the documentation and the maps will serve as an invaluable educational resource. "

Armin Nagel, Holocaust Educator, Kailua, Hawaii

"I started to read your book as soon as I received it. It is very difficult to put into words the feelings that it brought to my body and to my soul. I can only imagine your pain when you wrote about these events, but I cannot even begin to imagine what these people endured.

Congratulations for your book, which has forever inscribed your name in the annals of Jewish history."

Marina Reiss, Miami Beach, Florida

"It took me a long time to write this letter because I doubted that I can do justice to this book. Meticulously documented, your book graphically reveals the shocking void in our knowledge of the Holocaust. Never before in English, have we been told so comprehensively just what happened during the attempted genocide of the Jews of Romania and south-western Ukraine. This shocking omission, now rectified, makes it imperative for anyone interested in World War II history to read this book.

The personal testimonies in the second half of this volume bring alive the events that could have been perceived as distant from us. They are vivid, unforgettable and easy for the reader to identify with.

This book must stay in our consciousness and heighten our vigilance in recognizing the early warning signs of prejudice toward any people, lest we risk a repeat of such a tragedy.

With affection and great respect for this formidable task you have accomplished!"

Doris Strub Epstein, counsellor with Holocaust survivors, and their families, Toronto

"In the process of my archival research, I had a client who was born in Vertuzhany, now Moldova (formerly Bessarabia). In preparing for this client, I went to your book and found many references to the ghetto in Vertuzhany and the fate of the Jews there. I sent excerpts to my client who is now close to 90 and left Vertuzhany when he was about three years old.

While there are many books about the atrocities of the Holocaust in other areas of Eastern Europe, your book is the first which focuses on the Transnistria area and the towns of Ukraine/Northern Moldova. Your painstaking work and attention to detail has produced a book which will serve as the reference source for anyone wanting to know more about their roots in this area and the fate of their family members.

In my archival research, I have personally referred to your book many times and I always found information about the place that interested me.

I can see that I will have to keep one copy of your book in my New Jersey office and another one in my Ukraine office."

Miriam Weiner, President, "Roots to Roots",
Secaucus, New Jersey

"...Since reading your book and receiving your response, I have become the happy owner of four photographs of my family. These photos are of my Romanian Jewish ancestors: great-great-great-great grandmother, along with her husband, my great-great-great-great grandfather. I will be getting photos of my great aunts and uncles, who perished in the Holocaust as well. Would you by any chance have an address for the City Hall in Okno? Thanks so much."

Elisheva Bracha Alfonso, Oak Harbour, USA

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