Tuesday, May 22, 2018

To Look a Nazi in the Eye by Kathy Kacer and Jordana Lebowitz - ADVISABLE

Kacer, Kathy and Jordana Lebowitz To Look a Nazi in the Eye, 228 pages. NON-FICTION. Second Story Press, 2017.  $14.  Content: Language: PG (1 swear); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13 (Holocaust violence).  

After going on a school trip called March of the Living, Jordana feels a deep connection and interest in the Holocaust stories.  When a Nazi S.S. officer, Oskar Groening, is brought to trial as a war criminal in Lunenberg, Germany in 2015, 19yo Canadian Jordana works hard so she is able to attend the first week of the trial.  Jordana befriends the Canadian Holocaust survivors and feels deeply when she witnesses their pain and stories during the trial.  Jordana now feels a need to share the stories of the Holocaust with her generation to try and touch the youth so they can “create a better tomorrow”.  

I found the trial of a Nazi officer, seventy years after the Holocaust, very interesting, especially from the eyes of a 19yo Jewish girl who had heard her family’s stories and fears about the Holocaust all growing up.  Jordana’s voice in the novel comes across as if you are reading her journal, it’s not necessarily good writing and I felt like it was missing some connections or explanations that would have made her story better, but it begs the reader to think about why learning about the Holocaust can better our world and the way the next generation treats each other.  Overall, the mediocre writing doesn’t ruin the important point that learning from our past is an important way to fix our future.  

MS, HS – ADVISABLE.  Reviewer, C. Peterson. 

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