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Can There Be Forgiveness? - Book Review


Solly Kaplinski

2015. 183 pages

Reviewed by Pnina Moed Kass 

As an editor who has worked on several Holocaust memoirs, I read this book with interest and admiration. I was interested because I believe that there still remain aspects, human and historical, of the Holocaust that have not been examined or made public. I admire Solly Kaplinski's effort to weave many fictional and non-fictional threads into this well-meant emotional memoir.

Where Kaplinski succeeds is his retelling of some of the episodes of Holocaust history, and his imaginative delineation of figures, like Janusz Korczak, whose humanity towered above the horrific events. The author's knowledge of historical events and his grasp of Jewish and Eastern European culture are immediately obvious to the reader.

Of course every author picks his medium, but reading this book I wished that its format had been non-fiction. The mixture of history and a fictional story was blended in a fashion that compels the reader to thoroughly involve himself. The events of the Holocaust have been presented in endless ways, and I admire Kaplinski's attempt to construct a book that gives the reader entry into the many aspects of his knowledge. By combining fiction and historical events, the author has enhanced the true events and given an added dimension to his fictional characters. Instead of a more traditional approach, the author has produced a narrative of many elements –suited to a complex series of events. 



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