On Burning Ground by Michael Skakun

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"For as long as I can remember, I have been the confidant of a man's conscience..." begins this memoir, in which a son recounts how his Jewish-Polish father had to disguise himself as a Christian and join the Nazi SS to save his own life. Weaving philosophical logic throughout his father's horrific wartime story, Skakun tells a personal, yet epic, account of war and bloodshed, of unspeakable cruelty and unnameable crimes. Nearly 60 years later, Michael Skakun returns to the scene of these crimes, analyzing the complicated relationship between the abuser and the abused, and the irreparable damage born of filial exposure to the most savage human brutality. This is the story of the legacy of post-Holocaust Jews and the attempt to transcend the inheritance of suffering.

About Michael Skakun

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Skakun, born in Jaffia in Israel, worked for many years with Alfred Kazin, and lives in New York City.
Published April 8, 2012 by St. Martin's Press. 198 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Soon after liberation Skakun tears up his Nazi passport, flings it in the toilet, “sending the remains of his false identity into the netherworld of Poland’s sewers.” A unique Holocaust memoir for its second-generation authorship, its erudition (Skakun displays an easy familiarity with a wide ran...

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Publishers Weekly

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""But here father, thrown back on his own slight resources, secretly crafted a new identity out of whole cloth--created a mask so tight-fitting that it became nearly one with his life."" Joseph quickly learned the rudiments of Islam, and, since Muslims were also circumcised, he was accepted into ...

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