Mendel Grossman, a talented young photographer, secretly photographed the lives of Jews imprisoned with him in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland during World War II. The simple, moving text, written in the first person, communicates directly with the reader. Together with the unforgettable photographs of everyday events and people, it provides a unique record of the Holocaust.
Shortly after the Ghetto was liquidated and the inhabitants were sent to Auschwitz in 1944, Mendel Grossman died on a forced march. The grainy black and white photographs he had hidden, discovered after the war, show human suffering, but also human joy and laughter. As Howard Jacobson writes in the introduction, ‘Beauty is never absent from human beings, even in the worst of times.’
The book is described as accessible to adults and children of 7+. However, it might be better read by adults with children of 9 or 10+ in the context of discussion and explanation of this difficult subject of racism, of man’s inhumanity to man, and where it can lead.