Transylvanian Rhapsody
by George Joseph
Traford Publishing

"The sad situation was that everybody took all this in stride; there was nothing to do or add to what had happened. Life was like that then."

Transylvanian Rhapsody is a collection of stories that comprise a memoir of a holocaust survivor's childhood and young adulthood in Nazi occupied Roumania. These recollections are related with the seriousness of mind, sincerity of heart, and sensitivity of spirit that go into the best literature. Real life episodes illustrate the worst and the best in human nature: the willingness of some ordinary people to indulge in hatred and engage in acts of cruelty and even violence inspired by that hatred on the one hand and the courage of the victims who survive this hatred as well as some people who firmly resolve to support the victims in the face of this hatred on the other. Among the good guys is a young woman who works for a Jewish family, taking care of the children, the author included, and maintains contact with the family right up until her death in the seventies.

The author attended medical school after the war despite the difficulties created by the new communist government for Jews wishing to attend school. His knowledge of psychiatry serves him well in his writing. as he knows which of many details will best illustrate the big picture. The collection ends when he is permitted to leave Roumania whereafter he practices in Israel and South Africa before emigrating to the United States. Hopefully he will continue this memoir through the years as his gift of insight will undoubtedly illuminate more of the continuing saga of the evolution of the human psyche.

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