By Charlotte Delbo
Delbo’s beautiful and unflinching account of existence and dying below Nazi atrocity grows fiercer and richer with time. the wonderful new advent through Lawrence L. Langer illuminates the subtlety and complexity of Delbo’s meditation on reminiscence, time, culpability, and survival, within the context of what Langer calls the afterdeath’ of the Holocaust. Delbo’s strong trilogy belongs on each bookshelf.”Sara R. Horowitz, York University
Winner of the 1995 American Literary Translators organization Award
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Extra resources for Auschwitz and After
The dance of an automaton. A dancing female skeleton. Her feet are small, gaunt, bare in the snow. There are living skeletons that dance. Presently I am writing this story in a cafe—it is turning into a story. A break in the clouds. Is it afternoon? We have lost all notion of None of Us Will Return / 27 time. The sky appears. Very blue. A forgotten blue. Hours have passed since I succeeded in not looking at the woman in the ditch. Is she still there? —and stopped there. Her hands are drawn by the glittering snow.
The sky grows paler than usual. We are waiting. What are we waiting for? An SS appears at the end of the Lagerstrasse, walking towards us. He stops in front of our ranks. Judging by the caduceus on his cap he must be the doctor. He scrutinizes us. Slowly. He begins to speak. He does not scream. He is actually speaking. " MarieClaude steps forward. " The SS looks at us. Magda, our blockhova, standing by his side, looks at us and, taking a step to one side, blinks ever so slightly. Indeed, who can endure the roll call?
None of Us Will Return / 19 There were also those whose companions had to abandon them at the door, and who shouted, "Don't leave me. " For days on end they had been hungry and thirsty above all. They had been cold, lying almost naked on boards without straw or blankets. Locked up with dying or crazy women, they awaited their turn to die or go mad. In the morning, they stepped outside. They were driven out by cudgel blows. Blows imparted to the dying and the insane. The living had to pull out into the yard those who died during the night, because the dead had to be counted also.
Auschwitz and After by Charlotte Delbo