10 2024

Cold Crematorium: The “Lost” Holocaust Masterpiece with Alex Bruner

3:30PM - 5:00PM  

Knesset Israel 16 Colt rd
Pittsfield, MA 01201


Contact Rebecca Walker

"When veteran journalist, poet, and novelist József Debreczeni arrived in Auschwitz, he was “lucky"" to be sent to a life of slave labor rather than directly to the gas chambers. He survived, and after the war wrote Cold Crematorium, which one reviewer called “the harshest, most merciless indictment of Nazism ever written.”

The work was first published in Hungarian in 1950 but was never translated into a world language due to McCarthyism, Cold War hostilities, and antisemitism. Until now! In January 2024 it will be available in English, and within a year, in 15 languages around the world.

Alex Bruner, the author’s nephew and a child of Holocaust survivors, will discuss the historical and family context for his uncle's deportation to Auschwitz and describe the author's hellish journey through multiple slave labor camps. Bruner will share pictures, documents, as well as selected audio recordings. Bruner will review why his uncle wrote the book, how it was initially received, the reasons it was not translated into a world language until now, and the lessons one can draw from the work. This program is being presented in collaboration with OLLI at Berkshire Community College and Knesset Israel.

Sponsor: Knesset Israel, OLLI