Four Plus Five



Four Plus Five It Was When Germany Struck Poland I Was Thirteen, Practically Fourteen Donia Was Fifteen I Was Jewish Donia Was A Polish Catholic The Ensuing Three Year German Occupation And Its Aftermath Brought Torment And Murder To Us To Me, To Donia, And To The Rest Of The Jews And Even Some Of The Non Jews Who Lived With Us In Our Apartment House In The Medieval City Of Lwow That Period Was Indescribably Sordid And Cruel For Us, Yet Love Was Also Our Portion From Its Opening Pages, Mark Strauss Pulls Us Into The Drama Of World War II Poland As Witnessed By The Young Jewish Boy, Edek Edelman Decades Have Passed And Dr Edward Edelman, Now Stricken By A Terminal Illness, Spends His Final Days In A Nursing Home Recalling An Epoch Of Terrifying Fear And Widespread Butchery Interwoven With Moments Of Tender Compassion And Sexual Awakening Four Plus Five Is A Page Turner That Hols Us Spellbound From Beginning To End

10 thoughts on “Four Plus Five

  1. says:

    I had the honour of meeting Mark Strauss a few years ago at a lecture he did in Front Royal Listening to his story drove me to tears The way he spoke with such a mixture of pain, strength, and small bursts of anger has stuck with me since He is an incredible man with a life that feels impossibly heartbreaking to hear.His book evokes that same emotion with each turn of the page.Four plus Five is Strauss story told through the character Edek Edelman, a jewish boy in Poland during World World I I had the honour of meeting Mark Strauss a few years ago at a lecture he did in Front Royal Listening to his story drove me to tears The way he spoke with such a mixture of pain, strength, and small bursts of anger has stuck with me since He is an incredible man with a life that feels impossibly heartbreaking to hear.His book evokes that same emotion with each turn of the page.Four plus Five is Strauss story told through the character Edek Edelman, a jewish boy in Poland during World World II who, having survived the horrors of that time, is living out the last days of his life in a retirement community in Northern Virginia Dr Edelman has been diagnosed with a terminal disease and plans to document his boyhood in a book before he dies With the help of the nurses that care for him, he relives the terror, love and loss of his youth from the time the Germans defeat the Soviet military and occupy Poland, to the liberation that still saw jews being persecuted, not by the Nazi s, but by the Polish men and women that were his neighbors This book was very hard to read from an angle of sympathy and empathy So much is lost in numbers when one tries to think of the Holocaust You hear the tales told in movies and TV You read counts from survivors and visit the museums But nothing hit me harder than to hear it from the man s own mouth To have held his hand in my own and looked into his eyes He is not a number in a book or an actor reading from a script When Edek and his mother would hide in a hole dug into the ground for up to 10 hours a day to escape roving death squads and having to relieve themselves there in the space they sat, it was Strauss and his mother that endured it When Edek and Donia watched a man beaten to death on the street, it was Strauss eyes that saw it And when Edek s father was forced to march to the labor sites with other men and sing rowdy drinking songs to entertain the German soldiers, I knew what the melody was because Strauss had sung it to us in that room I shed tears while he stood strong in that room and I shed tears again to read those lyrics written in this book.The ending of Four plus Five did confuse me a little I m not sure if it was the way it was written or because the mixture of the fictional characters older life with the real younger life of Strauss had melded into my brain so as to have me wondering which was which All and all though, this was a good book and I m glad to have it It reminds me to always be compassionate to others no matter what their religion, race, sex, or creed That is somethingpeople in this day should be reminded of

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *