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[Review] of Adieu: A Memoir of Holocaust Survivor by Alfred J. Lakritz

by Maria Duarte

In Adieu: A Memoir of Holocaust Survivor Alfred J. Lakritz takes the reader through his and his family’s journey of persecution as Jews, illustrating the struggle to survive under a different ideology and the constant fear of existence. His story represents not just a personal experience but also that of millions targeted by the Nazis. It underscores the repercussions of collective thinking that asserts dominance over humanity's narrative.

This novel not only bears witness to human capabilities in terms of power and greed but also testifies to how kindness, compassion, and generosity can preserve lives. At the same time, we receive the perspective of a child who is going through changes in his life that he doesn’t really understand but that at the same time knows he needs to adapt to whatever comes to survive and take care of his younger brother. 

The right to live is inherent to every human, and who has the authority to erase that? We're not just discussing the murder of millions but also attempts to erase their existence from history, one narrative, one act of decency, one legacy, one way of life at a time. Who possesses such authority?

This book serves as a reminder of the power we wield in our lives—to commit great evils or to combat them with immense kindness. Ultimately, will we regret succumbing to our deepest desires fueled by any form of power, ideology, influence, or imposed belief? Or will we lead with love towards every human being? In the end, the choices we make define us because actions speak louder than words.

Maria Duarte received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside – Palm Desert. She has published poems in Verdad Magazine and The Good Grief Journal: A Journey Toward Healing. She is poetry editor for Kelp Journal.


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