Letters To A Smalltown Weekly

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Location: Gualala, California, United States

Alice and I love our life on the Northern California coast and welcome friends and family to enjoy it with us.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tell Me Another Morning


A week ago Alice hosted her book club discussion of Zdena (Berger) Price’s autobiographical novel of Holocaust survival, Tell Me Another Morning. Alice had Buddy Dog and I assist. Buddy did greetings, I made coffee.

And most humbly submit a review of Zdena’s masterpiece:

Tell Me Another Morning must be read as a companion piece to Diary of Anne Frank. Anne's story ended when her family was discovered and dispersed to concentration camps. Tania (Zdena Berger) tells the story Anne couldn't, the struggle of a young girl and two friends to survive in the camps under the most impersonal and banal evil mankind is capable of inflicting. Our dramas are populated with monsters in human form expending great energy and taking huge enjoyment in dispensing evil. We are fascinated as they revel in horror. Zdena Berger shows us the other, more chilling face of evil. Tania faced one wholly different and vastly greater, the evil of indifference of one human to the humanity of another, multiplied thousands of times.

Towards the end it is shocking that the faceless guards pull a cruel joke by adding glass to the prisoners' bread, because until that point the guards seemed too indifferent to suffering to take any pleasure in causing or even noticing it. The three friends, Ilse, Eva, and Tania, grew during their trials, drawing strength and gaining character as their oppressors shrank into pitiful caricatures. Clearly none of them could have survived without the others, as each did small, selfless acts at times that helped her friends to find strength and courage to go on.

Once, after charming chocolate from male prisoners, Ilse gave it all to Eva and led Tania in pretending that they were sharing it so that Eva did not know she had the only piece.

Tell Me Another Morning is painstakingly crafted, and fills a high position on my personal list of best books. It is Zdena's only book, and her story is a classic for all times and should never again be allowed to go out of print.

I will never forget the friendship and courage of Tania, Eva, and Ilse, and I encourage all to join them on their immortal quest, powered by hope, to rekindle humanity from the ashes of indifference.

Available at The Four-Eyed Frog Bookstore, Gualala.