In A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz, the Swedish journalist Göran Rosenberg attempts to reconstruct the years his father spent in the Łódź ghetto and in Auschwitz as well as his life—and that of the author’s mother, also a Holocaust survivor—following the liberation. André Aciman writes in his review:
[T]he strength of this short book, [which] is so reminiscent of the best of W.G. Sebald, [is that it] is a reflective work that seeks to meditate upon the enduring and still-menacing shadows that clouded the lives of [Rosenberg’s] parents as he was growing up with them. It is more about the shadows—if we can continue to call them this—than about the camps themselves. In fact, and despite appearances, the real subject of A Brief Stop is not the father but rather the son who is seeking to retrace his father’s steps and who goes, like Telemachus, on what could easily be called a pilgrimage on the road from Auschwitz.
To do this, Rosenberg, who is an established writer and reporter in Sweden, needs to chronicle and capture the atrocities his father faced during the war. But what he is ultimately seeking to understand and to chronicle is growing up in the shadow of the Holocaust. This is about the Holocaust that is passed on, the Holocaust that colored his childhood whenever he heard Polish or Yiddish spoken either by his parents or by their minuscule circle of friends, or when his parents happened to drop a few hints about a past he couldn’t even begin to fathom, because what he had to work with was never the hard truth but the scars and shavings of the truth, because those who knew the truth were themselves unable to speak, much less live with the truth, because, let’s face it, they couldn’t understand it themselves.
More about: Arts & Culture, Holocaust, Holocaust remembrance, Holocaust survivors, Sweden