It Will Yet Be Heard: A Polish Rabbi's Witness of the Shoah and Survival (Hardcover)
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Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer once described Dr. Leon Thorne’s memoir as a work of “bitter truth” that he compared favorably to the works of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Proust. Out of print for over forty years, this lost classic of Holocaust literature now reappears in a revised, annotated edition, including both Thorne’s original 1961 memoir Out of the Ashes: The Story of a Survivor and his previously unpublished accounts of his arduous postwar experiences in Germany and Poland.
Rabbi Thorne composed his memoir under extraordinary conditions, confined to a small underground bunker below a Polish peasant’s pigsty. But, It Will Yet Be Heard is remarkable not only for the story of its composition, but also for its moral clarity and complexity. A deeply religious man, Rabbi Thorne bore witness to forced labor camps, human degradation, and the murders of entire communities. And once he emerged from hiding, he grappled not only with survivor’s guilt, but also with the lingering antisemitism and anti-Jewish violence in Poland even after the war ended. Harrowing, moving, and deeply insightful, Rabbi Thorne’s firsthand account offers a rediscovered perspective on the twentieth century’s greatest tragedy.
About the Author
About the Author
Rabbi Leon Thorne was born in Schodnica, near Drohobycz, the area of Eastern Galicia he describes vividly in It Will Yet Be Heard. He was ordained a rabbi at the age of 19, continued his religious studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau, and earned a Ph.D. at Wuerzburg in philosophy and history. He survived the Holocaust and became a chaplain in the Polish army upon liberation in 1944. Rabbi Thorne emigrated to the United States in 1948, and in 1961, published the first part of his memoir as Out of the Ashes. Now newly introduced, expanded, and with a previously unpublished second half, It Will Yet Be Heard offers rare insight into the Holocaust and its aftermath in Poland.
About Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Bashevis Singer was a Polish-born Jewish writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. His review of Out of the Ashes appeared in 1961, and appears here in English for the first time.
About the Editor
Daniel H. Magilow is an Associate Professor of German at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has published four books, including In Her Father’s Eyes: A Childhood Extinguished by the Holocaust, also published by Rutgers. In 2005-2006, he was the Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
About the Translator
Marc Caplan is a scholar of Yiddish literature and the author of How Strange the Change: Language, Temporality, and Narrative Form in Peripheral Modernisms, a comparison of Yiddish literature with the African novel in English and French. He has also completed a forthcoming book on Yiddish literature and German-Jewish culture in Weimar-era Berlin.
About the Editor
Emanuel Thorne, son of the author Leon Thorne, teaches economics at Brooklyn College. He has been a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s
Kennedy Institute of Ethics and the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. His articles have appeared in the Yale Journal on Regulation, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
"[This] is a tremendous document of the Jewish Holocaust, written from someone who experienced the worst but came out intact, not only physically but also spiritually."
— Isaac Bashevis Singer
"This remarkable and moving autobiography, here published for the first time in full in English, gives a vivid and unsparing account of the miraculous survival of a young rabbi, from the oil town of Schodnica, near Drohobych, in Galicia, during the Nazi occupation and his travails in Poland after liberation. It is essential reading for all those interested in the history of the holocaust and of Polish-Jewish relations."
— Antony Polonsky
"Leon Thorne has given us an important Holocaust memoir. His extensive Rabbinic and secular education allowed him to evaluate the larger historical and ethical aspects of the Jewish tragedy, whereas his uncommon narrative talent emerge in a wide range of fascinating individual stories. Never sentimental or self-pitying, Rabbi Thorne writes as both victim and witness. Of particular significance is the narration of the aftermath of the war. Thorne’s vivid account of the terrifying odyssey from devastated Poland to the American Zone sheds light on this little known chapter in the history of Jewish survivors."
— Rachel F. Brenner
"Leon Thorne’s fascinating and moving memoir—written in part during a year of hiding in a cellar and expanded not long after—recounts the experiences of an individual and several communities with a powerful abundance of detail. It Will Yet Be Heard is a major contribution to studies of the Holocaust and the immediate post-Holocaust era in Poland. Rutgers has done well to restore this document for a new generation of readers."
— Meri-Jane Rochelson
"This book is at once a testament to the resurrection of the Holy Remnant in the State of Israel and a summons to its readers to engage in that testimony. Written in the masterful style of an accomplished storyteller, it will be an important addition to any library on the Holocaust and the Jewish people."
— Holocaust and Genocide Studies
"Thorne’s memoir brings a vision of the Holocaust that (to a degree) has been suppressed. Few realize just how personal, local, intimate, and relational the Holocaust was in West Ukraine. Every death was someone’s sister, daughter, cousin, friend, and partner. The theory of Nazi killing as 'cogs in a machine' is disputed in every page....It Will Yet Be Heard adds an essential voice to what is now a pretty crowded genre, but its wisdom warrants remembering: the people involved knew one another and in many cases knew one another very well."
— The Polish Review