Midwest Book Review • The Holocaust Studies Shelf
Born in post-Holocaust, communist Czechoslovakia, Silvia Fishbaum has devoted her life to the commemoration of the Holocaust and her childhood art tutor and Holocaust survivor, Ludovit Feld. She is a member of the Czech and Slovak Jewish Historical Society and is affiliated with the Holocaust museum and Tolerance Center in Glen Cove, New York. In 2012, Fishbaum was the keynote speaker at the Holocaust Memorial commemoration and the opening for the exhibition of a private collection of Ludovit Feld’s art.
“Dirty Jewess: A Woman’s Courageous Journey to Religious and Political Freedom ” is her personal story her courageous journey towards religious and political freedom, all while coming of age in post-Holocaust, communist Czechoslovakia. In “Dirty Jewess” she recalls her experience as a child of Holocaust survivors, living as a refugee in Rome, and finally realizing her dream of becoming a successful American citizen. Silvia Fishbaum’s life behind the iron curtain is a universal tale of humanity, resilience, and overcoming adversity. Of special note is that she weaves together her mother’s testimony of Auschwitz with the testimony of her childhood art tutor, Ludovit Feld (who was a victim of Mengele’s infamous experiments) to create a compelling and layered life narrative.
A critically important contribution to the growing library of Holocaust survivors personal memoirs and autobiographies, “Dirty Jewess” is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections, as well as the personal reading lists of both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.