Published: 28/08/2010
ISBN: 9781848766037
Format: Paperback



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About the Author



Edward ‘Edek’ Herzbaum Hartry 1920-1967. Architect, Artist and Diarist. Edward was born in Vienna to secular Polish Jewish parents. The family moved back to Poland in the 1930’s and after his fathe... read more

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Lost Between Worlds
by Edward H Herzbaum

Lost Between Worlds is the WWII journal of Edward H. Herzbaum, written between 1940 and 1945.

“This is not a diary or a novel; these are mostly unrelated images, as if a poor photographer has taken snapshots at random, hoping that after he comes back home from holiday, maybe something will show up. I am also writing whatever comes to mind, maybe something will show up. From odd pieces of paper, densely covered with faded, barely legible, small writing; from notes scribbled using some cipher in a calendar; from sheets smuggled through body searches and finally from memory, I am trying to get a grasp on the time I spent behind barbed wire.” Edward Herzbaum

Edward was born in Vienna to secular Polish Jewish parents. The family moved back to Poland in the 1930's and after his father's death Edward and his mother settled in Lodz. Edward enrolled to study architecture in Warsaw.

When WWII started in September 1939, Edward volunteered to join the army, was captured by the Germans, managed to escape and made his way to Lwow in south eastern Poland, to avoid re-arrest. In June 1940 he was arrested by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, and like more than a million other men, women and children, was deported in cattle trucks to remote parts of the Soviet Union, where they were put into brutal labour camps.

In June 1941 Germany, despite their previous alliance, attacked the Soviet Union, with the result that these ‘prisoners’ were freed and amnestied by the Soviets and became allies against Germany.

Once freed these emaciated and sick people had to make the long harrowing journey south to Central Asia to join the Polish Army forming there, under the command of General Wladyslaw Anders. From there they moved on through Iraq, Iran, British Palestine, Egypt and finally to Italy.

After recovering their health and strength this Polish army in exile fought with the British Army against the Germans, most notably at the Battle of Monte Cassino.

Extraordinarily Edward managed to keep a sporadic journal throughout his journey.

After her mother’s death in 2002, his daughter found his journals in an old suitcase, together with many paintings and drawings, and after translation, published it as Lost Between Worlds.

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http://www.bbc.com/news/stories-42283531

http://bieganski-the-blog.blogspot.fr/2011/03/edward-herzbaums-lost-between-worlds.html

http://cosmopolitanreview.com/lost-between-worlds/

http://derekcrowe.com/post.aspx?id=110

http://www.polandinexile.com/bookreviews8.html

http://www.lostbetweenworlds-herzbaum.com

Bieganski The Blog, http://bieganski-the-blog.blogspot.com, March 2011

Poland In Exile, www.polandinexile.com, March 2011

A terrifying, tragic, beautiful, personal and painfully fleeting glimpse into a life.

by Guy.


WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW

I have just finished reading this book and can say truthfully that I have not read a book this engaging for a long time.

Worried, when I picked the book up that it would simply be a historical account, my preconceptions were quickly eradicated as I began the long journey that Edward took as a young man caught up in events of the second world war.

It's not about the war itself so much as it is about Edward growing up and experiencing what should have been some of the most exciting years of his life. I am glad that the original log entries were not edited; there is an honesty in the way he writes and the things he says which makes you feel as if you are experiencing this journey with him.

There is very little stability in his life at this time and yet he manages to survive all of it and come out the other side; only to have his life shortened by cancer. It is only when reflecting on this book that you realise the ramifications of what he has described - he deals with everything in such a matter-of-fact and down to earth way that you don't feel it's true impact until you close the book.

Every log entry and letter serves as a window through which it is possible to see the world as it was. I feel privileged to have shared a part of this man's life and I challenge anyone to read this book and not end up and feeling that a world without war has the potential to be a truly amazing place.

by Emu


 

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