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[HOLOCAUST]. The Death Factory near Lublin. With extracts from further accounts by war correspondents and nine full-page illustrations by Konstantin Mikhailovich
London: Printed by Illustrated Periodicals, Ltd., for the Daily Worker League, [1944]. First English Edition. Softcover. Good antiquarian condition. 8vo. 32 pp. Original illustrated wrappers (staples a little rusty). Minor wear along extremities, text evenly browned on account of the wartime paper stock. Preserved in a mylar sleeve. The small physical size of the present pamphlet betrays the magnitude of the horror it describes and illustrates; it constitutes the very first report of the reality of the Nazis' industrial-style killing. It is "important not only for being the first such account after liberation, but also for establishing literary norms and imagery that would be used in future depictions of the camps: the gas chambers, the barbed wire, and the mountains of belongings. Indeed, the huge quantities of clothing to be found in the Majdanek stores was SimonovÂ’s best evidence for the scale of the murder carried out there, and he employs it as part of the justification for punishment." (SOURCE: Dan Stone, "The Liberation of the Camps: The End of the Holocaust and Its Aftermath" (Yale University Press, 2015, pp. 37-38). Simonov defines the camp as Europe's largest "death factory." Following Nazi usage, the name of the location was given as "Lublin" and not the more accurate "Majdanek," a nearby suburb but still within the city limits. Incredibly the Majdanek facility remains the best preserved of all Nazi concentration camps. The total number of victims of the camp is uncertain; estimates range from 78,000 to 360,000. The immortal text begins: "What I am now about to relate is too enormous and too gruesome to be fully conceived..." Among the nine reproductions of original photographs, perhaps the most famous is that of a "monstrous" mountain of shoes; Simonov exclaimed that "There may be a million, there may be more. They spill over out of the hut through the windows and the doors. In one spot the weight of them pushed out part of the wall, which fell outwards together with piles of shoes." The shoes were a silent witness to those who had been starved, tortured, incinerated, gassed, and executed, and thus: "It is hard to imagine anything more gruesome than this sight." Simonov's text first appeared in newspaper form in the "Red Star" ("Krasnaia zvezda") in three issues (August 10-12, 1944) and read on the radio on three successive evenings. The present pamphlet is the complete London printing, which was preceded by the "Lublin Extermination Camp," issued by the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Konstantin (Kyrill Mikhailovich) Simonov, 1915-1979, was a Soviet journalist, poet, playwright, novelist, and correspondent of Krasnaya Zvezda. "The Death Factory near Lublin" is doubtless his most important work.
      [Bookseller: Michael Laird Rare Books LLC]
Last Found On: 2017-04-25           Check availability:      Biblio    

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