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Literature / Bondi's Brother

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"From out of ashes... faith, vision, rebirth!"- Rabbi Abner L. Bergman

A 2004 memoir by Holocaust survivor Irving Roth, Bondi's Brother details the events leading up to his experiences in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald death camps and the tragic loss of his brother.

Tropes Present In This Work:

  • All Germans Are Nazis: Defied Trope. Roth is clear that the horrors of the Holocaust do not lie on the shoulders of every German citizen and that there is no hope for the future if we follow that line of thought.
  • Big Damn Reunion: Irvin with his parents after being liberated. Other relatives are also shown to have survived.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • A glossary of terms in English is provided at the end of the book.
    • Hebrew sayings or excerpts from other literature are peppered in the work. The first stanza of a psalm ("ashrei haish asher lo halach", meaning "blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked" can be found on page 84}.
    • German words are also peppered in at times.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Irvin ultimately survives the hellish conditions of the death camps and loses several important people in his life along the way, yet he maintains an upbeat tone in the work and is hopeful for the future at the end. Notably, he would go on to become an author and public speaker in his later years.
  • Crapsack World: All of Nazi-occupied Europe if you happen to be Jewish. Roth downplays this by maintaining an upbeat tone in the work.
  • Day of the Jackboot: The first part of the book details the transition from ordinary life to an oppressive, horrific regime.
  • Final Solution: Obvious, since this work is about the Holocaust
  • Karma Houdini: Inverted in one instance. Odze, the cruel kapo from Chapter 18, is implied to have been killed in Australia after somehow surviving the death camps and the war.
  • Killed Offscreen: Some deaths in the book are not explicitly described, but simply implied with some variation of "and they were never seen again". Moshe in Chapter 22 is a prime example.
  • La Résistance: Chapter 23 end with prisoners blowing up a crematorium during an escape attempt.
  • Master Race: The Nazis view themselves as such.
  • Police Brutality: Found throughout, if you count the Wehrmacht as "police". Chapter 6 is entirely dedicated to this trope.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: De-emphasis on "wacky" since the book covers a serious topic and the horrors it describes are real.