- We’re having pork barbecue tonight made in the crockpot. What surprises me is the fact that the recipes came in a booklet supplied by Rival when we bought our first crockpot years ago. They took some care putting the recipe book together. That surprised us! Naturally, when we make this barbecue for somebody else, we don’t tell them we got the recipe from a crockpot company handout.
- I found the autobiography by Dita Kraus, A Delayed Life to be a nice supplement to the novel version of her story in The Librarian of Auschwitz. She led a very interesting life, though I think this book probably works better for those who’ve read The Librarian of Auschwitz. Interestingly enough, she says very little about the books in her account of concentration camp life.
- I need a drink. I bought a copy of L. T. Ryan’s Noble Beginnings to pad out my last Amazon order to get free shipping. And I’m exhausted because there’s more action per square inch than most books I’ve read lately. If this kind of stuff happens in the real CIA, our country’s in a lot of trouble.
- I posted a link to this New York Post article on Facebook to see if FB would raise a stink about it or ban me. Nothing happened. Hmm. Might be a trick. It was my inspiration for my recent satirical Star Chamber Bureau post. I was shocked because this kind of bureau is the last thing I would expect from a liberal administration.
- I feel happy when I’m writing. But sometimes I finish a chapter and think “Yikes, what’s supposed to happen now?” Well, it’s always like that, but sometimes I’m sort of, er, stuck. Good news. I’m finally unstuck and moving ahead at flank speed. Makes my day. If you’re a writer, you’ve been there.
- What doesn’t make my day is the hourly influx of articles (many on Yahoo “news”) about the Kardashians. I don’t think I really know who they are or why they’re anybody. For weeks, I thought they were part of that gang of bad guys from Star Trek’s Alpha Quadrant, the Cardassians. As you can see from this photograph, it’s really hard to tell them apart. I guess some people are famous for being famous while others are more or less fictional.
After reading Antonio Iturbe’s The Librarian of Auschwitz, the well-researched and agonizing novel based on the true story of Dita Kraus, I was happy to discover that Dita Kraus is still with us, apparently as sharp and feisty as ever at 92.
She has her own website here where she sells her delicate paintings of flowers, a few of the books mentioned in Iturbe’s novel, and provides a link to her own memoir A Delayed Life: The true story of the Librarian of Auschwitz which was published in 2020.
Look at the book with Amazon’s look inside feature, and you’ll find some amazing writing, pragmatic, incisive, and bluntly honest, as this excerpt shows:
From the Publisher
The powerful, heart-breaking memoir of Dita Kraus, THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ
Dita Kraus was born in Prague in 1929 – in her powerful new memoir she writes about her childhood before the war and then during the Nazi-occupation that saw her and her family sent to the Jewish ghetto at Terezín and from there to Auschwitz and then Bergen-Belsen.
Dita writes powerfully and unflinchingly about the harsh conditions of the camps and her role as librarian of the precious books the prisoners had managed to smuggle past the guards. She also writes about the liberation of the camps and her chance meeting with fellow survivor Otto B Kraus after the war.
Part of Dita’s story was told in fictional form in the Sunday Times bestseller THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe.
I am so impressed with this fine lady, that I ordered the book immediately. Perhaps it will fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge about her. If I had her persistence and bravery and dedication, I could move mountains–that’s pretty much what she did in the family unit school at Auschwitz-Birkenau when she was fourteen years old in this unholy place: