- Tapa dura: 332 páginas
- Editor: Glagoslav Publications Ltd. (19 de julio de 2012)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1909156086
- ISBN-13: 978-1909156081
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
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Khatyn (Inglés) Tapa dura – 19 jul 2012
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Based on previously sealed war archives and rare witness records of the survivors, Khatyn is a heart wrenching story of the people who fought for their lives under the Nazi occupation during World War II. Through the prism of the retrospect perception as narrated by the novel's main character Flyora - a boy who matures during the war - author Ales Adamovich beholds genocide and horrific crimes against humanity. The former teen partisan goes back in time and remembers atrocities of 1943. The novel's pages become the stage where perished people come to life for one last time, get to say their last word, all at the backdrop of blood chilling cries of women and children being burned alive by a Nazi death squad that, accompanied by the Vlasov's unit, surges a Byelorussian village.
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I found this book difficult emotionally.
This is a fictional, semi-autobiographical first-person narrative of a Soviet partisan fighter witnessing a less-known genocide from WW II.
After its winter defeat at Stalingrad, the German military began systematic reprisals against Soviet villages.
The atrocities they committed prefigure those of "pacification" in Viet Nam, the killing fields of Cambodia, and "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia, made more chilling by the Teutonic precision with which they are carried out and documented:
"I hereby state the numbers executed. 705 were shot, of them 203 men, 372 women, and 130 children. ... The following were expended ... 786 rifle cartridges, 2,496 machine-gun cartridges ..."
Khatyn describes the genocide of Byelorussians in WW II, but as its author intended, it has universal meaning.
Although it is fictional, it is very well researched and will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in WW II history.
In the end, Khatyn is not all gloom and doom. As editor Camilla Stein writes,
"Khatyn is not written to scare away or to only shed tears. The novel is composed from a standpoint of a young person, and youth is daring, youth is dashing, youth falls in love and romanticizes everything, even war. Youth is courageous, youth is bright, and youth is ever present on Khatyn's pages. Youth is the future, and the reason why Ales Adamovich did the work - Khatyn is written for the next generation to stand strong."
A note on the translation:
The language intentionally sounds odd, because (Byelo)Russian idioms and sayings are translated literally into English.
A note on this edition:
Originally published in 1972 during the Soviet era, Khatyn was only available in a censored form. This first-ever translation into English is based on the uncensored, fully restored version.
Format-wise, it was one 330-page "chapter". After years of reading, my mind reads books in manageable chunks, and 330 pages is not manageable for me. I think it might have helped the author gather and clarify his thoughts, as well, had he opted towards the occasional break.
In this same general "formatting" category, there were occasional places where the translation to English seemed a little awkward. I didn't consider this a flaw; it actually helped me feel like I was listening to someone from Eastern Europe! (Although, I have to admit, a reference to the leader which Spellcheck apparently converted to "Chief of Stuff" made me smirk at an inappropriate moment.)
Topic-wise, it was uncomfortable to read about war, especially World War II, from the vantage-point of a low-level participant. It portrayed the situation in a way that the autobiography of some general never could.
I opted to read this book because I did not have much knowledge of the Eastern Front of the War in Europe. When I began reading, I did not know that Khatyn is based on a true story, of a slaughter of civilians that occurred in a village of that name. I put the book down twice and moved to something a little less intense, but always came back to it.
I would encourage the reader to do a quick internet search on Khatyn for further reference on the topic.
DISCLOSURE: I was given a .pdf copy of this book free of charge from the publisher in return for sharing my thoughts - whatever they were - upon completion.