If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our May author interviews: Marla Cooper-5/3, Rhys Bowen-5/10, Cindy Brown-5/17, Martha Reed-5/24, Sherry Harris--5/31.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in May--Paty Jager-5/6 and Maren Anderson-5/13. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 5/20--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 5/27--Kait Carson. E. B. Davis blogs this month on 5/30.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.”

In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Elie Wiesel, Survivor, Author and Humanitarian

Sept. 30, 1928 to July 2, 2016
Today’s blog was going to be about a fantastic book one of my book clubs just read about World War II in France. But before I could write that one, I read that Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel just died at age 87. I was quite young during that war, and the only thing I remember about it was going to cowboy movies and in the newsreels before the movies started, there would be scenes of American pilots shooting the Nazi planes out of the sky, and as the enemy planes plummeted to earth with flames and smoke behind them, the audience cheered. I don’t remember cheering, but I’m sure I did even though the whole war didn’t seem real to me. I know now we were on rations for different kinds of food, but I wasn’t aware of that at the time.


It was in college when I first went as an older student to Kent State’s Trumbull branch, that I became more aware of the horrors of that war. It was when I took a literature class and read Night by Elie Wiesel. I was sickened by the horrors of the concentration camps and the cruelty of the guards, soldiers and others treatment not only of the Jews, but the gypsies, and others they thought inferior.  Of course, it was more the Jews than the others because Hitler had preached his own hatred of the Jews to those who followed him.

My professor, Dr. Gloria Young and another professor whose name I don’t remember from Youngstown State University put together a week long event on the Holocaust with interviews of survivors. Their stories were so touching and sad.


Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Holocaust survivor, and Nobel Laureate. He was the author of 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including his book Night based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. He was a teenager when he entered the camp and was tattooed with the number A-7713. He was freed in 1945, but only after his mother, father, and one sister had all died in Nazi camps. Two other sisters survived.


After he was liberated from Buchenwald in April 1945, Wiesel spent a few years in a French orphanage, and then landed in Paris. He studied literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne and then became a journalist for the French newspaper L’Arche and Israel’s Yediot Ahronot. In 1956, Wiesel traveled on a journalistic assignment to New York to cover the United Nations. While there he was struck by a car and confined to a wheelchair for a year. He became a lifetime New Yorker, continuing in journalism writing for the Yiddish-language newspaper, The Forward.

He became a U.S. citizen in 1963. Six years later he married Marion Rose, a fellow Holocaust survivor who translated some of his books into English. They had a son, Shlomo.


Wiesel was also a professor of the humanities at Boston University, which created the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies in his honor. He was involved with Jewish causes, and helped establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. In his political activities he also campaigned for victims of oppression in places like South Africa and Nicaragua and genocide in Sudan. He publicly condemned the Armenian genocide of a century ago and remained a strong defender of human rights during his lifetime. He had been described as “the most important Jew in America” by the Los Angeles Times.
 
I''m not sure which award this was from all he won.
Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, at which time the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a “messenger to mankind,” stating that through his struggle to come to terms with “his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler’s death camps”, as well as his “practical work in the cause of peace”, Wiesel had delivered a message “of peace, atonement and human dignity” to humanity.

When he accepted the Peace Prize he said, “Whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation, take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.


Night was his first book, and so bleak that publishers doubted it would appeal to readers. In a 2002 interview with The Chicago Tribune, Wiesel recalled “The English translation came out in 1960, and the first printing was 3000 copies. And it took three years to sell them. Now, I get 100 letters a month from children about the book, and there are many, many million copies in print.”






Over the years he was very active giving speeches, writing essays and books including two sequels to Night. The tragedy of his early life instead of turning him into a recluse or a bitter person, obviously made him the man he became. In 1978, he was chosen by President Carter to head the President’s Commission on the Holocaust and plan an American memorial museum to Holocaust victims.

In 1985, when he received a Congressional Gold Medal from President Ronald Reagan, he asked the president not to make a planned trip to a cemetery in Germany that contained graves of Adolf Hitler’s personal guards. Reagan visited the cemetery.


President Barack Obama said of Wiesel Saturday: “As a writer, a speaker, an activist, and a thinker, he was one of those people who changed the world more as a citizen of the world than those who hold office or traditional positions of power. His life, and the power of his example, urges us to be better.”

Over the years my book clubs have chosen many books that dealt with World War II and/or the Holocaust. Most were good, but sad and depressing like The Girl in the Red Coat by Ligochi, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and others, but I was planning on writing about The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, so I am going to finish this blog with a little about it.





Not only was it chosen by my Red Read Robin book club which we discussed this past Thursday, but also by my Third Thursday book club which will be discussing it the coming third Thursday of July.

I found the book fascinating and interesting with a tear shed here and there, and everyone in my book club had high praise for it and most want to read more books by this author, and she has written a lot. All of us admitted to the fact that we weren’t looking forward to reading another WWII book, but all of us were happy we did. Rather than my writing about it, here is some praise for the book from the back cover:

“In this epic novel, set in France in World War II, two sisters who live in a small village find themselves estranged when they disagree about the imminent threat of occupation. Separated by principles and temperament, each must find her own way forward as she faces moral questions and life-or-death choices. Haunting, action-packed and compelling.” Christian Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train.


“A beautifully written and richly evocative examination of life, love, the ravages of war, and the different ways people react to unthinkable situations – not to mention the terrible and mounting toll of keeping secrets. This powerhouse of a story is equally packed with action and emotion, and is sure to be another major hit. I loved it.” – Sarah Gruen New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants.

There were three more comments on the back of the book, too, but I didn’t want to take up more space.

Note: Most of the information on Elie Wiesel came from Wikipedia and a newspaper memorial in my local newspaper written by Verena Dobnik with The Associated Press.







How much do you know about the Holocaust, WW II and Elie Weisel

10 comments:

KB Inglee said...

What I remember of the WWII: blackouts,no silk stockings,food and gas rationing,and my father being a dot on the map. I was six months old when Pearl Harbor was attacked and my father left almost at once and served for the duration. I am still not able to watch WWII movies or read WWII books. After all these years it is still too close.
I cheer your post about Elie Wiesel.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you KB for telling of your memories of WWII. I was three years old when Pearl Harbor was bombed. My father had a position where he worked making shells for the army and two kids so he didn't go, but two of my uncles did. Fortunately, both made it back. I'm not sure I would read the books about WWII if it they weren't that they were picked for my book clubs, but I'm glad I read them. I think more people need to know the horrors of a what someone like a Hitler, who propagates hatred for those who are of a different religion or nationality can cause in our world.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Gloria,
I was born after the war, but heard stories about grandfathers and great uncles who served. What strikes me is that everyone of that generation made a contribution and a sacrifice.
So sad about Mr. Wiesel's passing. It feels like a light has gone out.

Warren Bull said...

Gloria,

You certainly added to my knowledge about Elie Wiesel. Thank you.

KM Rockwood said...

Elie Wiesel certainly left his mark on the world.

To tell the truth, I think one of the problems with the unrest we are seeing in much of the world is partially because the people who vividly remember the horrors of WWII are becoming fewer and fewer in number, and the population that replaces them doesn't realize just how war affects everyone and everything.

It almost reminds me of some of the tales of the people in the South prior to the Civil War. They expected a short and gallant military campaign. Yes, a few people would die, but the collective experience would be a glorified victory.

War, whether declared or not, is devastating to everyone.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Gloria, a wonderful tribute.

Michele Drier said...

Gloria, thanks for the blog about Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust. This is a poignant issue for me as I was married to as Holocaust survivor. I tell part of his story (fictionalized) in my mystery "Edited for Death" and read a lot of WWII history.
I'm particularly interested (and frightened) as I see the rise of hatred and Fascism with the emerging super-nationalistic right-wing parties (Brexit in Great Britain, groups in France and Germany). There's a lot of rhetoric and hate speech floating around. If anyone listens, it could be Germany in the early 1930s. It happened once, it could happen again.
Thanks for talking about this most human of men.

Patg said...

I was born in the middle of WW2, so I read a lot about it. Fiction set during it is my first choice followed by the 'tween years, because it's very interesting to get the POV of people who wouldn't believe it could happen again.
Elie wrote some wonderful books. My hero is Simon Weisenthal and his organization that tracked down those @#$%&.
Patg
.

Gloria Alden said...

Shari, you are so right about everyone making some contribution. Even movie stars joined the military to fight. Today it's mostly young people who need a job or a college education.

Warren, researching him added to my knowledge of him, too. Mostly I remembered him through his book NIGHT. I'm glad I decided to blog about him.

KM, I agree with you. Too many of today's people know little or nothing about WWII and the horrors brought on mostly by one man. I used to deliver Mobile Meals to an elderly man who served in the Navy. He tried to join three times and kept getting turned down because he was missing his front teeth. On the 3rd time, he sneaked into the line of those who had been accepted. He was proud of serving in the Navy, and told me this same story many times. Yes, many people like those southern men who joined the army had no idea what a real war would be like. A great movie out now is Free Land of Jones. It's quite graphic and filled
with the horrors of the Civil War in the south, but well worth seeing.

Thank you, Margaret.

Michelle, I read Edited to Death and enjoyed it very much. You are so right about the rise of hatred and fascism in parts of Europe and even to some extent in our own country with so many turning against Muslims just like Germany turned against the Jews.

Pat, I forgot about Simon Weisenthal. He was a great man, too. A series I've enjoyed is the Maisie Dobbs series because it starts right before WWI and continues up to the year before
WWII.

B.K. Stevens said...

Gloria, I'm a day late, but thank you for this column. My husband and I heard Elie Wiesel speak at The College of Wooster in Ohio in the early 1980s. We expected him to talk about the Holocaust, but instead he spoke about the plight of Cambodian refugees and urged us all to do more to help. I was struck by his generosity of spirit--after all he and his family had been through, it would be understandable if he focused only on his own suffering, but instead he cared passionately about people throughout the world. After his talk, we and some others had the opportunity to speak to him. He and my husband had a nice conversation and exchanged letters afterwards, but I was so moved that I couldn't say a word. I've never felt so strongly, before or since, that I was in the presence of what we call a tzadik, a truly righteous and saintly person.