The Wall

by John Hersey
List(s):"Racine Library List"
Category: "Fiction - General"
Year of Publication:1950
Date Added:04/29/2009
Date Read:01/21/2010
Notes:The story of a group of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII, written as notes taken by Noach Levenson as he experienced the events. His main characters are Rachel Apt, an unattractive but able young woman who is able to inspire others to greatness, and Dolek Berson, a young man without direction who finds his true purpose in tirelessly working for his fellow countrymen. The story begins at about the time when the wall was constructed around the ghetto. Noach, Rachel, Dolek and several others join together and form a "family," living together and watching out for each other. We follow the group as members are carted off to the death camps or die of disease. Finally, they join the group of Jews who decide that since they are destined to die anyway, they might as well go down fighting. The organize and resist the Nazis. Of course, they lose the battle, but they affirm their importance as humans. Near the end, Rachel and Dolek fall in love and share a few short days together. Only Rachel survives the war, and it is she who helps find and dig up Noach's journals so the story will be published.
My Rating: 8

Reviews for The Wall

Review - Wall, The

A very, very sad, yet very inspiring book that kept my interest throughout. The horror of valuable people being treated as vermin simply because of their nationality was the over-riding theme, and Hersey make me really care about many of his characters. There were villains and heroes and those who couldn't bring themselves to do much of anything — all very realistic. The "hidden journals brought to light" story device broke down once in a while, but for the most part I found myself wondering how much of the story was true.
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