Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Mezuzah in the Madonna's Foot

Trudi Alexy’s book, part memoir and part general history, documents the flight of those Jews who were lucky enough to escape Europe and find a sanctuary in Spain during the Holocaust.  The Mezuzha in the Madonna’s Foot catches hold of the irony of this situation, and explores its numerous ramifications.

For of course, Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, and while the rest of Europe, with some exceptions, failed to give them safe haven from the Nazis, Fascist Spain did.  Ms. Alexy explores the reasons for this, and also provides compelling stories of people who escaped to Spain and lived out the war there, or used it as a spring board to travel to even safer locations.

The prose in this work is usually uninspired, but that does not seem to be the thrust of Ms. Alexy’s book.  More than dazzle us with innovative use of the language, she sets to preserving an important, if often overlooked, part of the destruction of Europe’s Jews.

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