Herb Brin's travelogues
Two Herb Brin books took the form of travelogues, exploring the inner depths of history's worst crime.
In Ich Bin Ein Jude, Herb Brin followed the dolorous railroad tracks that led Six Million Jews to the gas chambers and crematoria of Poland and Germany. That book -- short but powerful -- fueled an international discussion and resulted in a long-standing invitation by the West German government for Herb to come and ask questions. "Any questions" that he wanted.
Though suspicious at first, Herb finally accepted, curious to see if the German officials really would "open all doors" to him.
In Where are the Children? the poet, journalist and essayist reports on this enquiry, his intense, unrelenting search to find an answer to the 50-year old quandary. How could Germans, a people self-described as "the nation of poets and thinkers," euphorically follow an Adolf Hitler to commit the greatest mass murder of all time?
And what of their collaborators? The passive complicity of the rest of the world? Even the Vatican? Were even the leaders of America free of fault?
Such questions made up the spectre that haunted Brin all his adult life.
Ich Bin Ein Jude
In a proud affirmation, "Ich bin ein Jude" -- I am a Jew -- journalist and poet Herb Brin retraces the train routes over which boxcars transported millions of Jews to their bitter fate during the Holocaust. Boarding in Istanbul in 1978, Herb travels through Greece, Yugoslavia, and Austria, then onward to Poland, where he visits the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Majdanek, seeking the sorrowful stories of the Jews who lost their lives and families. Along the way, Brin searches for links to his and his people's past. In the shtetl of Konin, where his grandfather lived, all traces of Jewish life, down to the cemetery, have been erased.