Comments on the draft of the book “The Jews in Žilina” – Ms.Fatranová

Tel-Aviv August 21, 2008

Dear Frankl brothers,

during the reading your elaborate work on Jews from the Jewish community in Zilina, namely the parts describing their history, activities and destiny, I have often felt urge to share the positive impressions from this precise and detailed work with my life partner. I was happy that similar comments I made are also possible to find in the review made by Mr.Ivan Kamenec, who I respect very much.

This work has an advantage to be written in the time, when we are able to describe all the wrong doings, we had to face, in more moderate way. This approach was missing shortly after the war and many years after. We started to believe in the power of this kind of approach that can capture the attention of a reader and enables him to unify with the content of the book only in the recent years. This book is influenced by this approach very much indeed. Late writing of the book, as you have also mentioned, pays a high price in only a handful living survivors. On the other hand, there is no time without having someone to leave with important secrets, which we shall never reveal.

The book has, in general meaning, importance in showing the contribution of the Jews in building and flourishing of the town, their local patriotism and a good coexistence with non-Jewish population that was based on positive atmosphere of the first Czechoslovak Republic. Today’s reader will learn how easy it is to destroy such a partnership and to bring voice of the bad to life, adopting an antihuman ideology, in the changing spirit of that time. And that was only the beginning of the atrocities that followed.

You have succeed in drawing a picture of a pulsing, well organized ethnic group with a creative ability, that was forcefully stopped, based on all the information you collected about the Jewish community as well as about Jewish individuals in Zilina. Their tragic end has not stopped to bother last living survivors from Zilina. We want to believe that it will bother a Slovak reader as well.

Thank you for your tremendously hard work.

Gila Fatranova

My notes to your work were written using the numbering of the pages and the lines before receiving the second version you were supposed to send me. There are not many of them.