The book A HAT OF GLASS is a collection of short stories, whose main characters are children of Holocaust survivors in Israel. This is the story of the Second Generation, growing up in a world whose wounds are supposedly healing. A world in which sons and daughters bear their parents' scars and the torment of the past.
David Berger goes on a voyage to two Berlins, before the fall of the wall, in quest of the "good German" who had saved his mother during World War II. Through his voyage he is trying hard to restore his own disrupted life.
Daphne undergoes a violent experience in London, so it becomes her own personal Holocaust; a reliving of her mother's, who had lost her first family in the time of darkness.
Elisha collects antiques and occupies himself with the dead, traveling as far as Alexandria in Egypt, in pursuit of the 4th century portrait of the woman. In fact he is fleeing from an unknown past, he is too scared to face.
Clarissa, a survivor of a concentration camp, is so badly scarred she had lost all hopes of rebuilding a new life. Her noble sacrifice is remembered years later, by her fellow camp inmate who had succeeded partially, in healing her own wounds and gave birth to new children.
Eitan Liberman is the dream come true to his parents. He is their consolation for the past, the "wonder boy" - an Israeli doctor. However, his bitterness and hidden feelings of guilt and shame suddenly surface when his parents leave Israel to give testimony in the trial of a Nazi perpetrator.
Hunger illuminates the complex relationship of mother and daughter. Paula starves herself to death, while Naomi her daughter watches her deterioration, involved herself with her mother's doctor and finally follows in her mother's footsteps.
Veronica, a young German woman falls in-love with an Israeli son of survivors. She chooses to identify with the victims and confronts her past courageously.
Jane Fonda, a famous movie star, asks the author whether time can heal. She goes back to her own childhood tragedy, while both women share the feelings of loss and grief.
In Epilogue a young Israeli woman goes to visit the horror place itself - Auschwitz. This is the story of her painful encounter with a survivor who returned after forty years to the place where he lost everything.
"There, a great darkness emerged. They say time heals. They say I will be healed. I am grateful for the sun and for the new light, but on the heads of my children, my anguish and torment sit like a hat of glass."
The book A HAT OF GLASS was published in 1985 by Sifriat Poalim Publishing House in Israel and won the award of MASSUAH - The Institute for Holocaust Studies in 1988. It became a classic in Israel.
A Hat of Glass was re-published in 1998 with an introduction by Literature Professor Nurit Govrin from Tel Aviv University.
Other Languages Translations:
Germany 2000 (Dr. Orgler Verlag), Italy 2002 (Guida, Naples) Romania 2001 (Editura Hasefer).
Stories from the collection were published in anthologies in Germany, Spain, Great Britain, China and Turkey.
Parts of the book were published in Dutch in: "Kinderen van de Hoop" ("Children of Hope") by Shirley Barenholz, Uitgeverij (publisher) Kok - Kampen, Holland 1998.
Hunger was adapted into a Radio Drama and broadcast by the WDR - the German Radio in 1988.
Links on the book
- The Jewish News of Northern California
The German book on sale
The book in Italy
The book in Romania