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In The Shadow of Dora

Read ð eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF È Patrick Hicks

In the Shadow of Dora spans two very different decades from the Nazi concentration camp of Dora Mittelbau to the coast of central Florida in the late 1960s; the book tells the story of the real life intersections between the horror of the Third Reich’s V 2 rocket program and the wonderment of the Apollo missions Eli Hessel a brilliant young Jewish mathematician finds himself deep beneath a mountain where he is forced to build Nazi rockets When he is finally freed from this secret underground concentration camp he immigrates to New York studies astrophysics and is recruited by NASA to help build the largest rocket ever to rise above a launch pad the Saturn V To his shock though he will be under the command of form Hicks engages his signature beautiful language and exuisite eye for detail to elevate annals of history to extraordinary heights in this slim tour de forceHe echoes Primo Levi on the limits of language as his Holocaust survivor narrator Eli attempts to relate his experience When uestioned about the name of the camp in which he labored Eli laments that Dora “didn’t have the same draining effect on them as it did on him” and forces him to “admit that different words carry different freight for us all” The freight that Hicks’ novel carries then is that of memory And it is pernicious“Memory had an undertow all of its own and it pulled him down down down into the darkness” writes Hicks 191 Dora pulls the reader too down into the darkness of a fictionalized version of the concentration camp where Nazi enslavers turned human beings into raw capital as they worked them to create weapons of mass destruction Readers cannot help draw parallels to American enslavement as Eli explicitly comments “We were slaves If I didn’t do what they ordered me to do I would have been killed” 193 In a combined act Hicks’ novel re members Nazi scientists who imagined V 2 rockets as instruments to intimidate and control the world and the enslaved laborers who were forced to produce them Allowing the reader to breathe however Dora also provides Eli an aftermath that he acknowledges has been denied most of his kin Amid the wanton destruction of the Second World War a specter of hope appears mid storyThe novel picks up Eli’s later life as a NASA scientist working on the Apollo program The reader resurfaces in an age of unbridled enthusiasm for technological development that also recalls the high cost of its past for the advances that put an American on the moon generated down in the darkness of the Dora Mittelbau concentration camp Hicks reminds us that not only Eli but also his Nazi torturers and enslavers were reborn in the American space program In its zeal to beat Soviets to the moon the US space program forgot Nazi crimes and placed them at its headIn three parts the novel engages the reader in collective and individual acts of re membering the past in order that we might helpfully engage the present In the novel this means owning up to the lived reality of the Jewish Shoah of the Second World War and its re engagement of former un convicted Nazi criminals as the “great men” behind the US space program to land a man on the moon In the Shadow of Dora provides timely reading that is urgently necessary in our present historical moment At a critical venture when so many formerly enslaved and disenfranchised groups are calling for a re membering of history that includes all the ugly spots Hicks’ novel implores readers to engage It reminds us that our past lives with us—it is the freight we carry—and that attempts to forget it come with too high a cost “Would you accept fascism if it gave you the moon?” the book asks and Eli urges the reader to not even consider it “Von Braun did many great things for space and was undoubtedly gifted but his background had been edited cleaned up The future couldn’t be hopeful if the man leading the way had a dark past” 163 Eli responds in language that reverberates through history to reach our present moment “He knew the truth and he would tell about it” 218 my emphasis

Free read In The Shadow of Dora

Er Nazi scientists Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph both of who were at Dora As America turns to the moon and cheers for rockets that lance the sky Eli is swallowed up by the past and must cope with memories he thought were safely buried This is a novel that asks uestions about memory morality technology and how the past influences the present If we clamp down images of horror will they always ignite and rise up on us? “This is a harrowing journey of survival one that traces the indomitable spirit of one lone man as he spirals deeper and deeper within the Holocaust while also recognizing what it takes minute by minute and day by day to survive decades into the future This painful yet beautifully wri This is a story of liberation and escape By creating Eli Hessel a protagonist who lives through the horrors of the Dora Mittelbau concentration camp while aiding in the manufacture of V2 rockets during WWII and the highlights of the Kennedy Space Center while running tests on the Saturn V during the run up to the 1969 moon landing Patrick Hicks gives us someone who experiences the contrast between the depths of human violence and the apex of human achievement and must come to terms with his survival and his experience of both those extremes More than once I had to ask myself if the effective absolution of the crimes of the German V2 rocket scientists was truly worth the prestige their knowledge brought to the United States and wonder if our leaders ever considered the same

Read ð eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF È Patrick Hicks

Tten novel adds to the necessary literature of the Holocaust Hicks is determined to undo the erasures of time while revealing our humanity with a clear eyed lens This is what the art of the novel was invented to do”   Brian Turner author of My Life as a Foreign Country and Here Bullet “Patrick Hicks has managed to bring two of history’s greatest events down to the molecular level in the extraordinary character of Eli Hessel a survivor of the Holocaust and a member of the vast team of scientists that put a man on the moon This story is gripping in its tragedy thrilling in its detail and unforgettable for its protagonist whose will to not only survive but thrive live and love is a testament to the human spiri If you have never heard of the Dora Mittelbau labor camp located in the tunnels of a former mine you are not alone This is a novel of the Holocaust but it shines a light on the terrifying labor camps where Jewish prisoners were forced to create the mighty V 2 rockets that rained destruction all over Europe in the Second World War Through the narrator Eli we experience the sights sounds taste touch and smells of the camp's unofficial slogan Vernichtung durch arbeit Extermination through work This is horror but numbingly repetitive horror as with his previous work The Commandant of Lubizec A Novel of The Holocaust and Operation Reinhard the author shows that the constant unpredictable threat of cruelty and violence by the Nazis served to stun their prisoners into obedience compliance even acceptanceIn one horrifying episode the SS hang a group of Russian prisoners who had sabotaged a winch These men dangled from where a rocket should be and for those standing beneath them it would be like resting at the bottom of a lake and looking up at swimmers treading water high above These men scissor kicked and jerked as they went about the business of dying They walked the airAlthough grounded in historical fact and peppered with statistics it is the lyrical storytelling that sets this Holocaust novel apart Through Eli Hicks explores the terrible irony linking the barbarism of the Holocaust and the optimism and power of the race to the moon as some of the high ranking Nazis from Dora are granted a new life as heroes in the United States Eli is haunted by what he witnessed at Dora and fragments reappear to him unbidden throughout his life what was a living nightmare now has a wondrous almost dreamlike uality and we keenly feel Eli's sense of isolation How could anyone in his new life in America understand that being moved from Auschwitz to Dora was not the liberation they imagine?Hicks also shows us a sense of wonder too; Eli is a survivor his mantra to calm himself All is well helps us to survive the awful truths of this history I found myself rushing to this happier part of the story of Eli's involvement with the Apollo missions But what I really admire was Hicks' ability to combine the dark and the light so powerfully NASA and Dora were the great poles of his life The darkest and the brightest How strange that an arcing of a rocket linked them togetherI read this book in a day but it will stay with me for so much longer

  • Paperback
  • 224
  • In The Shadow of Dora
  • Patrick Hicks
  • en
  • 11 November 2017
  • 9781622889075

About the Author: Patrick Hicks

Patrick Hicks is the author of over ten books including The Collector of Names Adoptable and This London—he also wrote the critically and popularly acclaimed novel The Commandant of Lubizec which was published by SteerforthRandom HouseHis work has appeared in such journals and magazines as Ploughshares Glimmer Train The Missouri Review The Georgia Review Prairie Schooner Alaska uarter