Shmuel Refael was born into a Sephardic family in Tel-Aviv on the same day that the Israeli government announced the arrest of the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichman. Since then, his destiny and the Holocaust have been linked. His father, Haïm Refael, came from Salonica. His mother, Esther Vivante, was born in Corfú.
This book goes deep into his roots and is a tribute to his childhood home, where Judeo-Spanish (ladino) was spoken. He grew up with the stories of the horrors endured by the Sephardic people during the Holocaust. He found the relationship between the history of these people and the Holocaust natural and evident.
This anthology gathers more than a hundred poems, by far the most complete one to date. Some are previously unpublished; some were known orally by the survivors; others were published in newspapers or magazines in the 1950s in Israel; others have appeared in other books and anthologies. The author analyzes them using diverse prisms, including humor.
Indeed, it is a major book and an essential document in the field of Sephardic studies and that of the Holocaust.
Review by Orit Salinas [in Hebrew] in Bülten. Israil'deki Türkiyeliler Birligi Yayin Organi . Nş. 36, Eylül 2008, p. 16: PDF version
· Review by Prof. Isaac Jack Levy (in English) (University of South Carolina) in World in Literature Review : PDF version/ WEB