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American author and magazine writer Peggy Mann and Israeli civil servant Ruth Klüger-Aliav published in 1973 the biographical novel The Last Escape: The Launching of the Largest Secret Rescue Movement of All Time. In the novel, they wove the tumultuous life-events of Klüger-Aliav as an organizer of clandestine Jewish immigration from Europe into the story of two immigrant ships bound for Palestine: The Tiger Hill, which left the Romanian port of Constanta on August 3, 1939, and the Hilda, which sailed on January 8, 1940. The work on The Last Escape spawned two adaptations for young readers: Last Road to Safety: A True Story, a picture book based on an episode from the voyage of the Tiger Hill passengers (1975), and The Secret Ship, which recounted the story of the Hilda (1978). Focusing on Last Road to Safety, I bring to light a little-known Holocaust picture book that predated by a decade or more the foundational works of Holocaust literature for young readers written in the United States, and discuss the collaborative effort of the book's writer and illustrator, Peggy Mann and George Stavrinos.

Mann, a native New Yorker, was a prolific writer known primarily for her youth novels and her crusade against marijuana use. She was familiar to Jewish-American audiences through her books on Jewish themes, but gained little recognition among literary critics and scholars.1

Stavrinos was known in the world of magazine and fashion illustration, but not at all in the area of youth literature, as Last Road to Safety was his only children's book.2

Seeking to broaden the audience familiar with the book and its creators, I discuss their respective approaches to the project and point out the characteristics that mark Last Road to Safety as a Holocaust book. I note how these characteristics grew organically out of the norms of the creative art forms adopted by Mann and Stavrinos in the course of their respective careers, [End Page 28] and highlight the interplay between the book's textual and visual narratives as they allow for strategic departures from the base materials that inform the storyline. I discuss the book in the context of encouraging young readers to contemplate the meaning of a traumatic historical event and develop their civic imagination. Finally, I place my own reading of the book in dialogue with the notions of affiliative postmemory and vicarious witnessing, reflecting on my position as an adult reader of a children's book.

How the Book Came to Be

Holocaust literature for young readers, which surged in the 1970s and 80s, came of age in the 1990s with works of authors like Jane Yolen, Lois Lowry, Uri Orlev, Eve Banting, and David Adler, concurrently with the maturation of academic studies on the Holocaust (Haas and Haas). Interest in the curricular value of Holocaust literature for youth began to develop in the 1970s, and resulted in accounts of classroom experiences and library holdings, annotated bibliographies, articles focusing on specific works in a curricular context, curriculum units, and guides for working with young audiences. Early resources were produced within Jewish-education circles, like Selected Books and Pamphlets on the Holocaust by Hyman Chanover (1978), but as Holocaust education gained momentum, interest in Holocaust themes gave rise to more broadly distributed works intended for general audiences, like Edward T. Sullivan's Holocaust in Literature for Youth: A Guide and Resource Book (1999), or a series of works by Samuel Totten and collaborators (2002, 2016). Thomas D. Fallace, who studies the history of Holocaust education, traces the development of Holocaust curricula to the "affective revolution" in the social studies, a wave of interest in the 1960s and 70s in students' "identity, morality, emotions, and values" (Emergence 81), and argues that teachers in the mid-1970s began to introduce the Holocaust into their curricula with the hope of activating the "moral reasoning of their students" (84).

The drive to strengthen young people's emotional resilience and social awareness had guided Mann's approach to her readership throughout her writing career. Mann was active in encouraging the development of civic imagination among youngsters, as exemplified in the beautification project of West 94th Street on the Upper West Side in which she and her husband, William Houlton, engaged local youth and challenged them to imagine a different present and future for their poverty-stricken neighborhood.3 It would not be a stretch to assume that her activist outlook figured into her decision to contract with the 1975 New Macmillan Reading Program that published the book.4 As a product of the early 1970s, Last Road to Safety was preceded by the translations from German of Hans Peter Richter's Friedrich (1970) [End Page 29] and I Was There (1972), and a number of other works among them Sonia Levitin's A Journey to America (1970), Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (1971), and Bette Greene and Robert Hunt's Summer of My German Soldier (1973). But unlike its contemporaries from this first generation of Holocaust literature for youth, Last Road to Safety was uniquely conceived as a book embedded in a reading curriculum. It was published shortly after the introduction in New York of first Holocaust curriculum for public schools, The Holocaust: Case Study of Genocide (1973).5 In the early and middle 1970s, curricular initiatives were also undertaken in New Jersey and Philadelphia, and in 1975 the Jewish Community Relations Council of Philadelphia hosted a conference on the pedagogy of teaching the Holocaust. Raymond Zwerin, Audrey Friedman Marcus, and Leonard Kramish published Gestapo: A Learning Experience about the Holocaust (1976), and Roselle Chartock and Jack Spencer published The Holocaust Years: Society on Trial, initially developed in 1973 for secondary-school students, concurrently with NBC's 1978 Holocaust miniseries.6 Mann, entrepreneurial and ideologically motivated, and energized by the success of The Last Escape, most likely identified and embraced the opportunity created by this burst of energy, and the same may be assumed about Macmillan. The richly visual reading series called for the production of a picture book, and that is how the collaboration with Stavrinos, who settled in New York in 1973, came to be.

Discussions of Holocaust picture books typically reference early adopters like Roberto Innocenti and Karen Ritz, whose work in the 1980s and 1990s carved a path for later illustrators like Ron Mazellan and Bill Farnsworth.7 As an early work of its kind, Last Road to Safety already exhibits some markers of the conventions that would later develop in Holocaust picture books, chief among them the production of illustrations that reference Holocaust photographs and commitment to a witness position by both author and illustrator. In the case of Last Road to Safety, these markers emerged organically from the norms of the creative art form adopted by Stavrinos and Mann in the course of their respective careers: Stavrinos' use of Holocaust photographs grew directly out of his technique of melding photographs into his sketches and modifying them to produce the desired effect; Mann brought to the project her characteristic insistence on factual and truthful narration, combined with her preoccupation with the plight of European Jews before and during World War II. Their joint project thus naturally falls within what would be later referred to in the work of scholars like Susan Sontag, Adrienne Kertzer, Marianne Hirsch, and Barbie Zelizer as the drive to offer readers and viewers access to historical truth by way of using iconic Holocaust photographs in Holocaust picture books, exhibits, adult literature, and art work.

Zelizer (1998) notes that from the mid-1800s onward, photographs served as a tool for gathering empirical evidence, becoming "lodged in the imagination [End Page 30] as a vessel of accuracy, authenticity, verisimilitude and truth" (9). Referencing photography critic Vicki Goldberg, Zelizer suggests that photographs tell us "not only what the world looks like, but also something of what it means" (8). In a similar vein, Adrienne Kertzer (My Mother's Voice) argues for an expectation that picture books about Holocaust themes "in some artistic way reproduce or allude to Holocaust photographs" (233) and speaks of the need to "believe that Holocaust photographs give children access to historical truth" (232). She suggests that photograph-based drawings, removed from their original historical specificity, serve as markers of truth in that "their truth-telling is more iconic than historically precise" (247) and that "basing the illustration on a photograph gives the illustrator the freedom to draw what has not been photographed" (242). Lydia Kokkola looks at the complex modality created by the interaction of text and image in Holocaust fiction, which is expected to provide "definitive expressions of the objective truth value of the event" (65). The idea of access to historical truth through photographs or their adaptations is, however, readily problematized if we consider Last Road to Safety through Kertzer's question on the kind of knowledge that photographs, as markers "of the most privileged site, that of the documentary real," validate "when the viewer of the picture book does not know that the illustration she looks at is based on a photograph" ("Saving the Picture" 403, 404). Indeed, the knowledge of the base photographs used in Last Road to Safety remains elusive on a number of levels for child and adult readers alike. In addition, both written and visual narratives exhibit intentional departures from historical knowledge, which signal Mann and Stavrinos' insistence on artistic privilege as inseparable from their effort to establish the truth value of the book. For the informed adult reader, the recognition of the departures infuses the reading experience with an air of tension that augments the tension already present in the storyline itself.

The Two Narratives

The historical episode at the core of Last Road to Safety took place in late July and early August of 1939. A train from Warsaw, with immigrants bound for the port of Constanta where the Tiger Hill was awaiting them, was stopped near the port, and the immigrants remained locked in the cars for days, uncertain about the fate of their journey. Under British pressure to stop the departure of Jewish immigrants to Palestine from Romanian ports, the Romanians planned to return the immigrants to Poland and confiscate the ship.8 In a desperate effort to save the immigrants, Ruth Klüger-Aliav found her way to a short audience with King Carol II of Romania and, evoking his love for his mistress Magda Lupescu, who was of Jewish descent, pleaded with him to allow the immigrants to board the Tiger Hill and leave the port. [End Page 31] The ship was eventually allowed to sail, and the immigrants reached Palestine on the weekend of September 1.9

Mann's narration begins with Ruth in the palace awaiting her meeting with the king, and ends with her witnessing the boarding and departure of the Tiger Hill. Much of the narrative consists of reflections by Ruth on the plight of European Jewry and the clandestine immigration endeavor, with detailed historical references to the situation in Europe and Palestine. Ruth's conversation with the king is tense, marked by a sense of great danger and desperate outbursts. The departure scene is followed by an epilogue that recounts the dramatic landing of the Tiger Hill in Tel Aviv and makes a brief reference to Ruth's escape from Romania and her continued rescue work in Istanbul. The final note is short and blunt:

[W]ithin eleven months most of the countries in Europe were either conquered by Germany or had joined with Germany. And in each of the countries where Fascists came to power, the Jews were systematically murdered in concentration camps—in gas ovens—according to Adolf Hitler's careful plan.

By the time World War II ended in September, 1945, two-thirds of the Jewish population in Europe—some six million men, women, and children—had lost their lives.


The written narrative, twenty-one pages long, is punctuated by Stavrinos' eleven full-page illustrations. Stavrinos is known for the painstaking detail of his work, for the use of F-grade (medium hardness) pencil lead in producing his expansive tonal range in black and white, and for working with models and Polaroid pictures as the basis for his sketches. While Last Road to Safety was done early in his career, all three characteristics of his technique are reflected in the illustrations, as is his intensity, captured by Bradford Hamann in a comment on one of the book's most striking illustrations: "His portrait of a young girl standing solemnly against a wall, numbered ID card hanging around her neck and a badge identifying her as a Jew contains as much pathos as any work he did throughout his career" (16). Stavrinos' inclusion in the project was probably the result of a chance selection of an artist made by Macmillan. This was a singular assignment for him, and the artwork was equally unusual for a Mann book. Mann published some thirty books for young readers, and whenever illustrations were included they were limited, for the most part, to visual representations of selected scenes. Yet in Last Road to Safety the illustrations are intertwined with the written narrative in a way that suggests a measure of collaboration between the author and illustrator, or an exceptional ability of Stavrinos to connect to Mann, her subject matter and her message. His visual narrative, while occasionally coalescing with Mann's, is often independent thematically and temporally, contributing to the sense of complementarity described by Nodelman in reference to words and [End Page 32] pictures that "come together best and most interestingly . . . when writers and illustrators use the different qualities of their different arts to communicate different information" (Words about Pictures 222).

Kokkola points to the abundance of paratexts in Holocaust literature for children, which are rife with historical references and provide background information to uninformed readers. This is where Stavrinos' work is critical to the classification of Last Road to Safety as a Holocaust book. The episode recounted in Last Road to Safety preceded the outset of the war in Europe, and is given a broader perspective by Mann only at the conclusion of her epilogue, where she briefly takes the reader to the end of the war and the aftermath of the Holocaust. If Holocaust narratives typically "follow the chronology of persecution, ghettoization, transport, camp, liberation" (Bosmajian 188), or otherwise focus on the experience of the war years, Last Road to Safety does not lend itself to classification as a Holocaust book based on the narrated episode alone, which may explain the book's absence from scholarly discussions on Holocaust books for young readers and from reference works dedicated to Holocaust literature.10 The illustrations, however, broaden the temporal dimension of the written narrative from the very first page, even before the narration begins, and continue to do so all the way to the end. The opening illustration, clearly a Holocaust picture, constitutes a visual prologue, a paratext that situates the narrated episode within an event of a much greater historical magnitude. Subsequent illustrations, with the yellow star in prominent presence, continue to impart the broader sense of the time and its tribulations. This setting provides young readers with a form of background information that allows them to contextualize the story and consider the truthfulness attributed to it in the book title, Last Road to Safety: A True Story. It may also build into the curricular context of the book that was embedded in a reading series where the ability to identify facts is one of the desired learning outcomes.11

Unlike other books in the 1975 New Macmillan Reading Program, Last Road to Safety is illustrated in black and white, and the only color element is the front-cover title in light blue against a white wall of a lifeboat, a symbolic reference to the colors of the traditional Jewish prayer shawl and the Israeli flag. The black-and-white scheme was a decision specific to this book: The other books in the series were done in color, and Stavrinos did work in color throughout his career but more so in his early assignments. The choice of black and white may figure into the marking of Last Road to Safety as a Holocaust book. In the 1970s, drawing the Holocaust in black and white was the norm, with the use of color considered a violation of what was perceived as the "absence of color in the 'concentration camp universe'" (Kertzer, My Mother's Voice 245). But the black-and-white decision may have [End Page 33] been circumstantial as well, based on what Stavrinos had at his disposal: a set of Holocaust photographs in black and white, which he adapted and used to augment Mann's narration.

The illustration that opens the book (2) (fig. 1) is unmistakably a Holocaust picture: It is an adaptation of the iconic photograph from the Warsaw ghetto, featuring a young boy, his hands held up, in front of a group of adults and children rounded up by Nazi soldiers (fig. 2). In sketching the illustration, Stavrinos created a montage, combining elements from that photograph with elements from another photograph documenting a forced march of Jews to the Umschlagplatz (the pre-deportation gathering point), with the burning ghetto in the background (fig. 3).12 Stavrinos extracted the five persons at the front, one in the back, and the Nazi soldier on the right-hand side of the montage from the ghetto-boy photograph. He took other persons and one Nazi soldier in the montage from the Umschlagplatz photograph, moving the Nazi soldier from the right-hand side of that photograph to the left-hand side of his montage, thereby framing the distraught deportees between two Nazi soldiers, much like he did in an early sketch that may or may not be related to his work on Last Road to Safety (fig. 4).13 A question central to the discourse on Holocaust representation in literature and the visual arts was raised by Eric Kimmel in 1977: "Can those millions of deaths be given significance to transcend the gross monstrosity of corpse-choked pits?" (91). Last Road to Safety indeed presents an attempt to give significance to the millions, acknowledged in the epilogue, by underscoring the relevance of the individual human being. Some of that is accomplished by the focus on the extraordinary, heroic action of one woman that allowed her to save hundreds of Jews. But much of the "significance" statement is found in Stavrinos' illustrations: In the original photographs there are many deportees in the background, their features blurred or hidden because of the angle and distance from which the pictures were taken. In Stavrinos' adaptation we find complete faces only, with no blurring of features: There are less people, but they all have full facial features and pronounced eyes. Each and every one of them is an individual, not a background element.

Hirsch (Generation of Postmemory) refers to a triangular field of looking involved in the visual encounter with child-victim photos and their derivatives: The identification with the child victim, she suggests, comes from the adult viewer seeing the child victim through the eyes of her own child self, sharing this viewing position with her own viewer, who then enters the image from the position of a child witness. I would argue that the child's gaze does not define Stavrinos' overall approach to the project, nor the viewer's mode of engagement with the illustrations: These illustrations feature adults for the most part, and the child victims (Last Road to Safety 2, 21) are intentionally [End Page 34]

Fig. 1. Opening Montage from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw Hill, 1997). <br/><br/>Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.
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Fig. 1.

Opening Montage from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw Hill, 1997).

Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.

Fig. 2. Ghetto Boy Photo. <br/><br/>Published with permission of Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyr's and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem, Israel (original files 2807/114, 2807/22).
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Fig. 2.

Ghetto Boy Photo.

Published with permission of Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyr's and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem, Israel (original files 2807/114, 2807/22).

[End Page 35]

Fig. 3. Umschlagplatz Photo. <br/><br/>Published with permission of Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyr's and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem, Israel (original files 2807/114, 2807/22).
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Fig. 3.

Umschlagplatz Photo.

Published with permission of Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyr's and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, Jerusalem, Israel (original files 2807/114, 2807/22).

Fig. 4. Girl with Nazi Soldiers in the Background. <br/><br/>Published with permission of Lydia Starrinos.
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Fig. 4.

Girl with Nazi Soldiers in the Background.

Published with permission of Lydia Starrinos.

[End Page 36] positioned within a group of adults. This focus speaks to Stavrinos' position as a witness who underscores the collective significance of the event even as he notes that this collective is made of individuals. From this position he also achieves some reduction in the traumatic effect of the illustration.

In Stavrinos' montage, a boy and a girl from the original ghetto-boy photograph are given more prominence by the removal of objects that partially hide them in the photograph (e.g., a garment that one of the women is carrying, partially hiding the girl behind her). At the same time, the lone boy at the front is moved to the back and center, becoming part of the group, which mitigates the traumatic effect created in the original photograph by his separation and vulnerability. The deportees do not have their hands up in the montage, which allows the boy at the front to support a large bundle on his left shoulder and hold a woman's hand, presumably his mother's, with his right hand. Another boy in the montage, carrying a bundle, is extracted from the original ghetto-boy photograph and fronted in the montage.14 The somewhat diminished traumatic effect is achieved in a similar manner in another illustration of deportees (21), featuring five adults and one boy framed by two rifle barrels. The horror and pain on all faces are unmistakable, but the boy, standing at the center, has a woman's hand on his shoulder, and the woman leans her head on a man's shoulder, in what looks like a short moment of family intimacy before deportation, separation, and death (fig. 5).

The boy and girl at the front of the Stavrinos' montage wear a Jewish star, as do all other prominent children in the book's illustrations, among them (18) a girl, a numbered identification tag hanging from her neck, who wears a Jewish star marked with Jude (fig. 6).15 The use of the iconic yellow star in the illustrations again marks Last Road to Safety as a Holocaust book. The yellow star does not appear in the original photos, and in terms of the timeframe of the Tiger Hill, August-September of 1939, it is historically misplaced.16 Yet the yellow star is a symbol that even the young, most likely uninformed, reader may recognize, and the fact that adults in the illustrations, with one exception, do not wear it yet the prominent children all do goes beyond an attempt to make the story relevant to the intended readership: The children in Stavrinos' illustrations bear the unmistakable signifier of Jewishness, a choice tantamount to a statement on the harm done to a generation of European Jewish children, the most vulnerable among the millions who perished in the Holocaust or lived through the horrors of the war.

Framing the narrative between the Holocaust and national rebirth in the ancient Jewish homeland was a common strategy in Mann's books on Jewish themes. Central to this framing was her depiction of the "pressure cooker" effect of the late 1930s and early 1940s, generated by a set of intertwined circumstances: the imminent danger to European Jewry, made obvious by [End Page 37]

Fig. 5. Deportation from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw Hill, 1997). <br/><br/>Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.
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Fig. 5.

Deportation from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw Hill, 1997).

Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.

Fig. 6. Girl with Numbered Tag from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997). <br/><br/>Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.
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Fig. 6.

Girl with Numbered Tag from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997).

Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.

[End Page 38] the events of Kristallnacht and by Hitler's plans for total extermination of the Jews; the refusal of the world to recognize this danger and the failure of friendly nations to provide shelter, which left European Jews with no place to go; small Palestine as the only place where Jews were welcome, at least by the Jewish population; the insistence of the British, under Arab pressure, on limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine which left clandestine activity as the only option for immigration; and the categorical rejection of the designation "illegal" when it came to the large-scale humanitarian rescue mission undertaken by the mossad la'aliya bet, the organization under which Klüger-Aliav operated as an agent. Stavrinos adheres to this "Holocaust to rebirth" framing in his illustrations: The illustration that opens the book (2) is the ghetto montage and the illustrations that close it (27–29, including a double spread) depict the immigrants on their way to Palestine (fig. 7). The immigrant illustrations allude to photographs of the iconic Exodus and other multidecked immigrant boats like the Jewish State: The illustrations indeed bear strong resemblance to the bridge area and lifeboats of the Jewish State, photographs of which became widely available with reports from the docking event (1947). Toward the middle of the book (9) there is an illustration of four pioneers in a Polish training camp "where they studied and worked in the fields and prepared themselves for the lives they would lead when they finally reached Palestine" (8) (fig. 8). The pioneers are strong, confident, and energetic, walking paces apart from each other, in stark contrast with the deportees but also with the immigrants onboard. All immigrants appear with full facial features and again there are no "background humans," in line with the emphasis on the significance of the individual suggested earlier. But even though they represent the hope built into the "Holocaust to rebirth" model, they are stern and gravely concerned: There is not one smiling or relaxed face among them, and unlike the erect, strong pioneers in the training camp illustration, they are all hunched, leaning or sitting, and crowded. The journey of the Tiger Hill was long and arduous, the news of the Nazi invasion of Poland, where the immigrants had left families and friends, had reached the ship, and the prospect of clashes with the British and arrest or deportation upon arrival was very real. The sternness and concern in the facial expressions and the body language of the immigrants thus capture on a deep level the atmosphere onboard—Stavrinos made no attempt to lessen the stressful tone of the event and the trauma suffered by the immigrants, and his version of "hope" promised by the escape from Europe was thus greatly reserved.

The cover illustrations of The Last Escape and The Secret Ship invite a comment as I tie together Mann's concept of mimetic fidelity and Stavrinos' pictorial realism. The Pinnacle Books 1974 edition of The Last Escape features a front-cover collage, by an unspecified illustrator, made of a Jewish prayer shawl, Nazi soldiers marching over it; a fire engulfing a town; two headless [End Page 39]

Fig. 7. Immigrants from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997). <br/><br/>Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.
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Fig. 7.

Immigrants from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997).

Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.

Fig. 8. Pioneers from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997). <br/><br/>Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.
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Fig. 8.

Pioneers from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997).

Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.

[End Page 40] bodies hanging from large hooks; a ship; and above them all a woman: a young, attractive redhead with piercing eyes, whose long, bright hair morphs into the flames. Most of the collage elements are symbolic in their evocation of World War II and the Holocaust.17 The Secret Ship cover, illustrated by Ron Hicinbothem, features a ship; a yellow star; a swastika; and at the very front a young woman: a redhead with chin-length red hair, a long neck, suggestive lips and intriguing green eyes. Here too the collage is made of symbolic elements.18 But this is not the case in Last Road to Safety, where the illustrations point to an effort to provide realistic visions rather than symbolic representations of scenes and characters. While Stavrinos does rely on the iconicity of the yellow star in some of his illustrations, he moves beyond the symbol to evoke the sense of "the real" by using Holocaust and other photographs and by exercising the freedom to modify them as he constructs his narrative, which is in line with his practice throughout his entire career. Stavrinos was an avid photographer himself, but did not consider himself particularly good from a technical point of view, and in a sense "felt the need to 'better' his photos, which he considered somewhat like a visual diary" (Hamann 9). What we see in his illustrations is not an attempt to "better" the historical photos, but rather an exemplar of a visual diary detailing his engagement with the written narrative and its historical background. This engagement comes to life most vividly in the montage technique that he employs in some of the illustrations and in his use of the yellow star, both signaling his reliance on "organizing shifters," to use Barthes' Jakobsonian terminology, as intentional interventions in the chronology of the historical event and its adaptation to the needs of his own narrative.19 This intervention begins with the change of angle that signals Stavrinos' intentional subversion of the Nazi gaze in the process of claiming ownership of the images: The original photos were taken from the side of the street or from a crouching position, but Stavrinos, standing at the easel, meets the group at the eye level, a statement of engagement and affinity from a short yet respectful distance.

With this understanding, we can place Stavrinos' approach to the project within what Lopes, expanding on Barthes and Goodman, suggests as a fundamental property of pictorial realism: The artist calls for the experiencing of a picture as its own subject without making a claim for accuracy: "an inaccurate picture may be judged realistic so long as it is identified as belonging to an appropriately informative system" (284). The informative system is supplied here by the overall historical context of the Holocaust, which allows for the bending of the temporality of the yellow star, and by the written narrative that is critical to the young readers' interaction with the visual narrative and to the leap from "real" to "true" which the reader is expected to take. For the adult reader, the informative system also draws on some knowledge of [End Page 41] the period and familiarity with the base photographs, which, in this case, is not always easy to assume.

Unlike the aforementioned redheads, Stavrinos' Ruth, indeed a redhead, was rendered based on Ruth in real life: The first illustration (4) is an adaptation of a portrait of Ruth that also appears as a thumbnail on the back cover of The Last Escape (figs. 9, 10). Ruth projects determination yet has an air of tension about her. The second (24) is a montage including an adaptation of another portrait of Ruth. In this illustration she is with the agitated king, who stands with his back to her; she stands tall but is clearly distraught. King Carol II of Romania is also featured in the illustrations in his real likeness (figs. 11, 12). But while the king's public position provided fairly easy access to photographs, Ruth was, for a good part of her life, a secret agent, and her photos were not readily available as they are today.20 An effort to provide Stavrinos with a real-life "model" must have been made here, and in all likelihood the base photographs came from Mann, who had access to them through Ruth, and probably saw them as essential to her own effort to establish the truthfulness of the story. True-to-fact narration was at the core of Mann's understanding of her own credibility and responsibility as a writer. "Truth" for her was a statement of facts, and facts were established through meticulous research: Mann "was a tireless researcher, a tenacious seeker of the truth, and she always got the facts" (Houlton 94). Mann, her narrators, and characters are adamant about telling the truth, offering in support detailed references to historical events and personalities, usually in an introduction or an epilogue but also in the body of the text itself, as here, in Ruth's opening thoughts and throughout her presentation before King Carol II. Beyond its role in shaping Mann's narratives, the "truthfulness" stance was used extensively in marketing her books, and "truth" statements abound in references to her work for adults and children alike.21 As far as one can tell from reading Mann's work and talking to people who knew her, Mann was indeed convinced that she had access to, and the ability to convey, "truth," based on what she determined to be factual. Mann collected her facts by reading, interviewing, and crosschecking different pieces of information, and made her findings into a narrative. She was obviously aware of the limitations of representation: A clue to her perception of mimetic fidelity in life-writing and narratives pertaining to historical events can be found in the inner title page of "Gizelle, Save the Children" (1980, written jointly with Gizelle Hersh, who survived the Holocaust as a teenager), where Mann notes that the "book is totally true in every detail, except that some of the names have been changed. The dialogue is as accurate as memory permits" (emphasis added). Here, as in her other work, Mann's claim to mimetic fidelity draws on the sincerity of the representation effort more than the precise correspondence between the narrative and its historical grounding.22 [End Page 42]

Fig. 9. Ruth from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997). <br/><br/>Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.
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Fig. 9.

Ruth from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997).

Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.

Fig. 10. Ruth, The Last Escape. Back Cover
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Fig. 10.

Ruth, The Last Escape. Back Cover

[End Page 43]

Fig. 11. Ruth and King Carol II from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997). <br/><br/>Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.
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Fig. 11.

Ruth and King Carol II from Peggy Mann's Last Road to Safety: A True Story (McGraw-Hill, 1997).

Published with permission of McGraw-Hill Education©.

Fig. 12. King Carol II and Mihai from Enciclopedia Romaniei.
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Fig. 12.

King Carol II and Mihai from Enciclopedia Romaniei.

[End Page 44]

While Stavrinos' pioneers and passengers are clearly adults, Mann's narrative makes multiple references to children, casting them as the focus of readers' apprehension and eventual sense of relief. In her plea to King Carol II, for example, Ruth introduces the train passengers as boys and girls analogous to the Romanian Straja Tarii, while these passengers were, in fact, mostly adults, described in the same scene in The Last Escape as "young men and women": 23

Your majesty, the 500 Polish boys and girls waiting this very minute . . . in the sealed train . . . waiting in the port of Constanza . . . they are all young. They are just like your boys and girls in the Straja Tarii. Yet, they are prisoners— though they have committed no crime. They are guilty of nothing. But instead of life they face death—for one reason only: they were not born into the Catholic faith . . . or the Rumanian Orthodox . . . Protestant . . . Buddhist . . . Moslem. Because they were born as Jews they may die—if they are not allowed to sail tonight on the Tiger Hill.

(17, ellipses in the original)

The young age references can be observed in other scenes as well. The first one to disembark the train and move toward the ship is a young girl, "who stumbled down the narrow steps and fell to the ground. Then she raised her arms and her face to the night rain" (26). The same scene appears in The Last Escape, but with a woman as the actor (234). What Mann chose not to include in Last Road to Safety is also telling in terms of her outlook as a writer: Mann did not include in the book a scene in which children serve as perpetrators. In The Last Escape she describes Romanian school children throwing rocks at the halted train, breaking the windows and shouting: "Jewish Pigs, go home. Get out of here. Go home" (220). Great reduction of detail from The Last Escape to Last Road to Safety was inevitable, but this particular detail of the voyage, which was directly relevant to young readers, was eliminated possibly in an effort to mitigate the impact of the cruelty and senselessness imparted by the Romanian children's action and assign the complete responsibility for violence to adults.24 Mann's career as a writer peaked in parallel with the popularity of the youth problem-novel, a sub-genre of the young-adult novel, and her writings for the most part exhibit the characteristics of that sub-genre. One of these characteristics, as described by Sheila Egoff, was the depiction of the protagonist as "laden with grievances and anxieties that grow out of some form of alienation from the adult world, to which he or she is usually hostile" (357). While the youth problem-novel in a broader sense is not pertinent to the current discussion, the perception of the adult world as the locus of grievances, and a related characteristic, namely the ability of children to gain some relief "from an association with an unconventional adult outside the family" (ibid.), are definitely relevant to our understanding of Mann's decisions as we consider the elimination of children perpetrators from Last Road to Safety, and the reliance on Ruth, by [End Page 45] all measures an unconventional adult, for resolution. But Mann's reduction of the story details and her assigning prominence to children characters in order to make the work more appealing to young readers still impart sincerity in the representation effort, much like Stavrinos' modifications project his adherence to pictorial realism. The insistence on the real likeness of Ruth, when even adult readers, informed as they might be about the events in Europe of 1939, would hardly know to recognize her in the illustrations, is a strong indication of Mann and Stavrinos' insistence on both factuality and artistic freedom as part of their sense of credibility, independent of the way they perceived the effect of their work on the intended readership.

A question that begs to be asked is whether in Last Road to Safety Mann "spares the child" in the manner outlined by Bosmajian, who suggests that our "cultural construction of the necessity of an affirmative, if not happy, closure in children's literature transfers adult desire to what a child reader supposedly needs" and argues that this construction leads authors to deny "the child the chance to imagine and rehearse through ambivalent, even tragic narratives life situations that are indeed possible" (135). Last Road to Safety begins with a stressful, dangerous situation and ends with an affirmative resolution. The knowledge of death, which may not be immediately available to the child reader, is introduced gradually: as a vow of Hitler "to conquer all the nations of Europe—and then to kill all the Jews in the countries he conquered" (3), then as a possibility in Ruth's presentation before Carol II ("they may die" [17]), more emphatically later in the same presentation as plans for "complete extermination" (19), and finally as a reality in the epilogue, where Mann notes the murder of some of Ruth's colleagues in Romania and the annihilation of two thirds of European Jewry (32). But the narrative itself provides little reference to actual violence, with the exception of a brief mention of concentration camps, beatings, and forced "street cleaning" jobs. Because the immigrants manage to leave Europe and reach Palestine, resisting and foiling an attempt by the British to stop them, Last Road to Safety holds the potential for reducing the disaster of the Holocaust "to a fantasy analogy of death and rebirth patterns which assure the child that 'there will always be a new spring'" (Bosmajian 216).

The "new spring" argument is not uncommon when it comes to Mann's work in general. Her novels for young adults were frequently criticized for their "happy endings" and for the built-in promise that right would triumph over wrong, an unfavorable characteristic attributed to the problem youthnovel. I would argue that Last Road to Safety, in spite of the illustrations' somewhat softened trauma and the affirmative resolution, cannot be reduced to an assurance that "there will always be a new spring," and that its outlook is not rooted in a promise for a better future but rather in a lesson that must [End Page 46] be learned from the past. Mann, and, following her, Stavrinos, set out to tell the Tiger Hill story with a specific message in mind: There was a time during which help and rescue were possible, even if difficult, but the world was oblivious to the plight of the Jews, did not take Hitler seriously, did not take action—and the results were disastrous. This outlook comes as no surprise to those familiar with Mann's work. Mann was greatly disturbed by the failure of the July 1938 Évian conference that considered ways to help the Jews of the Third Reich and ended up with expressions of sympathy but no real action. She wrote about Évian repeatedly in the 1970s, decrying the missed opportunity to save hundreds of thousands of Jews, and the failure of the press in Europe and the United States to draw attention to the catastrophic circumstances in Europe.25 Mann's characteristic reference to the spirit of Évian appears early in Ruth's reflection on the situation in Europe, framing the urgency in her rescue mission: "Every nation in the world had its regulations. They all used different words, some polite, some blunt. But behind the official language, the message was always the same: No Jews wanted here. No Jews allowed" (5). Immigration was a way out, and could have made a difference, but the closed gates worldwide made it an impossibility, and the world therefore shares the responsibility for the catastrophic results.

The limited violence in Last Road to Safety is in line with this perspective more than it may be in line with the tendency of writers at the time to represent the Holocaust in muted tones (Haas and Haas 126). There were clear early warning signs of what was in store for European Jewry, and the people of Europe, Jews among them, should have paid attention and taken action while there was still time, while the Holocaust-in-the-making was perhaps controllable. The pioneers in the training farm did exactly that, and were thus the real promise for hope. Any critic tempted to attribute to Mann the intent of muting her message and catering to the perceived sensitivities of the young reader would be quickly disabused of this notion when considering the final lines of the epilogue or reading The Secret Ship, where Mann addresses directly and bluntly the brutality involved in the events that transpired outside the concentration camp environment, in the very heart of the civilized cities that Jews had called their home. The murder of Moshe Orekhovsky, a community leader who chose to remain in Romania and help his people, and other violent executions of Jews in Bucharest of January 1941 close The Last Escape and are bound to haunt anyone who reads the novel. Mann spares the young readers some of that, in line with what she does in Last Road to Safety: A scene describing a man who is left to freeze to death after he is flogged in the public square, tied to a pole, his penis exposed to verify that he is Jewish and then cut off, as school children are invited by the Iron Guard to throw snowballs at him, is omitted from The Secret Ship. But [End Page 47] the death of Orekhovsky and his friends is not—in fact, the description in The Secret Ship is more direct than in The Last Escape, leaving no room for the young readers to turn away their gaze: "They were made to crawl naked up the ramp on their hands and knees, like animals. At the end of the ramp, heads were chopped off and thrown in a basket. Then the bodies were hung on meathooks and stamped KOSHER MEAT" (126). Naomi Sokoloff, in her discussion of assimilating the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust into the imagination, suggests that the "focus on a child's partial understanding helps alleviate the adult narrator's struggle with language and artistic expression, for the young character's incomprehension serves to indicate the incomprehensibility of the catastrophe" (262). Mann assumes no incomprehension here, and in fact uses the simplified register to deliver the trauma directly, with no attempt to "spare the child."

In Melancholia and Maturation, Eric Tribunella suggests that "the prominence of trauma in contemporary children's literature, the circulation of this literature in educational contexts, and the cultural capital that accrues to it suggest . . . [that] children are deliberately exposed to trauma as a form of discipline" (xiv). Within this framework, Tribunella argues that the Holocaust has occupied a privileged position in relation to the construction of the American child, and has been used since the 1970s as a "pedagogical case study for providing lessons about such things as courage, racial and ethnic tolerance, and civic participation" (xxxvi). Last Road to Safety, published in a series intended for elementary-school readers, fits well within this construction both thematically and in terms of the age group targeted—the fifth grade was commonly considered the earliest time to expose young children to the Holocaust, at least until the 1990s (Haas and Haas). Peggy Mann set out to provide young members of the American civil society with a lesson in courage and civic participation, drawing on a strong sense of social responsibility, which was at the core of her work ethic and on her friendship with an extraordinary woman who had a story to tell. George Stavrinos joined her by delivering a striking vision of children and adults thrown into traumatic circumstances by the evil that took hold in Europe of the 1930s and 40s, where civil society crumbled and collapsed. Together they invited young readers to reflect on the significance of human life, on the need to fight for it, and on the promise that comes with a society that, as a collective, actively embraces these values, a reflection for which the urgency of the prewar immigration endeavor would serve as a starting point. This goal would be explicitly highlighted when the book was reproduced in 1997 as part of the Adventure Books series of the McGraw-Hill School Division: It now included added questions for group discussions on the effects of war on events that follow ("What if Germany had won World War II? In what [End Page 48] ways would the world be different today?") and at-home discussions on acts of courage by individuals and groups (inside back cover).

Mann and Stavrinos took it upon themselves to testify about the plight of Jewish immigrants who made the decision to risk their lives in an attempt to leave what would shortly become a death trap for them, only to encounter indifference, denial, or outright rejection. This witnessing effort meant, as I draw on Felman's supposition, "not merely to narrate but to commit oneself, and to commit the narrative, to others: to take responsibility . . . for history or for the truth of an occurrence, for something which, by definition, goes beyond the personal, in having general . . . validity and consequences" (204). The result of the Mann-Stavrinos collaboration is a book, now all but forgotten, whose message finds a sad echo in today's waning discussions on responses to the plight of immigrants from war-torn areas and to the daily loss of men, women, and children in the same Mediterranean where the passengers of the Tiger Hill and the Hilda found their last road to safety.

A Final Reflection: Why This Children's Book

Nodelman (2000) develops his discussion of adults reading children's literature in terms of a double pull between what they as readers know and don't know and their ability to discover, simultaneously, innocence and the knowledge that transcends innocence. The process is what is pleasurable, he suggests. While I would not describe my experience with Last Road to Safety as pleasurable, I do get the "process" argument: For me it is the process of assimilating the narratives, the visual one in particular, into what I know about the Tiger Hill, and reflecting on the path of knowledge transmission as it pertains to my reading experience. Hirsch's description of her autobiographical readings of works by second-generation writers and visual artists can serves as a reference point. In developing the concept of postmemory, a structure of inter- and trans-generational transmission of knowledge and experience that is the consequence of traumatic recall at a generational remove, Hirsch notes that postmemory's connection to the past is mediated by "imaginative investment, projection, and creation" ("Generation of Postmemory" 107) and suggests that postmemorial work "strives to reactivate and reembody more distant social/national and archival/cultural memorial structures by reinvesting them with resonant individual and familial forms of mediation and aesthetic expression" (112). Such work allows less-directly affected participants to engage in the generation of postmemory: Artists who are not themselves children of Holocaust survivors can speak from the position of affiliative postmemory and join a web of intragenerational transmission that extends beyond the literal second generation. Mann, neither a Holocaust survivor nor [End Page 49] second-generation to survivors, approached the Holocaust and the story of the Tiger Hill from an affiliative position, having interacted for many years and on a deep personal level with people who had experienced the war years like Ruth Klüger-Aliav, Gizelle Hersch, Dasha Rittenberg, and many others.26 But once you consider in this environment Stavrinos and, eventually, readers like me, the generational assumptions informing the concept of postmemory become somewhat less productive.

My mother was on the train from Warsaw, went through the harrowing journey of the Tiger Hill, and was one of the passengers who were whisked away from the water to the safety of a welcoming home of strangers. I read hamiflat ha'acharon, the Hebrew translation of The Last Escape, in the late 1970s, and the book came to mediate my knowledge of the Tiger Hill. At the time I paid no attention to the joint authorship nor to the fact that the book was originally published in English: I perceived it as the memoir of Ruth Klüger-Aliav, written in Hebrew with second-generation readers like me in mind. I became aware of Last Road to Safety only three years ago, in the course of my work on female authors who write about Jewish women engaged in clandestine activity during WWII—that is when I became familiar with Peggy Mann and her work. The emotional impact that this children's book has had on me, an adult reader in her sixties, is still somewhat of a puzzlement, and this paper is, in part, an attempt to tease out this puzzlement.

I have a vague recollection of the very little my mother had told us, her children, about the voyage. The archival photo of the beached Tiger Hill, with her passengers swimming to shore and the people of Tel Aviv standing ready to embrace them (fig. 13) is as close as I could get to a visual memory of the voyage. I also have a drawing made by my son, imbedded in a story about the Tiger Hill that he had authored in elementary school (fig. 14).27 In the story, which he titled "Escape to the Promised Land," my mother Zippora takes a leadership role and has a strong voice. This was certainly a personalization that he himself had envisioned, much like I as a child had imagined women partisans from the Warsaw ghetto as my aunts and talked about my grandfather as having heeded the call of the rabbi from Radzyn and joined the partisans in the forests, neither of which had any anchoring in the reality of their final days. In the drawing, my mother stands all alone on the boat, her body turned in one direction and her head in the opposite, a most profound statement about a torn spirit. But unlike Stavrinos' immigrants, in my son's drawing my mother is smiling, with many more teeth than any one person can have.

I know that I have absorbed the mostly unspoken trauma of the voyage and of the demise of the families left behind in Europe, and passed it on to my own children. As Hirsch suggests, I indeed have allowed Last Road to Safety [End Page 50]

Fig. 13. The Tiger Hill in Tel Aviv. <br/><br/>Published with permission of the Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem, Israel (original file PHG/1081810).
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Fig. 13.

The Tiger Hill in Tel Aviv.

Published with permission of the Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem, Israel (original file PHG/1081810).

Fig. 14. "Escape to the Promised Land" by Yuval Raizen.
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Fig. 14.

"Escape to the Promised Land" by Yuval Raizen.

[End Page 51] to augment my visual "archival" memory of the passengers with something close to familial—Stavrinos' illustrations of the immigrants onboard drove me to imagine, I believe for the first time, what it felt like on the Tiger Hill. And much like hamiflat ha'acharon has served as the primary mediator of my knowledge of the voyage, these illustrations have become the key to my visual memory.28 Generally speaking, my approach to the book's illustrations is mediated intellectually, even as I feel them and know what they mean. But the immigrant illustrations, by no means the most striking in the book, appeal to me on a deep emotional level—I have pored over them time and again, much more than was necessary for the current project, and allowed them to haunt me. I have a similar reaction to Ruth's illustrations, which, perhaps, speaks to the staying power of the first generation's affective voice, even when it passes through multiple filters. Indeed, from a pure generational perspective I can place Klüger-Aliav with my mother, and Stavrinos with me and my siblings. Mann, committed and persuasive enough to impress upon Stavrinos the depth of her affiliative experience, is somewhere in between. Taken together, their authorial presence for me is imaginative more than it is generational, and, in a sense, symbolic, as I see some meaning in the fact that both passed away in New York three weeks apart in late 1990, Mann at the age of sixty-five and Stavrinos at the age of forty-two. Evoking Zeitlin's notion of vicarious witnessing, I imagine them as having operated from the "same point of temporal contact" (16) in a terrain of traumatized memory on which they, much like me and my children, found a way to "record, recall, re-vision, and reenact" (5). I believe that their point of contact was locational as much as it was temporal. Their involvement in the generation of my memory was seeded in New York of the 1970s, at a time when my life path was as distant as possible from theirs, and it is my own immigration to the United States in the 1980s that drew me into their circle. Acknowledging this experience, I place my reading of Last Road to Safety within the framework suggested by Knittel, where the position of vicarious witnessing is not predicated on a generational structure of transmission but rather constitutes "an act of often creative (re)construction" (114) rooted in elective relationship, one that "does not seek to appropriate the experience or the trauma of another or to speak for the other but rather to create a space in which the silenced other may speak" (131). This space, originally envisioned as the fifth-grade classroom, has now become one of my temporal and locational points of contact with a family history that I endeavor to remember and pass on to my children. [End Page 52]

Esther Raizen

Esther Raizen is Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Student Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, and former Chair of UT's Department of Middle Eastern Studies. She holds an M.A. in Jewish History from Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from UT Austin. She works primarily in Hebrew language pedagogy and instructional technology, and writes about Hebrew and Jewish literature and culture.


1. Mann also authored Israel (1960), Israel in Pictures (1962), Golda: The Life of Israel's Prime Minister (1971), and "Gizelle, Save the Children" (1980). I am grateful to Betsy Houlton, Mann's daughter, for her encouragement and support of my work on this paper, and for relating so passionately to the mother-daughter angle of my larger project.

2. For a comprehensive review of Stavrinos' work, see Hamann 2013. I am grateful to Bradford Hamann for his insights on Stavrinos' work and for facilitating the contact with the Stavrinos family.

3. The project was later described in Mann's The Street of the Flower Boxes and a 1973 TV episode based on it.

4. Macmillan was one of the leading publishers in the market of basal reading series used in teaching reading skills, and Last Road to Safety was incorporated in Macmillan's Series r. A typical basal series, designed as a sequence based on grade levels, included anthologies and individual books for the learners; a teacher's edition; workbooks; and assessments materials. A "solo book" of the type that accompanied the core texts at each level of the series, Last Road to Safety was designed to provide fifth graders (level 26 of the series) with "an independent reading experience" (inside back cover).

5. Written by Albert Post, assistant director for Social Studies in the New York public school system.

6. For these and other curricular initiatives during the early years of Holocaust education in New York and elsewhere, see Fallace 2008 and 2011.

7. Early books like Claire Hutchet Bishop's Twenty and Ten (1952), Sonia Levitin's Journey to America (1970), and Judith Kerr's When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (1971) contain sporadic illustrations, but are not designed as picture books.

8. Under British rule (1917–48) and in response to Arab pressure, Jewish immigration to Palestine was limited at various points in time, based on what was termed the economic absorptive capacity of the land. The white paper published by the British in May of 1939 imposed an immigration quota of 75,000 for the following five years and declared further immigration contingent upon Arab consent, exacerbating the immigration crisis of Jews fleeing Europe during the prewar years. The urgency added to [End Page 53] the illegal-immigration endeavor (in Hebrew aliya bet) as a result is well reflected in the book. Ruth's last name, Aliav, is a derivative of the Hebrew term for this endeavor.

9. The Tiger Hill's landing date is variably recorded as September 1, 2, or 3 and also as "a day before" or "a day after" the Nazi invasion of Poland. The multiplicity of dates is probably influenced by different perceptions of the symbolic timing, by possible confusion associated with the concept of the "eve of the Sabbath" (the eve of September 2, 1939 was Friday, September 1), and, most likely, by the multiple landing attempts and various stages of evacuating the ship. Mann chose for her epilogue September 2, "a day after the Nazi invasion of Poland," probably following sefer toldot hahaganah (volume 3 p. 87), whose contributors were among the many people she had interviewed or relied upon for fact checking in the process of writing The Last Escape (see pp. 5–6 in the Hebrew edition and, with less detail, the acknowledgement section of the English edition).

10. It is also reasonable to assume that as a picture book published long before the interest in Holocaust picture books became widespread, the book did not generate much interest beyond its curricular environment. Unlike Last Road to Safety, The Secret Ship, considered a work of fiction for readers in their early teens, was listed or reviewed in some reference works and guides in the 1980s and 1990s, among them The Holocaust: An Annotated Bibliography and Resource Guide by Szonyi (1985); We Remember the Holocaust by Adler (1989); The Jewish Holocaust: An Annotated Guide to Books in English by Bloomberg (1991); and The Holocaust in Literature for Youth: A Guide and Resource Book by Sullivan (1999).

11. Developing the ability to identify historical facts in narratives is highlighted in various references to level 26 (fifth graders) in the Series r curriculum guide (Smith and Wardhaugh 1975).

12. These photos and others taken in spring 1943 by Nazi officer Franz Konrad and others during the liquidation of the ghetto, were included in a book of Holocaust photodocumentation published in 1960 by Gerhard Schoenberner, Der gelbe Stern; die Judenverfolgung in Europa 1933 bis 1945 (1960). The book was later published in English (1969) and had an enormous impact in exposing the public to the horrors of the Nazi extermination machine. The English version was most likely the way by which Stavrinos accessed the photos. These photos also appeared in the New York Times at various points during the early 1970s, and were thus broadly available and recognized by the public. Much has been written about the photo and the attempts to identify the boy at the center and discover his life story (see, for example, Porat 2010 and "Saving the Boy in the Warsaw Ghetto Photograph" in Kertzer 2002, 253 ff.). A likeness of the boy was incorporated in an illustration by Roberto Innocenti for Rose Blanche (1985), and, less explicitly, in Adler's Child of the Warsaw Ghetto (1995), again in color. See also Hirsch's discussion of Samuel Bak's Landscape of Jewish Experience (2012, illustration 5.5). To my knowledge, mine is the first discussion of Stavrinos' adaptation of the photo. I am grateful to Allen Quigley for his technical assistance with preparing Stavrinos' illustrations for this publication. [End Page 54]

13. Stavrinos' archive contains an illustration of two Nazi soldiers against the background of a swastika, standing behind a tearful girl. The illustration is marked "NY Times Travel (Nazi)" but its purpose is not clear—it does not fit Stavrinos' other work for the NY Times Travel nor the general nature of that supplement. I am grateful to Lydia Stavrinos for this information and the image (Lydia Stavrinos to Esther Raizen, 2.20.2014).

14. The girl has been identified as Hanka Lamet who perished in Majdanek, and the woman next to her as her mother Matylda Lamet Goldfinger who survived and immigrated to Israel. The boy carrying the sack in the back was identified as Leo Kartuzinsky, who perished in Auschwitz. The identity of the boy at the center has not been established beyond doubt.

15. The photographic origin of this picture is not known, but the numbered tag is highly reminiscent of photos from the Kindertransport, the 1939 evacuation of some 10,000 children from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland to Britain.

16. In a few Polish communities Jews were temporarily ordered to wear the Star of David as early as November 1939, but in Romania, and, generally, throughout the countries occupied by Germany, the decree to wear it came in 1941.

17. The headless bodies and the redhead motif are the only items specific to the story. Subsequent editions of the book, in the United States and elsewhere, all use front-cover illustrations based on similar symbols.

18. Hicinbothem, given a brief synopsis to read in preparation for the assignment, was asked to make the woman on the cover "look attractive enough while not making her too 'Vogueish'. The ship and the swastika were just key elements that needed to be included to round out the illustration" (Ron Hicinbothem, email to Esther Raizen, 11/4/13).

19. For "organizing shifters" see Ronald Barthes, 1981.

20. The Central Zionist Archive in Jerusalem holds a number of photos of Ruth, all of which are available online. Ruth's work is discussed in detail in Gali Levi Shtal's 2014 dissertation. The king's image is likely an adaptation of a photo of him and his son Mihai, included here (fig. 12).

21. The Last Escape was presented as "The true story of one young woman who defied incredible odds to rescue thousands of her people from the Nazi holocaust" (front cover). Similarly, The Secret Ship was introduced on the cover as "The true story of a beautiful young woman who rescued thousands of her people from the Nazi holocaust." Nancy Reagan's foreword to Mann's Marijuana Alert opened with "Marijuana Alert is a true story about a drug that is taking America captive" (ix). Mann described The Street of the Flower Boxes, as "the true story of an ugly, riot-ripped [End Page 55] New York slum street that had been transformed by the magic of flower boxes into a safe, pleasant neighborhood" ("The Miracle of Flower Power" 23)—many more of these can be found in Mann's work.

22. This is reminiscent of what Hans Peter Richter did in Friedrich (1961), where he offered "a truthfulness of the period rather than strictly the truthfulness of the specific events portrayed in the novel" (Kokkola 59).

23. The Last Escape, 205. The Straja Tarii was a paramilitary youth organization established by Carol II as a version of the Hitler Youth, with members' ages ranging between seven to twenty-one years of age.

24. In reference to child perpetrators, one should note here that Hans Peter Richter's books Friedrich (1962), I Was There (1962), and The Time of Young Soldiers (1967), which had at their core young perpetrators, came out already in the 1960s in Germany and were translated into English in the 1970s. But, as Bosmajian notes in Sparing the Child, the public was not ready at the time for an open conversation on the psyche of young perpetrators.

25. Mann wrote about Évian in Golda, The Last Escape, The Secret Ship, Ralph Bunche, UN Peacemaker (1975), and finally in "Gizelle, Save the Children." Her article "Prelude to Holocaust," originally published in the Washington Post Outlook (1978), was later made available as a reprint by the American Jewish Congress.

26. Rittenberg, whose character as a little girl appears in an episode of The Last Escape, was born in Poland and was deported to a concentration camp in 1942, when she was thirteen years old. A survivor, she immigrated to Palestine and from there to the United States, where Mann became her mentor and friend.

27. I am grateful to my son, Yuval Raizen, for allowing me to use the image in this paper.

28. I recently became aware of a set of photos posted by Rachel Ziv, whose parents were on the ship ( The central photo features seven immigrants and a cow that was part of the food plan for the boat. The immigrants are posing for the photo and seem relaxed and smiling. These photos, like many of the accounts of the Tiger Hill voyage that I have encountered, are part of my knowledge but have had no impact on me beyond the knowledge that they exist.

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