Saturday, July 5, 2008

The i tetralogy by Mathias B. Freese

Title: The i Tetralogy
Author: Mathias B. Freese
ISBN: 1587364042
Publisher: Hats Off Books
Pages: 365

The i Tetralogy is not an easy book. Reading it was painful. But after you start it, you can't stop. It is that compelling. It is about the Holocaust. Mathis B. Freese offered to me as I had liked this collection of short stories. I am glad I read it.

This has four parts. Part 1 told by a Jew who remains nameless. Part 2 by a Nazi guard, Gunthur. Part 3 is again told by Gunthur after he has escapd to US. Part 4 by his son, who discovers his father's Nazi past, after his death.

Looking at it from the point of view of the Jew, they were treated worse than vermins. They had no self-respect, and did whatever the Nazis told them to do. Maybe the degradation was necessary for survival. No one knew which one of them was going to die, and why. Being a Jew was enough qualification for dying. Resigned to their fate seems like the right word here. Still we see glimpses of hope. And the strong will to protect the nearest and dearest ones.

For a Nazi officer, Jew were less than animals. To touch them or to look at them was ever so painful. Killing them was a good pasttime. Jews translated into evil for the SS. Gunthur enumerates the various way they killed a Jew.

After escaping to US, Gunthur has a family but can't get over his past. He still keeps in touch with one of his Nazi friends. He still detests Jews but can't let it be known. When Gunthur's family discovers his Nazi past, they are devastated. His son tries to understand his father. He wants reeemption for his father's evil deeds.

The i Tetralogy is not just another book on the Holocaust. We cannot have enough books on the subject. It about us human beings. We are capable of going either way given the right or wrong circumstances. We can be wholly degraded or we can be wholly inhuman on treating another human being. Maybe that's what needs to be analysed. One good reason to read the book. It is a must read for each one of us. It being a painful book on a very painful topic, is no reason not to read it. Life is not about bed of roses. It is about knowing the Holocaust too.