The Triumph of the Real
Daniel Mendelsohn's peculiar argument about the Holocaust and fiction.
Malcia Reinharz, one of the surviving Bolechower Jews, tells that she survived one of the roundups by hiding in the German officers' recreation hall. There, she says, "I counted every shot. ... Nine hundred shots I counted." "And you knew what was happening?" another man asks. Malcia gestures with a finger to her temple: "We imagined." How else can we remember the remaining 5,999,994?
Ruth Franklin, a senior editor at the New Republic, is the author of A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction.