In the Sewers of Lvov

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9780002153973: In the Sewers of Lvov

The author has compiled this harrowing story of the survival in 1943 of some Jews in the sewers of their city from the hitherto private diaries of the survivors. In the Polish city of Lvov, a small band of Jews escaped into the network of tunnels in which they were to survive for 14 months with the city's waste, darkness, rats, damp and despair. Many died; some of cyanide in a mass suicide, some falling into the water and some of exhaustion. A baby was born and murdered by its mother. The group quarrelled, split into factions, and threatened each other at gun point. When they emerged, filthy, bent double, emaciated and unrecognizable, they opened their eyes and the world appeared blood red.

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About the Author:

Robert Marshall divided his career between writing books and plays, and producing arts and history programming initially for the BBC and, later, live recordings of great theatre productions for cinema release with credits over the 100 mark.

His writing career began with a series of radio plays, and a Play for Today 'Before Water Lilies' for the BBC in the 1970s. During the 1980s and 90s he scripted and directed over thirty programmes for the BBC, from documentaries to dramas including All the King's Men (1988) which was optioned by Stanley Kubrick, In the Sewers of Lvov (1990) which was made into the feature film In Darkness, and Storm From the East (BBC 1994) which was top of the Times non-fiction best-selling list for over two months. He became Executive Producer for The Globe on Screen, at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A stirring tale of survival against overwhelming odds, based on oral and written testimony and recounted with novelistic intensity by documentary filmmaker Marshall. Recording unforgettable characters and startling scenes, Marshall explains how a small group of Jews managed to escape the liquidation of the Lvov ghetto by hiding within the city's elaborate sewer system. Living for over a year amid rats, filth, and the constant pounding of rushing water, the ten survivors--from an initial 21--find an unlikely savior in a seemingly ordinary Polish sewer worker made extraordinary by his devotion to the dangerous task he embraces as his ``mission.'' Also a worthy counterpart to his varied flock--including a beautiful, pregnant widow, an energetic Hasid, and two young children--is a daring former black-marketeer who actually smuggles himself into the local forced-labor camp in an attempt to rescue the sister of the woman he loves. Relying on straightforward accumulation of day-to-day detail (crawling through 16-inch pipes to get water; picking off each day's lice; coping with dysentery and spoiled food), heightened by chilling vignettes (the camp commandant having children ``thrown into the air while he took aim and shot at them from the veranda''; mothers wordlessly jumping off roofs after their children are taken away), the narrative renders its nightmare world in brilliantly sensory and emotional terms. Unrelenting and powerful: a notable addition to the crowded field of Holocaust studies. (Eight page photo insert--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Marshall, Robert
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (1990)
ISBN 10: 0002153971 ISBN 13: 9780002153973
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Robert Marshall
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (1990)
ISBN 10: 0002153971 ISBN 13: 9780002153973
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