Thirty-five publishers turned down "In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy From the Women of Terezin" (Jason Aronson; $25), a new "cookbook" that has enraged critics.
The book, translated into English by Bianca Steiner Brown, is a collection of 70 recipes written by inmates of the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Many of the recipes are incomplete; many don't work at all. They were scribbled on scraps of paper by prisoners, and sewn together into a book by hand, in an attempt to hold on to some shred of purposeful sanity. The book "is testimony to the women's yearning to return to what life was like for them before imprisonment," Brown told New York magazine.Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, has called the publication "sick." He told the Jerusalem Post, "It's beyond me why anyone would publish a cookbook of imaginary recipes. Is this going to compete with imaginary cookbooks from Auschwitz or Treblinka? I'm sure the imaginary recipes there were much more descriptive, as the conditions were far worse."
Mark Weitzman of the Wiesenthal Center Task Force Against Hate doesn't see it that way. He told the magazine that he thought the book "contributed to gaining a perspective on women who were involved in the triumph of normalcy over Nazi dehumanization."
- Leah Garchik