Book Reviews

So many books (you know the rest)

In the Sewers of Lvov
by Robert Marshall
Published in 1990 (I finished it on March 24, 2017)

Somehow, I had read about the movie “In Darkness” and was intrigued by the premise. I tried to find it on Netflix or Prime for some time but eventually had to order the DVD from a media website. The movie is great. One thing was annoying when I researched it online. Apparently, Roger Ebert had critiqued it and said it was just another “Schindler’s List” or something to that effect, like we’ve seen one and now we’ve seen them all? Sorry, but it’s not like these stories are like one and done. Each one has a new historical insight to enlighten us with. I’m not sure we can just say, “Ah, all the holocaust stories can stop now that there’s a really good one out there.” Luckily, people have access to large review websites and the days of people being too easily swayed by the fallacies of “At the Movies” are in the past.

But the movie is gripping and moving. I had no idea such things took place (using the sewers under an occupied city to hide Jews). I was curious as to getting more of the story and finding out how much of the movie was accurate, so I researched online and found this novel.

It mainly follows a group of Jewish people who escape into the sewers to flee execution in Poland. It’s a large group at first, but a smaller splinter group of about 15 people is separated into a different cavity by a sewer worker who they paid for help. The large group succumbs from starvation due to not having assistance but the smaller group has the man (Socha) and a couple of his friends coming each day to bring food and supplies.

It’s a very good read and hard to put down at times. The stories in the movie are mostly accurate, which was nice to see. Some of them are amazing to learn. (One woman is terribly concerned about the fate of her sister, so another man—who happens to be quite fond of her—goes above ground, sneaks INTO a work camp, asks around, and then sneaks out and returns back with the news that the sister is still alive.) They did add a few extra elements (needlessly, which is strange) but the core of it is well done. Thus, I recommend seeing the movie AND reading the novel.

Once again though, one is reminded of the atrocities, brutality, and vile murder that people are shockingly capable of. All one can do is shake his head and say, “Never again.”