Spolek pro ochranu zvířat
[Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals]
hardcover, 200 pp., 1. edition
published: november 2018
recommended price: 290 czk
In the terrifying reality of the Terezín fortress, children were living and coming of age in the shadow of death, which was often only a very short while away. However, children, including those coming of age, have their own world, with which the adult reality interferes abstrusely and with difficulties, and whose course eludes the boring laws of physical time. Employing his own memories, J. R. Pick managed to paint a vivid image of eager, spontaneous joy of the little that those prematurely coming of age in the camp had left to enjoy, but paradoxically to also capture the absurdly comical relation that Jews have to the reality of the dark genocide. This unique book may be the only humorous depiction of life in a concentration camp.
Jáchym Topol, the author of the epilogue, claims allegiance to dark humor of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. As a child he witnessed dissident meetings in his parents’ apartment, which were also attended by J. R. Pick. The atmosphere of the long-gone Protectorate times is also remembered by Zuzana Justman Picková, Pick’s younger sister, pointing out that it took him twenty years to return to the suffering in the concentration camp and to transform it into this "little” book of special significance.