At fourteen, Frances Fabri, a Hungarian Jew, and her entire family were interred in a Nazi concentration camp. Though nearly all of her family perished in the Holocaust, Fabri and her mother survived and returned to Hungary at the end of the war. Fabri later immigrated to the United States and settled in Northern California. She was among the first American Holocaust survivors to recognize the importance of collecting the oral histories of survivors, and of ensuring that no one ever forgets the atrocities committed in Europe in the mid-Twentieth century.
Each tightly woven story explores Fabri's own experience from the perspective of a range of characters: the Hungarian peasant who dresses in her Sunday black damask and carries a Bible as she witnesses the removal of the village doctor; the commandant-only a soldier, after all-who numbs himself before choosing which of the internees lives and dies; the young woman who is proud of her role as a foreman in the labor camp; another who sacrifices her life to save an insane man, the only one who realizes that she has been chosen to die.
Written in an elusively beautiful style characterized by prose both laconic and graceful, Crickets Would Sing manages to capture the reader's heart and imagination in a way that first-person memoirs cannot. One of the most powerful and significant books about the Holocaust to be published this century, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the internal struggle of those who faced this chilling ordeal and survived.