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The War In A Scrapbook

February 2024
1min read

Code Name: The Long Sobbing
The Allies, the Axis, and the Victims: An Anthology From D-Day to V-E Day

by Arnold Schwartzman, Simon Wiesenthal Center, 160 pages, $29.95 . CODE: WEI-1

Among the pile of new commemorative World War II picture books, this one may do the best job of hitting all the emotional notes at once. With a filmmaker’s eye, Schwartzman, an Englishman turned American, beautifully mixes the evocative knickknacks of the home front—blackout posters, gas-mask instructions on cigarette cards—with uglier reminders of Hitler’s war. A German board game called Jews Out! instructs children to roll dice to be the first to kick six Jewish businesses outside the city walls; a British board game, A.R.P., educates children about air raids, with players hopping from “Fitting Gas Masks” to “Decontamination.” On one page a band of French World War I veterans plays for liberation day; on another chalk graffiti in Berlin list the forwarding addresses of the few survivors of a bombed-out block: “We are all alive.” Even Schwartzman’s D-day material seems fresh, including stainedglass panels commemorating paratroopers and a picture of Canadian soldiers wading ashore carrying their bicycles. This inspired scrapbook accompanies a new film by Mr. Schwartzman; both were prepared with the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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