Otto Weiss, Edited by Art Braunstein
(2009) ISBN: 965-308-335-6, Cat. No. 729
64 pp., soft cover, 16X23 cm
This novella written by Otto Weiss (1898-1944), a Czech Jew, is a unique literary work and historical testimony. The novella was composed in Terezín as a surprise birthday present for his wife, Irena, and was produced with the conspiratorial artistic assistance of his young daughter Helga. Before his deportation to Auschwitz in October 1944, Otto Weiss gave the novella to a relative remaining in the ghetto, who hid it in the Magdeburg barracks. And God Saw That It Was Bad relates the experiences of God, who comes down to Terezín incognito, in human form, as Aaaron Gottesmann, in order to examine the situation personally. God finds his encounter with the reality of this ghetto most disturbing, and through him the author exposes the truth of life in Terezín. The result is a rare, unique literary document from the Holocaust.
Weiss was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau in October 1944. His wife and daughter survived and retrieved the book. Foreword and original illustrations are by the author’s daughter, artist, Helga Weissova-Hoškova; Afterword and explanatory notes by historian Ruth Bondy.