SIX million Jews.
How can anyone really contemplate, let alone visualize, such a staggering number? Especially when it’s a number of murdered people?
Can the sheer enormity of the Holocaust ever be truly felt?
Probably not, most would agree. The human mind is capable of processing only so much information; is strong enough to sustain only so much existential grief.
But thanks to a “book” that recently came off the press — and which will soon be available and discussed in Denver — these things can be done at least symbolically.
To call And Every Single One Was Someone a “book” is correct only in a technical sense. While it is made of paper and bound in a handsome cover depicting a tallis, the text of this unprecedented tome contains only one word, repeated in 40 columns on 120 lines on each of 1,250 pages.
That word is “Jew.”
And it is repeated, from the first page of this book to the last, six million times.
ONE doesn’t read And Every Single One Was Someone so much as feel it or, more accurately, experience it.
It is a large book, and heavy, although its type is very small and its pages are thin.
There is no narrative, no plot, no texts or subtexts.
But it would not be correct to say that there is no theme or no characters.
The theme is genocide and the characters — six million of them — are its victims.
Many of those who have their first glimpse of the seemingly infinite repeated words do a double take. They ask, is this some kind of joke? Is it some sort of anti-Semitism, to repeat the word “Jew” so baldly, so many times?