Omer Bartov

Mar 10, 2023

The Butterfly and the Axe

Amsterdam Publishers 2023

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Spring 1944. A Jewish family is murdered in a remote Ukrainian village. Who were they? Who were the killers?

Three generations later, an Israeli woman and a British man of Ukrainian origins set out to find out how their families were implicated in this crime. They also discover how this untold murder has warped their own lives.

Narrated by an unnamed historian, and based on fragments of memories, testimonies, diaries, letters and confessions, The Butterfly and the Axe (Amsterdam Publishers, 2023) seeks to fill a gap in the historical record of the Holocaust by reimagining those who were murdered and erased from memory, and to shed light on the transgenerational effects of trauma.

Omer Bartov was born in Israel and teaches history in the United States. His mother emigrated from Galicia to Palestine before World War II. Most of the rest of his family were murdered under unknown circumstances in the Holocaust.

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Ari Barbalat holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of California in Los Angeles. He lives in Toronto with his family.

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