And God Saw That It Was Bad
A Story from the Terezin Ghetto

By Otto Weiss
November 2010
Yad Vashem Jerusalem
Distributed by

ISBN: 9789653083462
78 pages
, Illustrated
$36.00 Hardcover

This novella written by Ottow Weiss (1898-1944,) a Czech Jew, is a unique literary work and historical testimony.

And God Saw That Is Was Bad was composed by the author in Terezin 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 realtive reamining in the ghetto, who hid it in the Magdeburg barracks.

And God Saw That Is Was Bad relates the experience of God, who comes down to Terezin incognito, in human form as Aaron Gottesmann, in order to examine the situation personally, on site. God finds His encounter with the reality of this ghetto most disturbing, and through Him the author exposes the truth of life in Terezin as he saw it. The author's struggle with God and with his fellow human beings, as well as with the conditions in Terezin, reach out to the reader in this story, as does him eminent humanity in even thinking about a birthday present for his wife in such circumstances. The result is a rare, unique literary document from the Holocaust.

Weiss's wife and daughter survived the Holocaust. Helga Weissova-Hoskova, who illustrated the book, has written the Foreward, and Ruth Bondy has added an Afterword that opens a window toward deeper understanding of the author and his work.


International Institute for Holocaust Research

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