The Book of Blam by Aleksandar Tisma

Decent Essays
The Book of Blam

Aleksandar Tisma’s The Book of Blam highlights a brutal time in history in former Yugoslavia. This book is set in the city of Novi Sad and the majority of the book is focused on the raid that takes place when the Hungarians take over the defeated city, and collect Jewish members of the community in for execution. The main character in this novel is Miroslav Blam, and he recounts the images of brutality his fellow Jewish members of the community faced. The brutal and oppressive Hungarians are guilty for the forced deportation and execution of the Jewish Novi Sad community members, however the feeling of guilt is also placed on Blam as a result of the Bystander effect. Tisma also depicts the theme of judging throughout the novel, specifically through his portrayal of what Jewish characters are chosen to be deported. This novel portrays guilt in two distinct ways; guilt by oppressive action and guilt by watching oppressive action. By illustrating the Hungarians brutal and unjust treatment of the Jewish members in the Novi Sad community, Tisma clearly shows that the Hungarians are the primarily guilty for the injustice in Novi Sad. Tisma illustrates the atrocity of this historical period by describing what happened in a sampling of houses and neighborhoods. One explicit piece of evidence for the atrocity performed by the Hungarians is when a patrol of Hungarians comes to the home of Blam’s parents and takes them outside and shoots them with machine guns
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