The Journal of Jacob Gens: The story behind the most impossible job ever attempted

The Journal of Jacob Gens

Formatted for eBook and print

Author: Mike Abrams
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This is a piece of historical fiction based on real life happenings and characters. Set in Vilnius the capital of Lithuania , during the second world war, it tells the story of Jacob Gens, a thirty-eight year old secular Jew and accountant who is offered the job of Chief of Police in the Vilnius ghetto. Up to that time, because of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, Lithuania has suffered firstly both a Russian invasion and latterly a Nazi invasion and Gens has kept his head down in order to secure his own survival and the survival of his non-Jewish wife and teenage daughter. Essentially he feels he has abdicated his responsibilities by remaining on the sidelines of what has been happening during these times to the thousands of Jews who are imprisoned within the ghetto. Spurred on by this feeling, and much to the opposition of his wife he decides to accept the job of police chief and dedicate his life from then on to being pro-active and to to bring about the survival of most of the ghetto inmates. He rapidly finds, once he has taken on the job that not only does he face his wife's opposition but that of the Jewish administration in the ghetto, the left wing Jewish resistance and not to mention the Nazis themselves. In fact the one fact that confronts him is that he has taken an impossible job. Eventually he displaces the ghetto administration and becomes the Chief of the ghetto himself. His pro-active intentions for the ghetto inmates' survivability increase rather than decrease at this point. What happens to him, his family and the ghetto population forms the rest of the story of the Journal of Jacob Gens.