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Baker, Mark Raphael 1959-

Baker, Mark Raphael 1959-

PERSONAL:

Born 1959; married; children: three. Education: Oxford University, doctoral degree.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Office—Department of History, University of Melbourne, John Medley Bldg., Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Historian, educator, and writer. University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, lecturer in modern Jewish history. Also president of Shira Hadasha, Melbourne.

WRITINGS:

(Editor) History on the Edge: Essays in Memory of John Foster (1944-1994), University of Melbourne, History Department (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1997.

The Fiftieth Gate: A Journey through Memory (biography), Flamingo (New York, NY), 1997.

SIDELIGHTS:

An expert in modern Jewish history, Mark Raphael Baker is also the author of The Fiftieth Gate: A Journey through Memory. The book is a biographical look at his Jewish parents' journey to Australia, which began in Poland and led them to Germany and Jerusalem before they finally came to their new home. The story covers fifty years and documents his parents' survival of the Holocaust, including his father's internment at Auschwitz and how his mother and parents successfully hid from the Germans in the forest and in small towns. Noting that the book is "written in an abstract manner including poems, lyrics, official documents, and old tales with a general narrative," Bree Weizeneegger, writing in An End to Ignorance, also noted that Baker's parents' "stories are different in terms of the horror they both had to endure, yet there is no mistaking that both were left with powerful memories which the author began to unlock when he journeyed into their pasts." In an article in Text, Robin Freeman wrote: "The Fiftieth Gate is a book reflective of its time. Baker desires to testify, motivated to bring his story to a wider audience not only by Elie Wiesel's ‘imperative’ of testimony … but by his need to make sense of the effects of his family's experience upon him and his children."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Baker, Mark Raphael, The Fiftieth Gate: A Journey through Memory, Flamingo (New York, NY), 1997.

PERIODICALS

An End to Ignorance (Cold Spring Harbor, NY), May, 1998, Bree Weizeneegger, review of The Fiftieth Gate.

Text (Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs), October, 2005, Robin Freeman, "The Fiftieth Gate: An Australian Case Study in Twentieth-Century ‘Popular’ Publishing."

ONLINE

Limmud Oz,http://www.limmudoz.com.au/ (September 20, 2006), brief profile of author.

HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harpercollins.com. au/ (September 20, 2006), brief profile of author.

OzLit,http://home.vicnet.net.au/~ozlit/ (September 20, 2006), outline of The Fiftieth Gate.

University of Melbourne, Department of History Web site,http://www.history.unimelb.edu.au/ (September 20, 2006), faculty profile of author.

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