Books: Household Under Siege

THE MERMAID* AND THE MESSERSCHMITT —Rulka Longer—Roy ($2.75).

Mrs. Rulka Langer is a Vassar-educated Pole who, with her two children and her mother, lived in a six-room apartment in Warsaw during its three-week siege. Her book about those weeks is far from being literature, but it has its moments as a human document.

She learned that under the tension of an air raid some people become indecently ravenous, others, like herself, irrationally sleepy. She saw a woman's panic soothed by the mere act of counting her pay. She learned how, five minutes after planes have...

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