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Born in the Ghetto: My Triumph Over Adversity Paperback – 14 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gainsborough House Press (14 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909719013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909719019
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.9 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 588,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Ariela's life, despite all its bewildering zigzags, the tragic setbacks, the injustices and cruelty along the way, is, for some reason that is hard to explain, extremely gripping. --Kama Ginkas

To put it simply, Ariela was a striking personality, a good friend - a person who had opted for the right path in an unremitting struggle against a congenital disease, but a struggle in which she triumphed. --Alexander and Lilia Mitta

When she was asked to do something, Ariela would put her heart and soul into it. When anyone requested something of her they would find her frail hands already stretched out in a responsive gesture towards them - a gesture which seemed to say that she was ready to give of herself, to help. --Sergei Nikolaevich --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Ariela Abramovich Sef was born in October 1941 in the Kaunas Ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania and her survival was nothing short of a miracle. After the liberation she grew up in the Soviet Union. At the beginning of the 1960s, Ariela set off to study Foreign Languages in Moscow University, and then migrated to Paris and continued her studies at the Sorbonne. She moved between Paris, London and Moscow, involved in many creative projects. Her book Rozdennaya v Getto [Born in the Ghetto] was published in Russian in Moscow in 2009. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The beauty of this book is in the directness and simplicity of the story telling combined with a truly extraordinary tale. Ariela Abramovich Sef's life is one of which it is almost impossible to conceive how someone could not only survive, but triumph over adversities that would crush most of us. Not only did she survive almost certain death (98% of Lithuanian Jews perished during the war) but she conquered a congenital hear disease which her consultants believed would give her a life expectancy of only 20 years. She confounded them all by surviving until she was nearly seventy. But it isn't just the facts of her life that are extraordinary, but her lust for her life and its variety. She really did live her life to the full. She writes about herself with humour and humility, and the episodes of her life spring from the page with immediacy and verve. At the end of the book are reminiscences of Ariela by her friends and family, and the love, respect and admiration shown to a woman of great intelligence, honesty and loyalty are a perfect complement to her autobiography. It has been well translated and is an excellent read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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By Jazzlover on 26 May 2014
Format: Hardcover
What strikes you from page one in this book is the humanity of the writer. And such a quality is sadly in short supply in our days. Perhaps the mere fact that Ariella was born in one of the most hellish places on Earth in the 20-th Century, the Kaunas Ghetto, served as a genetic booster in her later life. For those who surrounded her cradle with barbed wire she wasn't supposed to be born, let alone live. But she was a born survivor and she knew with the first breath she took that life is a precious gift which all people must share with others less fortunate than them. It gave her the ability not to judge people but study them in search of humanity, whether in the Soviet Union, France and other countries. Every person you come across in Ariella's memoirs is not just a book character, they are witnesses to a courageous life of a remarkable Jewish girl from Lithuania, who truly deserved her Hebrew name Ariella, i.e. Lioness. When you will finish reading this book you will realize that you too were touched by her humanity.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In her moving narrative Ariela Abramovich Sef traverses a harrowing, often brutal landscape dotted with people of all ages who touched her life, many displaying enormous courage and self-sacrifice. One is Ariela's father, an ear, nose and throat surgeon who lost most of his family in World War Two and through whose untiring efforts arranged the transport of vulnerable orphaned Jewish children after the Soviet takeover of Lithuania out to safety in the West, passing through the family's home whilst en route. Her memoires from child to adult are a journey, written in a calm but captivating style, that throws up vignettes of individual dramas, some lasting only a few sentences but which leave the reader either sad or inspired - sometimes both. This is a fascinating story of a wise, caring determined woman whose life encapsulated a troubled time - but whose message is one of hope and compassion.
Sten Stovall, journalist and editor
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Format: Paperback
A wonderful and deeply moving account of the life of a supremely generous and extraordinarily determined woman, who experienced the horrors of life in Nazi Europe (smuggled out of the Ghetto in a potato sac, taken in by a fisherman's family), growing up in the Soviet Union and finally fleeing to Europe, being reunited with her parents only after the war.
She spent her adult life moving between Paris, Moscow and London and despite, or perhaps because of a serious congenital disability of the heart, lived life to the full. She studied languages at Moscow University and the Sorbonne and was involved in many creative projects that provide gripping reading.
Ariela survived injustices and cruelty and horrific political repression by totalitarian regimes and then thrived on the freedoms the West offers.
This account of courage, survival, hope, love and even happiness can be an inspiration to us all.
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Format: Paperback
This is quite a gripping book that reads like a novel and is a great testimony, of not just survival, but how life can be enjoyed fully despite adversities, adversities of health, and of living under the two most cruel regimes of the last century, those of Hitler and Stalin. Great characters characters appear in the book, painters, architects, opera singers as well as cats and dogs that have personalities which are so well described by Ariela . At at the same time her fond recollections of her frequent interactions with members of her beloved family repeat themselves over many chapters One also gets a very good glimpse of life in cities like Paris and Moscow during this important time in history. Ariela was lucky to have lived such a life given how it started
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Format: Hardcover
A truly heartfelt story, packed with emotion and a great testament to her loving family.

One feels a remarkable sense of achievement, expressed not only through the trails and tribulations of her personal journey but also in keeping with the ancestral history of the Jewish people.

Praise must be given to all the care and attention that goes into the making of this book, an accumulation of several years hard work by Ariella's two brothers, Solomon and Ben.

A must read!
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