on 10 September 2004
Having gone through the entire English education system up until 1995 with no mention of WWII, never mind the holocaust, I purchased this book partly out of historical curiosity, and also to maybe educate myself on what no one has ever told me.
Before I start, I must state I write this review totally neutrally. I am not Jewish or German, or even particularly religious. I write it as someone who browsed through these many pages, and finally forced myself to read a book for a change, I do infact rarely read nowadays.
Everyone my age (30 somethng)knows about the contents of this book, but oddly, the events seem so huge almost to the point of being impossile, that they seem strangely insignificant to us all nowadays. So we continue to not spend even 1 minute per year remembering the fate of these poor individuals. We are brought up to ignore it.
Having read this book, I will now remember...
How easy these 161 pages have touched me, is testimony not just to the authors skill, not just to the immense bravery/honour of the inmates of this camp, but mostly to the appaling, horrific, beasts that called themselves the NAZI party.
The tales of this author can also be witnessed almost in a mirror image by reading another superb book (also deeply moving) on this website, called 'Eyewitness Auschwitz'. That book is more detailed in the horrors commited here and heavier going, but written by a male inmate, whilst in contrast, this is written almost gently, serenly, (if one can describe mass genocide that way) as it is written by a woman.
This book has now made me an avid reader of such historical matters, and maybe now I can even understand a little more why the current situation in Israel is as bad as it is. Israel rules with an iron fist and is condemmed world wide for its behaviour.
This cannot be excused. But it can be understood better, if one sees why these people behave now how they do, because only 60yrs ago, their entire race, and therefore individual indentity was nearly wiped out forever, and by the most peverse sick imaginable ways possible. They are by nature paranoid of being exterminated again, hence the total over reaction in fire power to the Palestinian troubles. Sadly 'Jews' are then branded world wide as Israeli politicians. So the prejudice continues.....
What makes this book so readable, is it IS so readable.
Relatively short, in large text, and more astonishgly, written almost with impartiality. This is because the evidence is here for all to see. The author doesn't need to scream or shout, or curse her old oppressors. History cannot be ignored, she knows that. Her collection of memories flow like a sorrowful river gently making its way into you. Teaching you, this is raw education.
If you've never heard of Auschwitz, or are simply curious, buy this book now, and be prepared to be absorbed into a mind numbing hypnotic state of appaling crimes that will play on your mind forever.
This book described to me an unreal world, akin to a highly violent computer game, (headless corpses, burning bodies, executions and torture) except this was real, and over 6 million people paid the ultimate price for a lunatic with a twisted vision of ultimate supremacy.
on 21 May 2004
This book gave the insight into how individuals lived, died and the depravity bestowed upon them by their captors. The power,the authority and fear driven by the survival for life from the prisoners and their fate that could change with the wind is strongly shown in these true tales of non-humanitarian means from the nazis.
An horrific insight into the nazi killing machine within the death camps and an shallow look at the angel of deaths mentality.
on 23 June 1999
I've read this book several times now, and it's the first one I quote when someone shows an interest in learning about the real stories the survivors have to share. In particular, how love and life thrived in a hellish land run by cowards who could do no less than make life as hellish for others as they could. The writer of this book, a former nurse, was in a unique position, able to actually affect lives in a positive way and see the results of the final choices some of the people made. Like the dancer who refused to give in and shot the officer, or the little boy who survived by hiding and reading poetry during the day while his mother worked. This book should be mandatory reading in all american schools, it would be the most logical choice in teaching our children how hate destroys, and how ignorance leads to disaster. I give this book more than five stars, I give it six million plus. Thanks!
on 15 June 1998
I found this book to be one of the best that I have ever read on this topic. It tells the brutal truth, in detail, of several illegal, inhumane, and hatefull acts commited by the Nazi's during the Holocaust. I find this book particularly interesting because of the viewpoint from which it comes. The story is told by a young Jewish girl in her teens and how all of the madness appears through her eyes. It is fascinating. Never could any of us who have not been through this horror imagine the extent of its total brutality and hate. Ihave witnessed a number of people who absolutly refuse to read about these incredible peoples survival stories, simply because they can not handle the grousome detaails of this shocking truth. I find these people to be ignorrent(did I spell that right?-hee-hee). I, for one am very interested in knowing the truth about these bastards and the crimes they commited against these helpless, innocent people. I see it as not only informative but also as a wake-up call. Sara Nomberg-Przuytyk is simply trying to make the world aware of what is possible if the power is put into the hands of the wrong individuals. I feel this book has helped my to realize how naive we as humans can be, by nature, and has prompted me to be more inqusitive when an unusual situation arises. Her book was passionate, moving and inspirational.