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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic Holocaust testimony
This book contains the true story of a girl and her family as they struggle to survive the Holocaust in Poland. Hidden in a bunker underneath the floorboards of a neighbouring house, the book describes how Clara, her family and friends exist in a tiny cell literally dug from the earth.

The main body of the book follows the period where the group are living...
Published on 9 July 2009 by J. Cooper

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clara's War Review
Takes a while to get in to this Book. Once you get into the actual part
when the Family's are living in the Bunker, only then, can you truly appreciate what these people
endured. As typing this, have just the last few chapters to finish, but this is quite an extraordinary
read. Made me wonder how I would have coped under such horrendous conditions...
Published on 20 July 2010 by L. Hughes


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic Holocaust testimony, 9 July 2009
By 
J. Cooper (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Clara's War (Paperback)
This book contains the true story of a girl and her family as they struggle to survive the Holocaust in Poland. Hidden in a bunker underneath the floorboards of a neighbouring house, the book describes how Clara, her family and friends exist in a tiny cell literally dug from the earth.

The main body of the book follows the period where the group are living within the bunker. There is a short section at the beginning and at the end which describes life for Clara both before and after the war.

Words cannot describe the feelings and emotions these people must have experienced whilst spending so much time beneath the ground depending on the volatile `Beck' and his wife. The presence of diehard Nazis living mere centimetres above their heads must have added a hundred times to the agony and trauma the families lived through.

As one would expect of a Holocaust testimony it is heart rendering and beyond belief. If you usually read such testimonies and experiences from first hand witnesses from the Holocaust period, then this book definitely needs to be in your library.

If you buy this book be prepared for an emotional read.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heart wrenching account of one girls second world war struggle, 4 April 2008
This review is from: Clara's War (Hardcover)
I started this book on the bus on the way to work and nearly missed my stop as I was so engrossed! Having said that I was so touched and taken aback by what I was reading that I had to put it down for a few hours to have a bit of an emotional rest!! I finished it last night and I really think that's its incredible. Its so beautifully written, in particular I loved the description, this part - "Their lives had been reduced to what could be held in their suitcases. Their faces were blank. They dared not look at the uniformed soldiers with the death's head on their collars who seemed to be everywhere." really stood out to me. The depth of description gives the book such a richness.

It feels like a rollercoaster when you're reading, you really feel like you're living with them in that hell hole of a bunker and celebrating their good fortunes and literally holding your breath when the SS are above them. I started the book preparing to hate Beck but I think that he's almost the most humanised character in the whole book.

This is a really fantastic book and I can not recommend it highly enough, its going to be an important read for my generation to keep the horrors of the war in our consciousness.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Perspective, 4 Jun 2009
By 
Ursula K. Raphael "AstraDaemon of The Zombiep... (USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Clara's War (Paperback)
I've read a lot of books about the Holocaust, but this is the first one I've read that is not centered on a concentration camp. In this case, a young girl, her family, and others from their town are trying to survive in a hidden bunker.

I can't believe that they lived like that for nearly two years, but -- thankfully -- they did survive. This is not like The Diary of Anne Frank...we learn a lot about the family that lives in the house above the bunker, and how they were just as fearful in the end because of the Russians, even though they had saved 18 Jews.

Also, the story doesn't end with the day the family comes out of hiding; the book includes how the following generations of the families were affected. Clara's story was so intense that I actually had nightmares about being in the bunker, while I was reading this book.

Another interesting story of survival is Those Who Save Us.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clara's War, 22 May 2009
By 
Kirsty Jones - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Clara's War (Paperback)
An incredibly moving and powerful account of one girl's fight for survival in Poland. The fact that 3 families ended up hiding in such a small space is both incredible and terrifying. A very personal account of the human will to live and a real testatment to the human spirit and resolve. I couldn't put it down except a for a few time when I had to wipe my tears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes harrowing, it is a story to be remembered, 2 Aug 2014
By 
Andy_atGC (London UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Clara's War (Paperback)
The story told within this book is not completely unique and there were many similar to be told within occupied Europe during the years of WW2.

The Kramers had spent the first half of the War in relative freedom although subject to some restrictions, but in 1942 the Germans had reached the more remote areas with the intention of gathering Jews, gypsies and various others. It was at that point, with the Germans showing a strong presence in their village, that they chose to enter their bunker. The name of the person who became their self-appointed protector would have surprised other neighbours, had they known.

The Kramer family were hiding in a hand-dug underground bunker and the Becks lived above them in a house in the small town of Zolkiew and were joined by two other families, 18 all told. Few could find much to admire about Mr Beck; a womanising drunkard and a self-confessed anti-Semite who would later have an affair with Clara's cousin and his own sister-in-law were traits that would endear him to very few, but for all his faults his protection of all three families was extremely effective. SS men billeted in the house and their constant drinking sessions did not faze him. A house fire and the ever-present SS could have put all at risk, the Becks included, but they survived. Their existence in the hidden bunker was never suspected or discovered and the Kramers remained safe until the Germans vacated Poland.

Clara told her story for the first time years after the events and when in late middle-age. This book is that story and it deserves to be read and known. Written mostly in the first person, and often in a childlike fashion, there are portions of the story that are disturbing and emotional for the reader. This is not a book that you will read for entertainment, but its story is one that should be read and remembered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clara's War Review, 20 July 2010
By 
L. Hughes "Uze" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Clara's War (Paperback)
Takes a while to get in to this Book. Once you get into the actual part
when the Family's are living in the Bunker, only then, can you truly appreciate what these people
endured. As typing this, have just the last few chapters to finish, but this is quite an extraordinary
read. Made me wonder how I would have coped under such horrendous conditions.
Worth buying, if WW11 stories interest you, away from the actual battles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A few know how to do the right thing even at the threat of death!, 18 Nov 2010
This review is from: Clara's War (Paperback)
"You could think that a person who looks in to the eyes of death as many times as we do would get used to it. But it's the opposite with us. The more we are in danger of dying, the more we are frightened. One wants to live no matter what and no matter how. Every day we look death in the eyes and every day has its own history. If at least we had a verdict, a time, how long we will suffer. We are sitting here and we don't even know if it's for nothing."
This comment written by Clara, 9th May 1944, describes the whole book really. Every moment, day and night, for 18 months, she and the other 17 people hiding from the nazis in Galicia, Poland, fear discovery and death. The fear comes off the pages in the book, the heat in summer, the dirt, the claustrophobia and the constant need for being quiet and keeping still so noone can hear that they are there. For 18 months Clara and her parents, neighbours and friends hid in a dug out bunker under a house. They were kept alive by a Volkdeutscher couple and their daughter, that owed these people nothing, that risked their own lives every day as well. The "German" father drank and sometimes were indiscreet in his drunkeness, he carried on a love affair with one of the hidden ones as well as his sister-in-law which brought on marital strife, he socialised with Ukrainian police, nazis and his daughter had a nazi pilot for boyfriend. Things could not have been more dangerous. But they all survived through a miracle and to read the story is very emotional.It's not only the story of Clara and how only 50 Jews in the town of Solkiew, out of 5000, survived the war, persecution and murder. It's also the story of how an ordinary couple dared to stand up for what was right even though it could have lead to a sure death. How they put aside their own needs to save the 18 living under their floor boards. It's truly an amazing story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars gripping book, 25 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Clara's War (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down - what a story it is! Would recommend to anyone who liked Anne Frank Diary - although this is completely different. All these people hid and I cannot imagine how they lived under the floorboards for over 18 months. Book arrived quickly and in good condition. Very pleased.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A war story with a difference, 1 April 2014
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This review is from: Clara's War (Kindle Edition)
A heart stopping and very moving book. The courage of both those in hiding and their protectors was beautifully expressed through Clara's diary narration. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Claras war, 23 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Clara's War (Paperback)
I have not yet finished reading this book yet, however it is still enjoyable read, it's always surprises me what people suffered and how they coped.
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Clara's War by Clara Kramer
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