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Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors' Stories of the Pets Who Gave Them Comfort, Suffered Alongside Them and Waited for Their Return Paperback – 1 Sep 2011
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Top customer reviews
This book is a collection of first person narratives in which survivors of the Holocaust talk about their beloved pets and what happened to them. The stories are often heartbreaking, and no two are alike. Some are so poignant that they caused tears to well up in my eyes, because these people, who fates hung in the balance, so loved their pets. Even now, many years later, their pain over being forced to leave their beloved pets is palpable, and the love that they had for these animals, who had a connection to a life before the Holocaust, leaps across the pages at the reader, making for a profoundly moving reading experience.
One thing that annoyed me is when the book talks about France and England going to war with Germany. How about France and BRITAIN?! Despite that, it was a very good read, difficult to put down.
An interesting point is made about the survivors' fear of German Shepherds, since they were the guard dog of choice. I can remember when I would visit my grandmother with my German shepherd, she would always tell me not to walk in the Jewish section with my pet, since it could bring back bad memories. These memories and stories tell of the loss of these pets when the victims were taken to the camps. There are a few words before each to give a short history lesson and then the stories, both of which at times create a little bit of confusion with old memories and storylines.
I would have preferred the contributors' background be included before their story, it just adds to any understanding. They are in alphabetical order in the back if the book instead.
Some stories are shocking, some so sad, others hold you in wonderment that a woman seems to be more worried about the fate of her dog than her husband, but then she admits, she thinks he turned her in. We also learn the little known fact that children were used as blood donors for soldiers - drained of blood until most died. This indeed is an addition to the horrors of war, but more than that - the unforgettable love than a pet can bring.
I was asked to review this book and given a copy for review by the publisher. The opinion and details written here, are mine alone and were not dictated or ordered. If I didn't like the book I would say so.
We all know of the atrocities that the Jewish people suffered during the second world war, but I personally did not think of pets they would have to abandon or the treatment they recieved because of their devotion to their owners.
The individual stories were heart breaking, and it is obvious that many of the people are still affected to this day and the guilt that some of them suffered.
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