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Inherit the Truth 1939-1945: The Documented Experiences of a Survivor of Auschwitz and Belsen Paperback – 15 Apr 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Giles de la Mare Publishers; 1st edition (15 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900357011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900357012
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Walter Laqueur, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, in Holocaust and Genocide Studies: 'It is my job...to read most of the current literature on the Holocaust, and if someone had the time and inclination to read only one book published recently, I would...choose without hesitation a small book [Inherit the Truth] which appeared last month in England...it is precisely as a historian that I recommend this account...' Sir Martin Gilbert in his Preface: 'Like so much in this book, the story of liberation brings a chill to the spine and the realization of the miracle of survival. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch has given an account which, in its personal immediacy, conveys many elements of the almost unconveyable.' Peter Lennon in the Guardian: 'There are the baleful routines of war, which we persuade ourselves we can just about cope with mentally, and then the obscene recesses of war featuring particularly perverse human behaviour which baffles us almost more than it appals. The Ladies' Orchestra, formed of Auschwitz inmates, set up by the Nazis to provide stirring music daily at the extermination camp, is one of those aberrations. When you meet someone who played in that orchestra, greedy curiosity prompts you to ask: "What was it like?" Then you panic in case they might actually be able to convey the experience to you. If anyone could, it would be Anita Lasker-Wallfisch...' In December 2002, the German Ambassador, Thomas Matussek, presented Anita Lasker-Wallfisch with the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, and said this in his address, referring to her plea for understanding and tolerance between Britain and Germany, especially among young people: 'You overcame this natural hatred, this natural bitterness. In an extraordinary achievement, you have devoted your life to turning the most terrifying and traumatic personal experience into a universal message. It is a timeless appeal, to which we must listen and remind ourselves of over and over again.' Classical Music: '...a harrowing account of how a sixteen-year-old had survived enormous atrocities...due largely to her ability to play the cello.' Independent on Sunday: 'There was never any doubt about the alternative to playing in the orchestra. "I was once asked on Newsnight, 'How did you know that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz?' " She gestures to a building ten yards away. "They weren't exactly hidden. We saw the people going in and coming out as smoke"..."[The book] started with watching a TV documentary in 1985. My son said to me: 'Actually, you've never told us anything.' I decide to write down something strictly for my children." This narrative was shared with a wider audience when she was persuaded to give a series of radio talks and in turn led to her book.' Michael Kennedy in Sunday Telegraph: 'Books about the Holocaust have a numbing effect. How can anyone who was not there begin to comprehend the unspeakable horror of it all?...What is almost unbelievable is the resilience of the human spirit as exemplified by those who experienced Auschwitz and other camps. Two recent books, one by a victim, the other by a survivor [Anita Lasker-Wallfisch], add valuably to the documentation of a ghastly period in history.' Raphael Wallfisch, interviewed in the Sunday Times: 'The first time I noticed the number, 69388, on my mother's arm, I asked, as any young child would, what it was for. Her answer was that she had once been in prison, but she never invited any further comment...The history came out in bits and pieces...I knew that she played the cello in the Auschwitz orchestra, but never the fine details, until she wrote the book.'

About the Author

Anita Lasker-Wallfisch was brought up in Breslau, in Silesia, the daughter of a distinguished lawyer, Alfons Lasker, whose brother Edward became an American chess champion. At the age of thirteen she studied the cello with Leo Rostal in Berlin, until the 1938 Kristallnacht forced her to return home. After surviving the war, she managed to emigrate to England in 1946; and in 1949 she became a founder member of the English Chamber Orchestra, with which she still plays. She married Peter Wallfisch, the pianist, and has two children, Maya and Rafael, who is also a celebrated cellist.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This short book about life in first Auschwitz, and then Belsen for a teenage Jew is both moving and engrossing. The author gives a first hand account of the horrors of the holocaust experienced by herself and her sister.
The writing is simple and undramatised. She simply wants to tell it as it was. She readily admits there are many events she has simply blocked out for fear that remembering might be too much for her. The story is told without horrific descriptions of the expeience. It is an honest and heartbreaking account.
The tale is told partlly through letters Anita wrote to her sister who had been lucky enough to be deported to England before war broke out. These letters reflect the desperate situation facing all Jews in the early 1940's who were vainly trying to escape the clutches of the concentration camps.
This book is certainly an inspirational read. It is a tale of both tragedy and the strength of the human spirit to survive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inherit the Truth tells the story of one young intelligent cultured Jewish girl and her journey during World War 2 into an extermination camp and her survival. The contrast between her and her fellow musicians and their brutish ignorant guards is stark. This book is at times both heartbreaking and uplifting and well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
This honest, yet somehow upbeat book should be compulsory reading for all school children studying the holocaust. Anita describes the horrendous experiences of many Jews, while being aware that she was luckier than many because she survived. Her courage in dealing with the loss of her family and friends shines through the book. If you want to hear about the reality of the Nazi regime, this book is highly recommended.
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I had heard the story of Anita on the radio and I was intrigued enough to seek, and read, the book for myself. I wasn't disappointed. It was a different story from previous ones about the Holocast ... with an insight to how some did survive.
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This book is the perfect accompaniment to the brilliant show "The Pianist of Willesdon Lane" which is about the Kindertransport. It's an inspiring read for anyone interested in history, or music, or the indomitable human spirit, especially if you've heard of cello virtuoso Raphael Wallfisch, as he is the son of the author.
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By M. Tate on 23 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A truly remarkable read, something that will without doubt stay with you for the rest of your life. Very heartfelt, very real. Very very scary.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very frank non emotional description of the horrors of the Second World War from the perspective of an young Jewish girl who just happened to live in Germany at that time and fortitude of so many.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I found the book informative ( One could hardly say enjoyable!)I did not rate it at 5 stars because it was a "Hard Read" & seemed disjointed at times
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