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on 24 June 2017
Harrowing and yet hopeful account.
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on 5 March 2017
Read this after seeing the film
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on 13 September 2014
excellent read. sad story but the endurance of the human spirit is shown here.
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on 13 August 2014
the story of a family of jews surviving the german invasion in Poland by hiding in the sewer system ........its as if you are down there with them......brilliant and memorable my favourite book so far.
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on 13 July 2010
A gripping yet extremely harrowing true life story both heartbreaking and uplifting about Krystyna Chiger's life in hiding from the Nazis and Ukrainian anti-Semites, during the Holocaust. Chiger talks of her experiences before the war, of the Soviet occupation and oppression of her family in Lvov, and how the family lost their possessions at this time, followed by the even more diabolical rule of the Nazis. Chiger was 4 years old when Poland was divided between the Nazis and Soviets and 6 when the Nazis seized her home town of Lvov. From then on the Jews of Lvov were hounded and massacred. The author relates witnessing the mass murders of Jews by Ukrainian mobs and the sadistic reign of terror of the evil Jew-killer SS Obersturmfuhrer Joseph Gryzmek, the Nazi cruelty and Krystina witnessing her grandmother and little four year cousin Inka being brutally forced onto the Nazi trucks to take them to their deaths. She relates how her father Ignacy Chiger demonstrated a genius for survival and outwitted Gryzmek. The family narrowly escaped the Nazi roundup of the Jews of Lvov, and after the 150 000 Jews of Lvov were killed or transported Krystina and her family together with a handful of other Jews escaped into the fetid sewers where they lived in the hellish conditions of darkness and very little space, together with the stink, disease, worms and rats.
The family and other Jewish were helped to survive by a Polish Catholic sewer inspector and former thief Leopold Socha, without whom they would certainly have perished.
Chiger relates how she and her four year old brother Pawel managed to survive 14 months in this unimaginable existence in a harrowing and fascinating real life story of death, suffering and ultimately survival. One of the best Holocaust childhood memoirs you will read.
The author explains how it is a testament to all the children who lost their lives in the Holocaust and to her own lost childhood.
she also relates the family's resettlement in Israel after the war where there were so many holocaust survivors whose experiences remained unspoken.
amazingly descriptive, poignant and penetrating.
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on 21 April 2012
An amazing story, utterly gripping. Unbelievable to think what the Chiger family went through, they ( and the people that helped them) are truly heroes. Inspiring.
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on 7 October 2013
It is hard to imagine a more moving, vivid and well written account of Holocaust survival. The struggles above ground in a Polish ghetto merely set the scene for what follows, in the sewers, where a daily battle for survival is graphically conveyed. Amidst the dirt, the dark, the rats and the water, the personalities of the characters (both hiders and helpers) are beautifully conveyed. For all it's depressing realism, this is a hugely uplifting book. It deserves a wide audience.
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on 7 March 2014
A very interesting book well written such a brave family they deserved to survive after
living in such squalor among rats hope they lived a peaceful life after.
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on 7 May 2016
A profoundly moving book. It is so important that as many people as possible read and understand the horrors of this period so that we never again repeat it. It makes me so sad to think that these atrocities occurred less than 100 years ago in Europe when we were supposed to be so civilised. The Jews have suffered so much - it breaks my heart. This story is SO inspiring. It actually made me happy to read it because it reminded me how very very fortunate I am. I am so blessed and must never take my life for granted.
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on 30 March 2014
It was a very good read.sad but not without heart.would recommend it as a good read especially if interested in wwii
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