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review 2018-01-31 00:58
The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris

This was such a great book for me. I loved the characters especially and sped right through it.

I loved that, for the most part, the gas chambers, crematoriums and the other human atrocities were scenery. Not to say that it wasn't prevalent, but it wasn't the gist of the story.

The story was about a man who did everything he could to save himself and still be able to live with himself. And, also what he could do for the people around him. He was responsible for saving many lives by sneaking in food, hiding people, etc., whatever it took.

Such a great, great book! I loved it!!! A really strong feel good read, despite the atrocities, that had me speeding right through this one.

Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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text 2018-01-24 19:16
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites
THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe, translation by Lilit Thwaites
 
I wanted to love this book. It is the true story of a 13 year old girl, imprisoned at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, who protects the few books that have been smuggled into the camp.
 
The infamous Doctor Mengle and other well-known Nazis and Resistance workers play supporting roles in what should have been a fascinating and terrifying look at man’s inhumanity to man. Instead it is almost boring.
The writing is flat, perhaps a problem with the translation. The characters have no life to them and so the reader is not engaged. Well researched, with a postscript and “what happened to them” appendix that gives the reader the results of the bravery of the resistance workers and prisoners and the cruelty of the Nazis, the book could be a source for history buffs and casual readers.
However, as it intended for young adults, the book simply cannot be recommended because of the uninteresting writing.
 
2 of 5 stars

 

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text 2018-01-24 15:00
It could have been so fascinating
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites

THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio Iturbe, translation by Lilit Thwaites I wanted to love this book. It is the true story of a 13 year old girl, imprisoned at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, who protects the few books that have been smuggled into the camp. The infamous Doctor Mengle and other well-known Nazis and Resistance workers play supporting roles in what should have been a fascinating and terrifying look at man’s inhumanity to man. Instead it is almost boring. The writing is flat, perhaps a problem with the translation. The characters have no life to them and so the reader is not engaged. Well researched, with a postscript and “what happened to them” appendix that gives the reader the results of the bravery of the resistance workers and prisoners and the cruelty of the Nazis, the book could be a source for history buffs and casual readers. However, as it intended for young adults, the book simply cannot be recommended because of the uninteresting writing. 2 of 5 stars

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review 2017-11-16 00:20
The Librarian of Auschwitz
The Librarian of Auschwitz - Antonio G. Iturbe,Lilit Zekulin Thwaites
 

 

“It’s the war, Edith……. it’s the war”. Every time I saw this comment in the novel I had to smile, for it showed me the attitude that some of the individuals acquired as they dealt with the circumstances they were dealing with.

This novel is about the prisoners that were held in the Family Camp, Block 31, a section of Auschwitz that allowed children and parents to be held together during WWII. The rules stated that the children would be entertained while their parents worked. School was forbidden but the children would be entertained with games and other activities. It was a unique situation, a first, and some individuals could not understand why it was happening. Fred Hirsch was in charge of the school, he knew the expectations but Hirsch had his own agenda. Hirsch created an invisible school, invisible to the people outside the walls of their contained area. He gave these children hope, strength and courage within their gated world. I loved how creative Hirsch was and how he encouraged others, he encouraged individuals to succeed. While death surrounded them, these children were able to be children, they were able to learn and have fun.

 

Hirsch has inquired a small library for this school, a handful of forbidden books. This library needs a librarian to make sure they are protected and safeguarded and Hirsch encourages Dita to accept this position. Dita is hesitant to accept this responsibility but Hirsch knew what he was doing when he asked her because she thrives in this position.


The world outside their contained area is full of change and uncertainty. The crematorium burns daily, prisoners are coming and going, romance still tries to kindle, and their future is uncertain but for now, the children feel safe. This was an excellent novel, because of its subject matter it is a difficult novel to read but it is an important novel that needs to be read and appreciated.

 

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review 2017-11-11 11:07
When all that's left is hope
The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris

A beautifully written harrowing story of one man's will to survive in Auschwitz concentration camp during the 2WW. Lale Sokolov is transported from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942; an educated man fluent in many languages who also happens to be a Jew. His proud bearing and individuality immediately sets him apart from his fellow detainees and when he is offered the privileged job as tatowierer "the tattooist" he readily accepts. His job is quite simply to "mark" his fellow prisoners as and when they arrive, stamping them with a 5 digit number that will forever remind them (that is those who survive) of the hell of Auschwitz. He uses his position to help and befriend where possible fellow inmates and early on in his arrival meets and falls instantly in love with a young woman called Gita.

 

The centre of this remarkable story is the relationship of Lale and Gita and how they managed to sustain their love whilst all around death and slaughter is the order of the day, and it seemed only a matter of time before they met the same fate. We witness firsthand the cruelty of man and the barbaric acts carried out on the weak by those who saw themselves as true followers of the Fuhrer adhering to his orders by cleansing society of undesirables. The reality was that they themselves were no better than murderers and robbers. Yet Lale's account is much more than this; it is a story of hope and endurance and a beauty that emerges when all around is painted in black. As a reader you cannot help but be affected by this account the simplicity of the story telling only adds to the poignancy of the moment the sense of dread, the unexpected and the wait for the knock when death comes calling.

 

Many thanks to the good people at netgalley for sending me a gratis copy in return for an honest review and that is what I have written.

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