Auschwitz (Concentration camp)|, autobiography, biography, Birkenau (Concentration camp)|, German prisons and prisoners, Jewish Holocaust, Magda Hellinger Blau 1916-2006, Michalovce (Slovakia)|, Slovak personal narratives, World War 1939-1945
Having heard this author on NPR describing an excerpt from the book where her mother slapped a prisoner and yanked her off a wagon – what was criticized as harsh – but , there and then, actually saved that prisoner’s life as well as hundreds of other prisoners’ lives. I was intrigued to discover how she herself managed to survive having been one of the first Jews to be sent to Auschwitz.
“For too long, the stories of people like Magda, who were forced to make unthinkable choices, have remained untold. Unsentimental and filled with detail of her courageous dealings with notorious Nazis this is an important book that provides a rare insight into everyday life in the hellish structure of concentration camps. This thought-provoking book is a must-read for anyone interested in the Holocaust.” —Ariana Neumann, New York Times bestselling author of When Time Stopped
“[A] compelling and seamless portrait of a young woman who managed to survive and save others through cunning bravery and compassionate leadership… an extraordinary portrait of one woman who fought for others in the midst of unimaginable horror.” —BookPage (starred review)
“Hellinger has written an important perspective of the Holocaust, of a kind that we rarely see. A standout memoir that will draw the interest of readers of World War II history and women’s memoirs or biographies.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Magda’s own words, completed by her daughter’s copious research, create an unputdownable account of resilience and the power of compassion.” —Booklist