In the spring of 1942 Hannelore received a letter from Mama at her school in Berlin, Germany—Papa had been arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Six weeks later he was sent home; ashes in an urn.
Soon another letter arrived. "The Gestapo has notified your brothers and me that we are to be deported to the East—whatever that means." Hannelore knew: labor camps, starvation, beatings...How could Mama and her two younger brothers bear that? She made a decision: She would go home and be deported with her family. Despite the horrors she faced in eight labor and concentration camps, Hannelore met and fell in love with a Polish POW named Dick Hillman.
Oskar Schindler was their one hope to survive. Schindler had a plan to take eleven hundred Jews to the safety of his new factory in Czechoslovakia. Incredibly both she and Dick were added to his list. But survival was not that simple. Weeks later Hannelore found herself, alone, outside the gates of Auschwitz, pushed toward the smoking crematoria.
I enjoyed this book. It felt like a short read and moved very quickly. I am always drawn to books about WWII. The holocaust is so absolutely horrific that I continue to be amazed every time I read about it.
Hannalore was very brave in going back to be sent to a concentration camp with her family. Brave but maybe fool hearted? I don't know. Maybe her going back was the best way for her soul to survive. In The Book Thief the family takes in a Jew named Max. He did not stay with his family. Max had a friend in the German army who helped him escape but only him. Max is haunted about leaving his family. So maybe saving one's self is not worth it in the long run. Hannalore gives the reader something to think about.
While Hannahlore is at school she receives word that her family is to be sent to a concentration camp, she decides to return home to be deported with them.
Information about the authorLaura Hillman (nee Hannelore Wolff) was born in 1923 in Aurich, Germany, near the North Sea. She was the third of five children born to Karoline and Martin Wolff. Five years after Hitler came to power, Laura was separated from her town and family. The events Laura witnessed in the camps kept her from writing for many years, but she finally set out to write her memoir, facing for the first time the circumstances that led to her survival.Laura now lives in Los Alamitos, California, and devotes her time between talking in high schools and colleges about her experiences and being a docent at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
historical fiction. memoir.
*If you knew your family was going to be sent to a concentration camp would you go with them or go into hiding?
age 13 and up
Memoir's are a wonderful addition to every library collection. Teens can learn about courage and the ability to overcome challenges by reading about other teen's lives.