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by Elaine Landau

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-531-15229-4

 Sixteen men and women describe their Holocaust experiences and tell how they survived. All were in their teens at the time and now live in the US. Interviewer Landau presents their accounts as simple narratives of events, skillfully arranged to bring out the similarities and contrasts and to enable readers to endure the accumulating horror: beginning with Germany itself, from which some Jews managed to escape before the war, she moves to Poland, site of the most vicious and inescapable persecution, then finally to Holland and the lucky few who were successfully hidden, and finally to the experience of a Transylvanian who was sent from one death camp to another, including Auschwitz, in the war's last days. The experiences are many: prewar persecution, forced labor, special treatment for special skills (including diamond cutters), encounters with betrayal and with Righteous Gentiles, visas denied and citizenship purchased in El Salvador (not at war with Germany), passing as Gentile to work in the underground. Though told without dramatizing, each story has enough material for a novel--each survivor had a unique combination of stamina, courage, persistence, and rare luck, and has apparently been able to set grief aside in order to go on to a productive life. Valuable source material, rich with telling detail. Excellent b&w portrait photos, past and present; glossary; list of 43 Holocaust organizations; books and articles for further reading; index. (Nonfiction. 13+)