THE CAGE by Ruth Minsky Sender
Kirkus Star


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A vivid memoir of a woman who lost her youth and family to the Nazis, told in the first person and present tense. With hurtling immediacy, Sender takes us from herself as a mother trying to explain to her child why she has no grandparents to her own childhood in Lodz. When the Nazis come, old friends turn away, others are torn away, as the Jews are rounded up. She loses a brother to illness, her mother to the roundups; other siblings escape to Russia. She becomes the fierce guardian of her younger brothers. The harsh life in the ghetto is portrayed unsparingly, as are transports to Auschwitz and, later, a labor camp, where she finally loses her brothers. Maintaining her humanity, creating a family out of fellow prisoners, she survives, believing ""as long as there is life there is hope."" This is painful to read, but not depressing. Sender writes clearly and well, even portraying an occasional irony--e.g., when she is taken to a hospital by an SS officer who is furious when she is denied treatment because she is Jewish. What shines through is Sender's courage and strength and that of her family and friends--their love and determination to stay together. Punctuated by her own poetry, Sender tells a story that will be long remembered.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Macmillan