Imatge de l'autor

Esther Hautzig (1930–2009)

Autor/a de The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia

32 obres 2,736 Membres 43 Ressenyes 1 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Esther Hautzig was born on October 18, 1930. During World War II, her family was exiled from Poland to Siberia, where they worked in labor camps. In 1947, she traveled via ocean liner to New York on a student visa. While aboard the ocean liner, she met the Vienna-born pianist Walter Hautzig, who mostra'n més was returning from a concert tour. They married in 1950. She enrolled in Hunter College, but never finished because a professor there told her that her accent would disqualify her from becoming a teacher. She took a job as a secretary at the publisher G. P. Putnam's Sons and later was promoted to children's books. During her lifetime she wrote numerous books including Let's Cook without Cooking (1955), Let's Make Presents (1962), A Gift for Mama (1987), Remember Who You Are: Stories About Being Jewish (1990), Riches (1992) and A Picture of Grandmother (2002). The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia (1968) won the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award. She also translated stories by the Yiddish writer I. L. Peretz. She died of congestive heart failure and complications of Alzheimer's disease on November 1, 2009 at the age of 79. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys

Obres de Esther Hautzig

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia (1968) 2,057 exemplars, 31 ressenyes
A Gift for Mama (1981) 274 exemplars, 3 ressenyes
Remember Who You Are (1990) 86 exemplars
Riches (1992) 68 exemplars, 3 ressenyes
Seven Good Years and Other Stories of I.L. Peretz (1984) 52 exemplars, 2 ressenyes
In the Park: An Excursion in Four Languages (1968) 38 exemplars, 1 ressenya
The Case Against the Wind, and Other Stories (1890) 37 exemplars, 1 ressenya
A Picture of Grandmother (2002) 37 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Holiday Treats (1983) 8 exemplars
Christmas Goodies (1989) 5 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom oficial
Hautzig, Esther Rudomin
Altres noms
Rudomin, Esther
Data de naixement
Data de defunció
Lloc de naixement
Vilna, Poland
Lloc de defunció
Causa de la mort
congestive heart failure
complications from Alzheimer's disease
Llocs de residència
Vilna, Poland
Rubtsovsk, Siberia, USSR
Lodz, Poland
Stockholm, Sweden
New York, New York, USA
Hunter College
children's book author
Hautzig, Deborah (daughter)
Hautzig, David (son)
G. P. Putnam's Sons
Premis i honors
Jane Addams Book Award 1970
Lewis Carroll Shelf Award 1971
Biografia breu
Esther Rudomin wa born in Vilna, then part of Poland, to a Jewish family. In World War II, her father was drafted into the Russian Army, while Esther, her mother, and her grandparents were deported by the Soviets to Siberian forced labor camps. They spent five grueling years there and her grandfather died. After the war, Esther emigrated to the USA, settling in New York. After attending high school and college, she became a secretary in a publishing company and began promoting and writing books for children. In 1950, she married Walter Hautzig, a Viennese-born pianist whom she had met on the ship coming to America. Encouraged by Adlai Stevenson, Esther Hautzig started writing books on her childhood and on survival during the Holocaust, based on her own and her family's ordeal, that became classics of young people’s literature. She also translated stories by the Yiddish writer I.L. Peretz.



"And I think that someplace inside of me there was something else -- some little pleasurable pride that the little rich girl of Vilna had endured poverty just as well as anyone else."

The Endless Steppe is a true story, a memoir about young Esther Hautzig and her immediate family living in exile on the steppes of Siberia during WWII. During the war, life was comfy and privileged in Poland until Esther and her family were arrested by the Soviet government, accused of being "capitalists," -- what a crime! It took two months by crowded cattle car to arrive in Siberia, where they were assigned to hard labor camps and had little access to food or clothing to sustain themselves through winter.
However, thanks to the intervention of Britain, Esther's family was released from their initial assignments and permitted to live in a village where they shared a home with other poor villagers. Esther's parents found menial work in order to survive, and Esther was allowed to go to school.

For the next five years, Esther grew up assimilating to the Russian language, the culture, and Soviet nationalism. She made friends and even had a crush. Life was typical for this young teenager; all she desired was to be liked by others and to make friendships. Absolute poverty and near starvation could not suppress her coming-of-age experience. Even a lack of school books and supplies did not prevent her from studying, learning, and excelling.

When Esther's father was ordered to the front lines of Russia, Esther, her mother, and grandmother had to be extra resourceful to find food. Esther did her part and learned how to sew to make clothes for others in exchange for milk and potatoes. She also collected food that fell from passing trains, which she did apprehensively because she believed it was theft.

At the end of the war, Esther's father returned to Poland, and he wrote to his wife to come home. Esther protested because she felt connected to the steppe -- she had fallen in love with it.

"I had come to love the steppe, the huge space, and the solitude. Living in the crowded little huts, the steepe had become the place where a person could think her thoughts, sort out her feelings, and do her dreaming."

But obviously, she must return to Poland. Unfortunately, someone else was living in their home now, and all of their belongings were gone, including the photo albums that Esther had wanted to take when they were arrested. It was a "crushing blow," Esther remembers, that nothing of their past remained.

"And then came the most terrible news of all. It came from survivors of the concentration camps,...all the members of my father's family -- not one of them had survived the German massacre of the Jews. Of my mother's family...My mother's brother, sister, her mother, her aunts and uncles, my beloved cousins, all were dead."

Here they discovered that their own deportation to Siberia had saved their lives. "Hunger, cold, and misery were nothing; life had been granted" to them. They thanked God.

* * *

I am thankful to have found this little gem because it is a history I knew nothing about. Esther was just a sweet girl full of love for family with an encouraging and joyful spirit. Under such hardship, she rose to the occasion, demonstrating resourcefulness, perseverance, and courage.

It was only after an American presidential candidate had encouraged Esther to write about her personal experiences that she did so. She wrote this autobiographical story as if she were that young girl reliving her days in Siberia again, though over twenty years had passed. Now, gratefully, we have her story forever.
… (més)
GRLopez | Hi ha 30 ressenyes més | Mar 22, 2024 |
I read this many years ago as a young girl and loved it. An interesting and little known/part of history. Very good for young readers to expand their view of the world.
Luziadovalongo | Hi ha 30 ressenyes més | Jul 14, 2022 |



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