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All But My Life: A Memoir (1957)
de Gerda Weissmann Klein
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All but My Life is the basis for the HBO Academy Award� winning best documentary short, One Survivor Remembers. This is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz, Poland, to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops--including the man who was to become her husband--in Volary, Czechoslovakia, Gerda takes us on a terrifying journey ...
My Review: Terrifying and exhaltant. Klein's journey in her own words is captivating and exemplifies what the human body can endure.
All But My Life is about a fifteen year old girl, named Gerda Weissman, who lives in Poland. In 1939, the Nazis invade Poland, but it isn't a big deal, so the family keeps it from her father. They carry on as usual, but in October, Gerda's brother Aurthur is transported with other men to camps. She never saw him again. Eventually, Gerda and her parents are forced to move into a Ghetto. There, she meets a man named Abek, who loves her but she only sees him as a friend. A few months later, she is brought to a camp in Sosnowitz, where she is separated from her mother. Isle, her friend, and Gerda are sent to Merzdof, which was a horrible working camp. Gerda was punished by having to work flax detail day and night. Isle gets them transported to Landeshut, which was a much better camp. At Landeshut, Abek's family is willing to help her only if she agrees to marry Abek after the war. Gerda did not agree to that. There actually was a men's camp nearby, and Gerda got to see Abek. However, that was the last time she ever saw him. Then she was transported to Grunberg. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't nice either. In January of 1945, Germany is invaded and the girls are forced to go on a death march. For almost 5 months, the girls are marching on a cold, snowy miserable journey. During the march, Isle dies and is buried by a tree.There were time where the girls slept in barns. Most girls went to sleep and got up the next day. Some did not. A few girls tried to escape, but they were captured and killed. At the end of the march, the girls are left in an abandoned building. American soldiers arrive and take care of the few women left. Suse also died. Gerda and a few other women are taken to the hospital. At the hospital, Gerda talks to the soldier that she talked to the day that they were freed. She learns his name is Kurt Klein. Over time, she falls in love with him and marries him before he goes back to America.
I thought this book was wonderful. I love these types of books. They are always so interesting and detailed. A lot happened in this book and it was a lot to take in, but it was such a good read and I finished it pretty quick. It pains me to know that Gerda and millions of other people had to go through that, and not many survived. I love that you get all 3 parts in this book. You get a little of her life before the war, during the war, and some of her life after. I recommend to people who are interested in the Holocaust and want to get a 1st person point of view.
Such beautiful writing about such a horrible time.
Grade 9 reading book, that I realized I had already read. The story of a young girl in Poland who lives thru the occupation and defeat by the Nazis. First we see had conditions worsened for Jews, then she is sent to labour camps, and finally the 3 month long Death March. A good intro to the Holocaust as it is not as grim as many memoirs (night etc). She is a brave and strong girl who reminds me of Anne Frank. Glad the kids have to read this!
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All But My Life is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz (present-day Bielsko) in Poland to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops--including the man who was to become her husband--in Volary, Czechoslovakia, in 1945, Gerda takes the reader on a terrifying journey. Gerda's serene and idyllic childhood is shattered when Nazis march into Poland on September 3, 1939. Although the Weissmanns were permitted to live for a while in the basement of their home, they were eventually separated and sent to German labor camps. Over the next few years Gerda experienced the slow, inexorable stripping away of "all but her life." By the end of the war she had lost her parents, brother, home, possessions, and community; even the dear friends she made in the labor camps,with whom she had shared so many hardships, were dead. Despite her horrifying experiences, Klein conveys great strength of spirit and faith in humanity. In the darkness of the camps, Gerda and her young friends manage to create a community of friendship and love. Although stripped of the essence of life, they were able to survive the barbarity of their captors. Gerda's beautifully written story gives an invaluable message to everyone. It introduces them to last century's terrible history of devastation and prejudice, yet offers them hope that theeffects of hatred can be overcome.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)940.5318092 — History and Geography Europe Europe 1918- World War II Social, political, economic history; Holocaust Holocaust History, geographic treatment, biography Holocaust victims biographies and autobiographies
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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A side note: this book made me start thinking about the time period leading up to the war. I think I've read enough about the years 1940-1945. I need to find something good that covers Hitler's rise. How did it begin? We all look back and say, "Never again," but how are we to accomplish "never again?" What attitudes, beliefs, and prejudices do we hold that could allow this kind of circumstance, a leader like Hitler, to come to power today? ( )