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Book Title: The Girl Who Survived: A True Story of the Holocaust|
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Reader ratings: 3.9
The author of the book: Bronia Brandman
Date of issue: 2010
ISBN 13: 9780545175746
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 587 KB
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3 1/2 stars
"It is written in the Torah, the scroll of Jewish laws, that if a person saves even one life, it is as if they have saved the entire world. This means that if you save a persons life, and that person goes on to have children, and those children have children and so on, you are responsible for saving all of them. If you had not saved the first person, then the others would not exist. And who knows what wonderful things they might achieve in their lifetimes, such as a cure for cancer or the end to hunger."
️she ends with the following chapter YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
"This is the end of my story, but not the end of story of the holocaust. Today there are many people who say that the Holocaust did not happen. They believe that the Jews just want the rest of the world to feel sorry for them and for Israel. But the Holocaust did happen. I remember exactly what took place. I have the number on my arm that places me in Auschwitz during those terrible years. I remember smuggling food into the ghetto to try to save my family from starvation. And I remember how frightened I was as a nine year old who had no choice but to put her life on the line to save others. Holocaust deniers can deny whatever they want, but I was there, and except Mendek (*her brother*), my whole family was wiped out.
Stories have a moral or lesson. It is your job to learn the story of the Holocaust and tell it to others. Remember what took place and help others see that the world must not allow it to happen again. We must be humane in our dealings with others. To be kind and caring toward one another who are at risk. To save one life is as if you have saved the whole world. That must be your goal."
This story was actually one of my favorite Jewish accounts from someone who lived at a young age and not only survived the Holocaust but freaking Auschwitz! WOW!! If you know your WWII concentration/labor/work camps you should know Auschwitz and Auschwitz II-Birkanau were THE worst ones you could get and if you were liberated, you were DEFINITELY one of the lucky ones! Bronia had even described (enough for kids to not get freaked out too much) what it was like for her and how she left her little sisters alone and to their deaths when she slipped from her line to her older sister. And yet she blamed herself for her two little sisters deaths even though she couldn't have known they were in a line going to their deaths. Also her sister she snuck to ended up getting sick and died and later taken care of by a Jewish girl in the medical bay and even hid little Bronia and carried her during the death march. (Which is related to the first quote about saving a life and comparing to this Jewish girl who did make it a mission to save Bronia).
This story was so touching and definitely from her heart and an AMAZING miracle she survived the worst camp in WWII history. EVEN at a young age!
So a few things/stories she told that made me cringe are as follows (paraphrasing the first story):
*** Ina town where her mother and siblings fled to (one of her uncles homes) on September 4, 1939, on a holiday for the Jews called Rosh Hashanah, German Nazis rounded up Jews and one group was sent to a synagogue. After being locked in, the nazis poured gasoline all around the building, lit the gasoline and burned down the building. The nazis even made sure no one could get away and those men who tried to escape through the windows were shot.
***Bronia and her family survived a few of the Nazi round ups after 2-3 hours until one time they were held longer. Her mother sensed they (her, her mother and father, abs her brother Tulek weren't so lucky getting to their hiding spots unlike her sisters who did manage to hide) weren't leaving this time. So she told her daughter to run rather than see her taken or die in front of her. Instead of going home in risking hers and her sisters lives, she went to a nearby farm with a couple who was a friend of the family and later went back home to her sisters. From then on they were on their own until they were taken to Auschwitz not far from where they were staying.
***She and her sisters ended up in Auschwitz and only Bronia survived with the help of another Jewish girl named Bozenka. She also explained what it I was like in the "Death March" and gave the following:
"the death march from auschwitz, which departed on January 18, 1945, began with 66,000 Inmates. They abandoned Auschwitz just nine days before the Soviet Red Army liberated the camp on the 27th (same month). The soviets found only 7,000 sick prisoners in the camp, who had been left to die of starvation. Later it was discovered that approx. 1.1 million Jews died at Auschwitz, as well as tens of thousands of other people...."
the march took nearly 35 miles to the next town and along the way, more than 15,000 died.
I also have had this book a some other holocaust children's/elementary age books like this from book orders years ago, and so glad I was old enough to finally read this and truly see the horrors of what one man can start and allow. And for those survivors especially I can't imagine what happened or fathom the horrors they personally went through. So it's definitely important to learn and teach and share these stories so it doesn't happen again. If so, I say at least show kindness to others when possible, serve someone or whatever. But these stories are so important and interesting to see how each of these people not just those in the camps but also those who risked their lives to hide Jews throughout the war. Even if they didn't succeed and died for it but they did enough and tried the best they could. This is a must read and really great story of one little girls way of surviving.
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