"From its opening pages, in which she recounts her own premature birth, triggered by terrifying rumors of an incipient pogrom, Bernstein's tale is clearly not a typical memoir of the Holocaust. She was born into a large family in rural Romania and grew up feisty and willing to fight back physically against anti-Semitism from other schoolchildren. She defied her father's orders to turn down a scholarship that took her to Bucharest, and got herself expelled from that school when she responded to a priest/teacher's vicious diatribe against the Jews by hurling a bottle of ink at him. After a series of incidents that ranged from dramatic escapes to a year in a forced labor detachment, Sara ended up in Ravensbruck, a women's concentration camp, and managed to survive. She tells this story with style and power." --Kirkus Reviews...
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The Seamstress Reviews
A Holocaust survivor's story, sometimes graphic, sometimes horrifying, and in a word: depressing. The problem is, the first book I ever read about the Holocaust was Corrie ten Boom's "The Hiding Place," which deals with the horrors of Hitler's regime in the light of God's love. That book, itself, is a masterpiece of grace. This becomes a problem for me because I unconsciously want every book on the subject matter to measure up to that. I realize the Holocaust will never be something that we read ...more
An extraordinary, unsentimental story by an extraordinary woman. This is powerful truth, akin to horror at some points and heartwarming at others, with a strong female hero. Seren is a hero by any account. She's a tough woman who shouldn't have survived but did using intelligence and determination.
Although Seren's young life involved the Holocaust, the book is about her family and her own wisdom and grit in every situation. It's part of Seren's journey to a life she must have cherished every da ...more
An interesting addition to the Holocaust survivor memoir canon. Tuvel Bernstein survived, amazingly, the horrors of Ravensbruck, where they pretty much starved the women. She wrote this story a long time before it was published, and eventually it got into the publishing world's hands.
The things I found interesting:
-The different ways people in different camps transformed themselves in order to survive. Tuvel Berstein noted that when she ultimately came into contact with Auschwitz prisoners, she ...more
This book is by far my favorite WW2 book that I have read. I felt that I had become very close to the characters in the book. I grew to love and appreciate the simple things of life. I just don't get how people could treat another human being so inhuman, I just really don't get it. It was all over Europe, like a plague, I don't get how Teenagers and husbands could turn in there mothers in for being Jewish and then call them filthy names.
I would recommend this book over and over again to anyone w ...more
Reads like a novel but actually a fascinating memoir of a young woman's time in Ravensbrook a concentration camp that was all women and from which only 5% of the inmates survived. So horrible and what a spirit this author has. Her story of the aftermath of the holicost was also fascinating. I'm not sure how I thought most Germans would treat the Jews after the revilations of the Hollicaust. I've never heard that Jews were treated badly after the war too - denied rations, housing and basically tr ...more
Excellent recent memoir from a Romanian Holocaust survivor. She was sent to a camp near Berlin that I'd never heard of before; all women prisoners, where one in twenty survived. As with some other survivors, Sara's catalyst to write her story came a few decades later when she heard a professor claim the Jews contrived the hardships in the death camps to arouse sympathy. She had to tell her story.
I like the excerpt one reviewer included; a powerful moment:
When Sara was in her late twenties and wa ...more
I've read a lot of Holocaust books, but this one was definitely worth reading. And frankly, I will continue reading Holocaust books, because this history should never be forgotten.
Sara is Romanian. She tells the story of how life remained pretty normal, until one day she is put into prison and beaten, for no reason. She is released and resumes her life, trying to earn income enough to support her sisters, niece, and her mother who lives in a distant town. She looks Gentile, so she is overlooked ...more
I couldn't put it down. One of those intensely riveting personal accounts that is both heart-rending and inspiring, powerful and vivid. It can be hard at times, but the way she relates her story and her personal experiences without pity, selfishness, hardness, or despair is amazing in itself. A testament to the human will to live through suffering. After I read a story such as this, I feel like I have learned life-lessons and I am a better person for it. Helps me to remember all the little thing ...more