Customer Reviews for

All But My Life

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The true story of a young girl who had lost all but her life.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the holocaust because it demonstrates how strength and love can be found in unlikely places and how hope can still exist when all else is lost. Gerda, a real holocaust survivor, writes in a way that is so pe...
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the holocaust because it demonstrates how strength and love can be found in unlikely places and how hope can still exist when all else is lost. Gerda, a real holocaust survivor, writes in a way that is so personal that you feel like you are in the story with her constantly battling for life and overcoming hopelessness. When each member of Gerda's family is shipped separately to different camps and until she is liberated Gerda is constantly telling herself lies and holding the picture of her homecoming in her heart for strength by believing that she has something left to live for after the war. This really is still something I think about and how after the war she never returned to the home of her childhood because deep down she knew that her family was dead and was never coming back home. Another part that made me put down the book and think about was when Gerda had put together a play to entertain her fellow prisoners and to amuse her jailers. Gerda was glad to make them all forget about their doomed futures and make them smile. This gave all the girls hope that someday everything might be normal and reminded them that the rhythm of the work camps is not the only thing that exists in the world. Gerda finds love and kindness from an unlikely American solider to a German officer who risks everything to bring the girls notes into the camp they work at. Gerda is an extremely strong woman to overcome the slaughter of her childhood home, her family, her friends, and the loss of all but her life.

posted by Cougar_H on December 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Great Book in context not so grest in editing

This was a well written memoir. I would recommend for anyone who is interested in this subject matter. HOWEVER, I am very disappointed with the editing. I was reading along & when I turned the page it wouldn ' t make sense. Sometimes a phrase would be missing but...
This was a well written memoir. I would recommend for anyone who is interested in this subject matter. HOWEVER, I am very disappointed with the editing. I was reading along & when I turned the page it wouldn ' t make sense. Sometimes a phrase would be missing but once it must have been several sentances. I have no idea why the SS picked her out to go into the woods. The next page they were marching again. For several other books this has happened and there have been other typos. But they were free. I paid for this one. I AM VERY UNHAPPY WITH BARNES AND NOBLE

posted by Anonymous on July 19, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A uniquely touching personal account.

    When I was in elementary school the author came to give an inspirational talk by sharing with us some of the experiences that she had been through, to show us that no matter how bad things get, life is always worth living. At the time I was so young that I remember focusing more on the tale of her journey through the war and less on the aspects of her personal relationships with her family and love interests. I happened across this book from a friend whose family member purchased it as a result of our meeting with the author all those years ago. It was my fist time reading the book and I do have to admit that it is not as engrossing as I would have hoped, and there were a lot of chapters where I really had to force myself to stick with it. Overall, though, I do think that it is a wonderful story and definitely worth the time and effort it took me to finish it, and I can definitely see all the aspects of her struggle better now as an adult than I did before.

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  • Posted February 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    One Survior Remembers

    Millions fought for their lives in the Holocaust of WWII, millions died, and some survived, Gerda Weissmann Klein, a survivor, gives to the world a moving and inspiring story that will forever be in the hearts of her englightened readers.
    Gerda Weissmann Klein recounts the darkest, most evil parts of humanity, while at the same time, never loses hope in humankind. Being born a Jew, the escape from the terrifying holocaust and Nazi camps was nearly inevitable for the Jews in Poland. Gerda grew up in Poland and WWII had struck Europe when she was fifteen. From the time her home was invaded, to the next six years of her life, Gerda would face numerous death camps and murderous death marches, yet she fights through it all with courage and hope. In the novel, Gerda recounts many stories and struggles she had faced during the times she was in the camps and on the death march. She was striped of her family and ultimately striped from life she had once known. This book is a fast reader! Page after page is filled with horrifying images of the barbaric cruelty of the Nazis, and the power in hope possessed by Gerda and her friend IIse. Gerda believes in her suffering -she believes that there is a greater purpose behind all the pain and struggles. She believes there is good in everything: in humankind. Throughout her memoir she recalls the intolerable evil of humanity and also the compassion that every human has the ability to possess, pointing out that all people have the choice to act humanely or act in cruelty. Gerda maintains the mood of fear of what is next with, also, an underlying optimism. This book is thought provoking and emotional; questioning human goodness and a comfort of hope. This book is a tough one to put down. The power in this book makes Gerda's story a moving memoir, reminding the readers of the terrors human kind can create. Despite the struggle and difficult, risky choices, Gerda survived her nightmare and lived to tell her remarkable story. Her telling this story is one of the many goods that have come out of her unimaginable experience. There are many books written by Holocaust survivors and about victims, and every story is different and touching in its own way, but Gerda's book is one of the forerunners for best holocaust stories because it has raw emotion and intricate themes. There is no doubt this book is a classic reminder of what hope and optimism can make one achieve.

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  • Posted February 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Nothing to call home

    Ripped away from everything she has ever known, Gerda struggled by being taken away from her family and home and forced to work in Jewish slave camps for years. She had to reach deep inside herself to muster her hope and courage and fought everyday to survive. Waiting for the liberation day, Weissmann talks about the unbelievable triumphs she overcame while being a hostage of the German army.

    The invasion of Poland will be one day some people will never forget. One person such as Gerda Weissmann. In the novel All But My Life by Gerda Weismann, a carefree child born in Poland grows into a teenager, separated from her family searching for answers as she transfers from work camp to work camp, growing up without a home and not a single familiar face.

    While reading the novel All But My Life, I noticed all of the different stories she had experienced and was now re-living but the book seemed to drone on in some parts, dragging out some parts that were very slow. I also wondered if those stories were the full stories, and if she truly remembered the experience. I didn't get a great sense of emotion out of the book as if she was a blank slate while writing it; I would have loved to hear about every emotion as if it was ripping out of the pages onto me and so I could picture the scene as realistically as she had experienced it the first time.

    Since the Holocaust is something that amazes me, I love to hear about different stories. This story was one that I had never heard before and it opened up my eyes to so many of the personal battles one faces while in the camps. I thought Weissmann did an awesome job at relaying the stories in order, in other words, it was very easy to follow along her journey. I loved her message of hope and to still fight until your last breath because you can decide your own fate.

    If you are a huge Holocaust enthusiast, then I really recommend All But My Life. It was a very captivating story that affected me deeply. It kept my attention, and since I'm not much of a reader, not many books tend to grab me the way this novel did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2009

    Incredible Story

    I had visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington D. C and at the end of the tour in the amphitheater they have narratives of survivors. Gerda Weissmann Klein was one of the survivors that spoke. I was so moved by her story that I bought the book and found it be very inspiring. The strength, determination and ultimately...the love that comes through in reading the book is amazing. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    It is very sad

    I read this book for my English class and I really enjoyed it. Gerda Weissmann Klein left us how much she suffer when the Nazi Germanies took power over Polan and how she lost their parents and brohter. I really felt sorry for her because his chilhood was not happy as she would be preffer.

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