Customer Reviews for

The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

34 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

An upclose look at the horrors of the Holocaust through the eyes of one who experienced it. Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister was sixteen years old when the war ended. She grew from childhood to adolecence in the horrors of the Holocaust.

I could not put the book down. I was captivated from the beginning to the end. To see the horrors of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child is a life changing experience. I could amost see the events, hear the sounds of war and torture, smell the scents of the horri...
I could not put the book down. I was captivated from the beginning to the end. To see the horrors of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child is a life changing experience. I could amost see the events, hear the sounds of war and torture, smell the scents of the horrible events so vividly described by Nonna, and feel the emotions she so dramatically captured in her diaries. Nonna's story is one of tragic losses, horrible pain and unbleivable trials. Yet, it also a story of the courage of an individual's character, of faith in God and the sacrifical love for friends and family. It is also a story about forgiveness and hope.

I am grateful that Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister chose to remove her Holocaust diaries from the confines of their secret hiding place and share them with her husband, family and the world. I don't think I will be same after reading Nonna's story. I beleive all who read The Secret Holocaust Diaries will agree that Nonna's story had a life-changing impact on them.

posted by shepherdboy on December 6, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Left me wanting more...

A raw first-person narrative about a Russian/Polish girl surviving the tumultuous WWII era in Europe. Nonna is a very natural story-teller who paints vivid tableaus of both joyous family life and horrific war crimes. My 2 major complaints are, 1) the book was overly edi...
A raw first-person narrative about a Russian/Polish girl surviving the tumultuous WWII era in Europe. Nonna is a very natural story-teller who paints vivid tableaus of both joyous family life and horrific war crimes. My 2 major complaints are, 1) the book was overly edited with a horribly restructured timeline, 2) too many redundant/unnecessary explanations in the "editor's notes." This book is in dire need of better editing! I also wish that more was told about her journey to America and how she rebuilt her life after the war. But otherwise it is a truly moving story with sincere emotions that at times can be sickening or beautifully touching. Recommended (especially since it's free).

posted by Napua on May 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2011

    Interesting but very depressing

    Knowing history is very important but this was too depressing. I wish I could take the violence of the subject but it was too much to handle. She's a hero for making it through this hell!

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend

    I think the family did a wonderful thing by publishing Nonna's diaries and giving her a voice, even when she was unable to in her lifetime. From her writings, it is obvious that she was a kind and intelligent woman who overcame much adversity. I would have liked to have seen the pictures included that they spoke of in the dialogue. The documents were interesting, but the photos would have given face to the "characters." I also would like to know the REAL ending, if that is even a thing that can be known. Who WAS her paternal family and what happened to them? Her brother? I understand that many people disappeared without a trace during those years, but I also wonder how much research was done to find them? This book, however, paints an accurate picture of the horrors inflicted by inhumane people during WWII. It seemed to be Nonna's wish that by telling the story, people would not forget. Rest easy, Nonna. After reading your words, I will not forget.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    sad

    it was sad but informing its kinda like anne frank but told by a different young lady

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Raw view from a survivor

    Glad to be able to get another first account of that horrible and tragic time. It is hard to imagine people living through such horrid things. It is something all nations need to remember and I pray it will never happen again. This book is a must read to recieve a first hand account from a survivor of WW II.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was a very compelling book. I was amazed at Nonna's resili

    This was a very compelling book. I was amazed at Nonna's resilience (and her mother's) and heartbroken for her many losses as a result of the war and the Holocaust. The diary entries talking about her happy memories from younger childhood as well as her descriptions of family and loved ones were sharply contrasted with some of the horrific stories of Nazi cruelty. Several other reviewers complained about the footnotes/inserts explaining some of the entries, but I found them to be very helpful as I read since some of the references were unknown to me or needed some further explanation. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in reading stories of survivors and history of that time period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Nice memoir

    The story of Nonna brings us the sadness of war, and the survival triumph. As the sole survival of her family who perished during WWII, Nonna tell us about her sweet childhood memories and also the horrors of the war and evil that she witnessed at a very young age. I am sure her children and grandchildren will cherish her memories forever, and by leaving her testimony, History can be passing on to generations to come. The Holocaust can never be forgotten, and it is through survival stories like Nonna's that we can teach the young generations to fight against prejudice and honor the lives of the ones who perished in the war, and the ones who survived against all odds. I just wish they had included some of Nonna's pictures in the book, but it is a book easy to read and interesting. I wish every Holocaust survivor out there that is still alive tell their story, and I hope the world never forget what happened to these innocent victims.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    Sad by all accounts.

    Such a moving story. Very sad at times but a part of history nonetheless told by firsthand account.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Good

    It is very sad buy it if you like sad stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    I love this book. It captures you in every page. I recommend this book to everybody.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Could have been better written but a necessary story

    I think this story could have been written better.I was expecting a complete diary format with comments. The subject matter and the woman's story are worthwhile.This is more than the holocaust it is about the invasion of communism in Russia and one proud family's problems in dealing with it. I would not have stopped reading it but I think it would have worked better as a chronological storyline in first person with excerpts from the diary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Great Book!!

    I enjoyed this book, it was well written and easy to follow. Highly recommend this free book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Must read

    Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is the best book ever!!!! Gritty, exiting, and keeps you on edge!!! I would reccomend this book for ALL ages!! I'm 11 and I STILL couldn't put it down!! EVERYONE HAS TO READ THIS!!!!!

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Great story

    Thank you to the author and family for sharing this important memoir.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 3, 2011

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    Posted February 26, 2012

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