In this disturbing but inspirational account of her experiences of the Holocaust, Lucille Eichengreen relates her journey as a young Jewish girl through Nazi Germany and Poland - including internment in the camps at Auschwitz, Neuengamme, and Bergen-Belsen. It was a journey that began in 1933, when she was eight years old and witnessed the beginnings of Jewish persecution, a journey along which she suffered the horrible deaths of her father, mother and sister. Sustained by great courage and resourcefulness, ...
In this disturbing but inspirational account of her experiences of the Holocaust, Lucille Eichengreen relates her journey as a young Jewish girl through Nazi Germany and Poland - including internment in the camps at Auschwitz, Neuengamme, and Bergen-Belsen. It was a journey that began in 1933, when she was eight years old and witnessed the beginnings of Jewish persecution, a journey along which she suffered the horrible deaths of her father, mother and sister. Sustained by great courage and resourcefulness, Lucille Eichengreen emerged from her nightmare with the inner strength to build a new life for herself in the United States. Only in 1991 did she return to Germany and Poland to assess the Jewish situation there. Her story is a testament to the very thing the Holocaust sought to destroy: the regeneration of Jewish life. Blessed with a remarkable memory that made her one of the most effective witnesses in the postwar trial of her persecutors, Eichengreen has composed a memoir of exceptional accuracy. As important as its factual accuracy is its emotional clarity and truth. Simple and direct, Eichengreen's words compel with their moral authority.
Sometimes a book profits from its own apparent artlessness. Eichengreen's simple, almost childlike style is a perfect vehicle for retelling the horrors of the Holocaust, allowing the full force of the events to come through without a filtering literary sensibility. In Hamburg in 1933, Eichengreen (born Cecilia Landau) is an eight-year-old girl, living a comfortable existence with her parents and younger sister. But the rumblings of Nazism are already audible. In 1938 her father is transported to Dachau, where he dies. The rest of the family is sent to the Lodz ghetto, where the mother dies of malnutrition. Eichengreen and her sister are separated as they are sent to the death camps. The author survives through a combination of luck and intelligence, her language skills getting her marginally less arduous assignments from the Nazis. When the camps are liberated, she goes to work for the British and testifies against her tormentors at a war crimes tribunal. Eventually she finds her way to New York City, where she meets and marries Dan Eichengreen, and makes the difficult adjustment to normal life. The book concludes with the Eichengreens' 1991 visit to Hamburg and Poland. Photos. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
YA-Celia's straightforward account begins with name calling by other children in Hamburg, Germany in 1933; continues through her father's deportation and death in Dachau when she was 16 years old; her mother's starvation; and her experiences in Auschwitz, Neuengamme, and Bergen-Belsen. She shares what happened after she left the camps, her role in the war trials, adjustment to postwar life, her return to Hamburg and Poland in 1991, and her analysis of the current status of European Jewry. YAs will particularly empathize with the author's teen years, which included the loss of family, a close female friendship, a disappointing romance, and the degradations and hardship of internment. Readers are offered insight into Eichengreen's sense of survival guilt, her nightmares, and her continued attempts to make sense of what occurred. An accessible, clear picture of the Holocaust.-Barbara Hawkins, Oakton High School, Fairfax, VA