Seed of Sarah: Memoirs of a Survivor / Edition 2

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As a teenager in Kaposvar, Hungary, the author dreamed of studying literature at the Sorbonne. At age 19, her reality was forced labor in the notorious camp of Auschwitz. Her memoir of that experience is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, kept alive, as her own was, through humor and creativity. Isaacson tells of evading selection by the feared Dr. Mengele for transport with other young women to the Russian front; of her transfer to Lichentau; and, after the Allied liberation, meeting the American intelligence officer who became her husband. Based on indelible recollections, a return trip to Hungary and research into the Hungarian Holocaust, this is an eloquent picture of a life before and after. The author is retired dean of students at Bates College. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252062193
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1991
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 193
  • Sales rank: 955,752
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2008

    A Memorable Book Of A Survivor

    What would it be like to live in a concentration camp during the Holocaust? What would it be like to have almost everyone you love, be taken away from you or be killed? These are questions you would hope no one would be able to answer, but in the book Seed of Sarah, by Judith Magyar Isaacson, they are. This memoir is about a Jewish girl who grows up during the Holocaust. Judith Isaacson¿s childhood took place in Kaposvár, a town in southwest Hungary. She grew up like any other child did back then. She did well in school and had lots of friends. Her father got army induction forms when she was only in fifth form. When she was 18 years old, the Jews were forced into a ghetto. ¿My friends envied me this morning¿s exit. ¿A pass to leave the ghetto,¿ they marveled. ¿Imagine that.¿¿ She experienced many more hard times. She was forced to leave behind most of her childhood memories and her dreams for the future behind when she was packed into a cattle car with 75 other people and was shipped off to a concentration camp, when she was only 19. Judith Isaacson (nicknamed Jutka) had more strength than imaginable to live through this experience. She was one of the 250 survivors, out of over 5,000 Jews in their region (only 5% survived!). I believe it was her inner strength and determination that got her through the concentration camp and forced labor, which finally led her to freedom again. She exhibits her strength again, through writing about her personal experiences, and sharing them with the world. This is a really powerful novel, and is very well written. This book will draw you into the horrible experiences of a young Jewish girl who survived the Holocaust. It is a great book for anyone to read, who is prepared to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust from the viewpoint of a survivor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2007

    a moving and eye-opening novel that will keep you reading from start to finish

    A young girl lives a regular life until her life is engulfed in the tragedies of the holocaust. Jutka Magyar 'pronounced Yutka' lives in Hungary during the time of World War II and watches as her world slowly falls apart. Her family can't have a job, or a house, and ends up living in a crowded ghetto. Her and many other families are deported to an abhorrent concentration camp in Auschwitz and are treated horribly. This book is a compelling novel about the struggles of a young girl and her family, and their struggles living as a Jew in World War II.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2005

    Could there be a lesson in this for today's world?

    In November 1976, the Bates College Dean of Students - Judith Magyar Isaacson - was invited to give a talk on the Holocaust at her alma mater, Bowdoin College. For the first time since her concentration camp and forced labor camp experiences, she spoke about them in public. After that she knew she had to write her story, just as she'd planned she would while those events were happening to her. What does it mean to be a Hungarian Jew, in the years before the war? Judit Magyar, nicknamed Jutka, lives a happy and secure life as the only child of a middle class couple. That comfortable existence falls away piece by piece, as laws are passed that take away one right after another from the Magyars and other families like them. By the time Jutka and her remaining loved ones are deported, they've already survived being barred from working for a living - being deprived of their property - and being crowded into a ghetto, that used to be one of many neighborhoods where Kaposvar Jewish families lived. Wrenching though the rest of the book is, to me its most interesting aspect is Jutka's calm narration of how the city that once respected and valued her family gradually embraces Nazi-sponsored anti-Semitism. What happens when government institutionalizes hate, and makes it respectable, is all the more frightening because the culture thus poisoned is both ancient and thoroughly civilized. Brrr. Could there be a lesson in this for today's world?

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