The Cat with the Yellow Star: Coming of Age in Terezinby Susan Goldman Rubin, Ela Weissberger
Ela Stein was eleven years old in February of 1942 when she was sent to the Terezin concentration camp with other Czech Jews. By the time she was liberated in 1945, she was fifteen. Somehow during those horrendous three-and-a-half years of sickness, terror, separation from loved ones, and loss, Ela managed to grow up. Although conditions were wretched, Ela forged lifelong friendships with other girls from Room 28 of her barracks. Adults working with the children tried their best to keep up the youngest prisoners' spirits. A children's opera called Brundibar was even performed, and Ela was chosen to play the pivotal role of the cat. Yet amidst all of this, the feared transports to death camps and death itself were a part of daily life. Full of sorrow, yet persistent in its belief that humans can triumph over evil; this unusual memoir tells the story of an unimaginable coming of age.
Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
Meet the Author
Susan Goldman Rubin is the award-winning author of more than thirty-five books for children. Well known in the field of Holocaust studies, she speaks at conferences, in museums, and at schools and libraries across the country on this topic.
Ela Weissberger was liberated from Terezin in May of 1945. In 1949 she emigrated to Israel and later came to the United States, where she married and raised a family. Today, Ela spends much of her time speaking to audiences of all ages about her Holocaust experiences.
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Susan Goldman Rubin ever so eloquently details the life of a young, mentally and physically strong girl during her time in Terezin and beyond. Ela Stein Weissberger was only eleven years old when she boarded a train with her mother, sister, grandmother and uncle for a German ghetto in Czechoslovakia because she was Jewish. During her time at Terazin she becomes part of larger family of approximately 28 girls that lived together in Room 28. The friendships that developed between these girls have become everlasting. Through countless interviews Rubin documents Ela’s experience in her own words. Ela’s quotes are powerful and moving. This book belongs in every school classroom that studies the Holocaust. • It provides factual information in an age appropriate way. • It is a model text on how to use interviews to gather information for writing a biography. • As a picture book, it is filled with photos of Ela’s life and her amazing artwork done while imprisoned at Terezin. The strength of Ela Stein Weissberger must be shared, celebrated and admired by everyone!