I Will Protect You: A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz

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Modern Age

I Will Protect You: A True Story of Twins Who Survived Auschwitz
Author: Kor, Eva Mozes
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1943-2019
Geographic Area: Europe
Country: Romania
Topics: Holocaust, Nazi Occupation, Auschwitz
Genre: Non Fiction
Reading Age: Middle Grade
Format: Chapter Book
Published: 2022

World History > Modern Age > Holocaust

The illuminating and deeply moving true story of twin sisters who survived Nazi experimentation, against all odds, during the Holocaust.

Eva and her identical twin sister, Miriam, had a mostly happy childhood. Theirs was the only Jewish family in their small village in the Transylvanian mountains, but they didn't think much of it until anti-Semitism reared its ugly head in their school. Then, in 1944, ten-year-old Eva and her family were deported to Auschwitz. At its gates, Eva and Miriam were separated from their parents and other siblings, selected as subjects for Dr. Mengele's infamous medical experiments.

During the course of the war, Mengele would experiment on 3,000 twins. Only 160 would survive--including Eva and Miriam.

Writing with her friend Danica Davidson, Eva reveals how two young girls were able to survive the unimaginable cruelty of the Nazi regime, while also eventually finding healing and the capacity to forgive. Spare and poignant, I Will Protect You is a vital memoir of survival, loss, and forgiveness.

Emily's Review

I am so grateful that Eva was able to survive and tell her story. This is such an important book and it does something that I don't think happens enough in Holocaust literature for children.

First, this book goes out of its way to explain repeatedly that the Nazis were not original. They took ideas and hate towards Jews that had been circulating for thousands of years. The Nazis didn't invent Antisemitism. They just industrialized it.

Second, the book doesn't end once the camps were liberated. We get to follow Eva into adulthood and see how the experiences she suffered during the war affected her entire life. I think too often books for children want to end with liberation and then we're supposed to believe that they just lived happily ever after. This book chooses to show the reality, which is sometimes not as pretty.

Eva survived through anger and sheer force of will, which carried through her adult life. But her anger didn't dissipate after the war. It burned a hole inside of her until she learned to let it go. She talks about how rather than teaching tolerance, we need to teach respect. She doesn't shy away from pointing out that hate was taught - that children and people who they thought were friends were willing to stand by while they were taken away and put into the camps. That Europe was still unsafe for Jews after the war.

These kinds of books are so important to share with our children. Hate is learned, but so is love and respect. Eva's story should be read so that history won't repeat itself.

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