The Librarian of Auschwitz

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Modern Age

The Librarian of Auschwitz
Author: Iturbe, Antonio
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1940-1945
Geographic Area: Europe
Country: Poland
Topics: Holocaust, Auschwitz, Jewish Resistance
Genre: Fiction, Biography
Reading Age: Young Adult, Adult
Format: Novel
Published: 2012

World History > Modern Age > WWII / Holocaust

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

Emily's Review

Dita Kraus is my new hero. What a badass. Only 14 when she was sent to what amounted to a "show" camp in Auschwitz, she was put in charge of the small library of smuggled books for their children's school. The stories in these books are what helped her to survive, and gave moments of pleasure to others in a horrifying place and time. If you want to read about the Holocaust and don't know where to start - this book is for you.

I feel like the author did a fantastic job weaving the stories of real people together to give a very complete and horrifying picture of what the Nazis did during World War II to the Jews, homosexuals, Communists, and anyone else that didn't fit their perfect Aryan agenda; as well as showing that not all of the Jews went quietly. Some escaped, some fought back, and some quietly defied the Nazis by smuggling books and teaching children. If you are only going to read one book about the Holocaust, I recommend picking up this one. It covered a lot of ground and had some of the most compelling characters in modern literature.

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