Blurb; ‘It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns…’
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 books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.
But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…
My Review; Oh my heart. I teared up so many times througout reading this, I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like. Not an easy read, but one that has changed my life and will stick with me forever. It’s changed the way I look at life and realise how lucky we all are compared to how they were treated and had to survive in Auschwitz. Just terrible.
The Librarian of Aushwitz is beautifully translated and written by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites. It is based on a true story and it hurts how close to the truth it really is, makes it all the more real and heart-breaking.
Within the story you really get to know each character individually and when you lose one, IT HURTS! It’s upsetting. I felt that! The story highlights how important friends, family and books are… Even though there was only 8 books they meant the world to block 31 and the children. There are so many beautiful quotes about books in this story. It was their form of escape from reality during the worst of times.
Ditas character (based off a real woman). Wow. She was only fourteen and had so much responsibilty placed on her, she risked her life technically daily. She is one strong and determined woman. I really do look up to this woman and appreciate her and applaud her for what she did. What a wondeful woman! I love to meet her.
An absolute eye opener of a read! The truth is in this book about what really happened at Auschwitz camps. I’m tearing up writing this review. A must read. A well deserved five stars from me and it obviously has a space in my top twenty of the year and honestly this might be stuck with me for life. I learnt a lot from this book.
(Sorry for the long review, if you made it this far, thank you).