A remarkable story of courage and endurance during the Holocaust. Helen Lewis, a young student of dance in Prague at the outbreak of World War II, was herded, like Madeleine Albright, into the Terezin ghetto, then deported to Auschwitz in 1942. Separated from her family, she struggled to live amidst the carnage of Hitler's Final Solution. How she did so, and what she did in order to survive, is a gripping story, told with wit, candor, and controlled anger.
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(210mm x 140mm x 11mm)
Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc
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US Kirkus Review »
A compelling historical memoir by a Czech Jew who survived Auschwitz. Before WW II Lewis studied at the Milca Mayerova dance school in Prague and performed with its professional company. She also taught dance and choreographed her own pieces. After the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia, Lewis and her husband were deported to the "model camp" of Theresienstadt; later they were transported to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, where they lost track of each other. Lewis, who was a member of a transport of prisoners sent from Auschwitz to labor camps at Stutthof and Kochstadt, survived the war; her husband did not. In 1947 she remarried and settled in Belfast, where she became involved again in choreographing and teaching dance. Lewis writes about the mistreatment she endured in the camps in a straightforward, understated way. She describes small but extraordinary acts of bravery and resistance, such as the time starving prisoners at Kochstadt voted to fast on Yom Kippur despite Nazi threats to withhold their rations once the fast was over. She also describes acts of kindness from unlikely individuals that saved her life; one SS guard slipped her a bottle of medicine for dysentery, thus saving her from selection for death. Through it all, she refused to give up hope and continued to see beauty in the ugliest of surroundings. Lewis's intelligence shines throughout, made more luminous by her compassionate observations about the effects of war on human beings. (Kirkus Reviews)
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