» » Sala's Gift My Mother's Holocaust Story
Sala's Gift My Mother's Holocaust Story by Ann Kirschner
ISBN: 0739485725
ISBN13: 978-0739485729
Author: Ann Kirschner
Book title: Sala's Gift My Mother's Holocaust Story
Other Formats: doc mobi txt docx
Publisher: Free Press (2006)
Size PDF version: 1270 kb
Size ePub version: 1292 kb
Size fb2 version: 1532 kb
Category: World


Books reviews
Because I was so intrigued by Kirschner's research ability and writing style in her biography of Josephine Earp, and because I am convinced that the stories of the Holocaust MUST be told before all the eye-witnesses and primary sources are gone, I was delighted to be able to obtain this book. I have not been disappointed.

It is of course quite different to write about one's own mother from direct interview, and to draw a biography from secondary sources. And yet, in many ways, Kirschner experienced some of the same challenges. Her mother's long-time reluctance to share her story, broken only when she was facing major surgery and finally decided to allow Ann to read all the correspondence from the time in the labor camps, was in a way the precursor of the difficulty the author later encountered obtaining the carefully hidden stories of the Earps in her subsequent writing.

One vitally important insight that this narrative has confirmed for me is the incredible damage that can be inflicted by suppression of information. Obviously, the Nazi atrocities would never have been possible if there had not been a conspiracy of silence in which, sadly, the victims as well as the perpetrators were complicit. As Sala was writing to, and hearing from, her friends and relatives, the tendency from both sides was to gloss over the horrific details, not only to avoid censorship, but also to "spare" loved ones from anguish. Yet the end result was always that the situation simply got worse and worse. Truth at the beginning might well have prevented catastrophe at the end.

It is my profound hope that not only the sharing of personal stories like Sala's, but also the wide availability of instantaneous news sharing that was impossible in the 1940's, will allow all of us to confront dangers and challenge tyranny with much greater effect. Kirschner has made a major contribution to this effort.
This is a great story, and it's told beautifully by Ann Kirschner. She combines her formidable researching skill with an unsentimental and heartfelt tale about her own mother's Holocaust story. Because Sala, wasn't imprisoned in a death camp, we learn a largely untold story of Nazi work camps and how slave labor fueled the Nazi war machine. We learn about Sala's protector, Ala Gartner, being hung in Auschwitz for her role in the Sonderkommando uprising which resulted in the decimation of a crematorium. Just when the world was ready to write off the Holocaust, we're given valuable insight into actual lives. Sala's gift refers to the 300+ letters Sala managed to retain throughout her imprisonment over a 5 year span. Sala never saw herself as anything special, but the testimony of the letters she preserved and protected mark her as an extraordinary woman.
Looked at Holocaust from a different angle. Author (Ann Kirschner) described the "interior structure" of the camps,put light on "resistance" of the campers in different camps, the last days of the camps before downfall of Nazi regime, events that happened after being freed by American / Russian troops, how they got back to their old cities and re-visiting their apartments being occupied by strangers, how Sala found her rest of the family, and revisiting the same places decades later.
This is a very moving depiction of the life of a very young girl caught up in the holocaust. The book provides an outstanding description of life in the ghetto for a young girl who is somewhat of a cannon ball. I found some of the letters sent to Sala from her sister to be repitious and didn't seem to "move the story line." Also, I noted a few inconsistencies in the book. On one occasion it was noted a particular German family didn't know any Nazi's and didn't even know what the movement was all about. Two pages after that, the book refultes this. Later on in the book it is revealed that the son of this German family was actually a Nazi officer. Now, if this family had no knowledge of the Nazi movement, and their son was serving as a German military man - something is convoluted. I must however say, that the end of the book was actually the most significant and moving part as Sala revisits her homeland with her family five decades later. It is a very good book and I recommend it, but be expected to get a little bored with some back and forth letter writing. E. A. Slanga
Highly Recommended! What is it like to be a teenager and be sent to a Nazi labor camp away from home? How is it like for the family left behind? The combination of a fluid narrative and beautiful autentic letters makes for a powerful reading experience like no other book.My heart went for sala and her family. Her grace while enduring the darkest of human experiences is truly captivating. Would you believe that the picture of beautiful Sala on the cover was taken during a three day vacation from labor camp spent with her family and friends in Sosnowiec?a slave on a three day break? All I see in her face is love light and beauty there is no hatred depression or darkness. The love of her family,truth and the hope for the future. Having your children born in a free land and bringing the story and the letters to light. Thank you Sala:you gave us a hugh gift and thank you Ann, second generation of love and light.
It took me a while to get into the way this book was written. Once I got into how the book was layed out I enjoyed it.
The book is written by Sala's daughter. Sala gives after decades of not talking about what happend to her a stash of letters. The book has the letters according to time translated with small passages of explanations.
Sala was in different concentration camps than the brutal extermination camps. Regardless it didn't make it any easier for her. She was only 16 and went instead of her sister. The camps in which she was in were a little bit more humane. She even once can go home on vacation. Regardless there is very little food and there are selections. Her parents and other members of her family did not fair as well and parrished in the holocaust.
After I got into the different lay out of the book and did enjoy reading it and can recommend it to others.
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