Book picks similar to
Where Butterflies Go by Debra Doxer
Surviving The Forest
Adiva Geffen - 2019
Shurka, her beloved husband and their two small children lived in a pretty house in a village in Poland, surrounded by a little garden with lilies. This was their life and nothing could harm it, or so they thought…WWII broke out and though the happy family thought the Germans would never reach their idyllic village, they quickly understood they were wrong and their happiness came to a brutal end. The family had to flee their house and find shelter in a neighboring Ghetto where they realized that the Gestapo was taking Jews away on trucks every night, and they were never seen again.The family decided to escape into the deep dark forest. There, surrounded by animals, they knew that this was their only chance to get away from the real beasts. They had no idea what would await them, but they knew that doing nothing was not an option if they wanted to survive.
The Good at Heart
Ursula Werner - 2017
A member of Hitler’s cabinet, Oskar is gone most of the time, and Franz begins fighting in the war, so the women of the house are left to their quiet lives in the picturesque village. But life in Blumental isn’t as idyllic as it appears. An egotistical Nazi captain terrorizes the citizens he’s assigned to protect. Neighbors spy on each other. Some mysteriously disappear. Marina has a lover who also has close ties to her family and the government. Thinking none of them share her hatred of the Reich, she joins a Protestant priest smuggling Jewish refugees over the nearby Swiss border. The latest “package” is two Polish girls who’ve lost the rest of their family, and against her better judgment, Marina finds she must hide them in the Eberhardt’s cellar. Everything is set to go smoothly until Oskar comes home with the news that the Führer will be visiting the area for a concert, and he will be making a house call on the Eberhardts. Based on the author’s discoveries about her great-grandfather, this extraordinary debut, full of love, tragedy, and suspense, is a sensitive portrait of a family torn between doing their duty for their country and doing what’s right for their country, and especially for those they love.
Cathy Gohlke - 2019
Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city's library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter's life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war--if any of them survive--is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.Inspired by true events.
The Girl Who Escaped from Auschwitz
Ellie Midwood - 2021
Freedom.”Millions of people walked through Auschwitz’s gates, but she was the first woman who escaped. This powerful novel tells the inspiring true story of Mala Zimetbaum, whose heroism will never be forgotten, and whose fate altered the course of history…Nobody leaves Auschwitz alive.Mala, inmate 19880, understood that the moment she stepped off the cattle train into the depths of hell. As an interpreter for the SS, she uses her position to save as many lives as she can, smuggling scraps of bread to those desperate with hunger.Edward, inmate 531, is a camp veteran and a political prisoner. Though he looks like everyone else, with a shaved head and striped uniform, he’s a fighter in the underground Resistance. And he has an escape plan.They are locked up for no other sin than simply existing. But when they meet, the dark shadow of Auschwitz is lit by a glimmer of hope. Edward makes Mala believe in the impossible. That despite being surrounded by electric wire, machine guns topping endless watchtowers and searchlights roaming the ground, they will leave this death camp.A promise is made––they will escape together or they will die together. What follows is one of the greatest love stories in history…Fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Choice, and The Orphan Train will love this breathtakingly beautiful tale, of courage in the face of tragedy and bravery in the face of fear. Based on a true story, The Girl Who Escaped Auschwitz shows that, in darkness, love can be your light…
In the Shadow of the Storm
Ella Zeiss - 2018
Their friends the Scholzes are less lucky. Captured and transported to labour camps in the icy Far North, the future seems a bleak, dark nightmare for the couple and their three children.As the 1930s march towards the inevitable horror of war, and Europe is engulfed in hostility and persecution, the Pfeiffers find there is only so long—and so far—you can run before someone uncovers your past…In their darkest hours, these two families must do everything—anything—to survive. Will they ever find peace in the new world order?
Eva: A Novel of the Holocaust
Meyer Levin - 1959
The book opens with the girl at age 16 leaving her home in southeastern Poland and posing as a gentile from the Ukraine named Katya. The story follows Eva as she works as a maid in the home of a prominent Austrian family in Linz (the husband is an SS officer), and then as an office worker in a German munitions factory. When she is eventually discovered to be a Jew, she is sent to Auschwitz. After the evacuation of the camp she manages to escape, finding refuge with a Polish family. At the end of the novel she is trying to find her family and home, difficult because so many Jewish communities in Eastern Europe had been destroyed. In real life, Ida Loew made her way to Israel after the war where she settled in Tel Aviv.
The Wish Child
Catherine Chidgey - 2016
Two children watch as their parents become immersed in the puzzling mechanisms of power. Siggi lives in the affluent ignorance of middle-class Berlin, her father a censor who excises prohibited words (“promise”, “love”, “mercy”) from books. Erich is an only child living a lush rural life near Leipzig, tending beehives, aware that he is shadowed by strange, unanswered questions.Drawn together as Germany’s hope for a glorious future begins to collapse, the children find temporary refuge in an abandoned theater amid the rubble of Berlin. Outside, white bedsheets hang from windows; all over the city people are talking of surrender. The days Siggi and Erich spend together will shape the rest of their lives.Watching over Siggi and Erich is the wish child, the mysterious narrator of their story. He sees what they see, he feels what they feel, yet his is a voice that comes from deep inside the wreckage of a nation’s dream.
The Commandant of Lubizec: A Novel of The Holocaust and Operation Reinhard
Patrick Hicks - 2014
Millions were shoved into ghettos and forced to live under the swastika. Death camps were built and something called "Operation Reinhard" was set into motion. Its goal? To murder all the Jews of Poland.The Commandant of Lubizec is a harrowing account of a death camp that never actually existed but easily could have in the Nazi state. It is a sensitive, accurate retelling of a place that went about the business of genocide. Told as a historical account in a documentary style, it explores the atmosphere of a death camp. It describes what it was like to watch the trains roll in, and it probes into the mind of its commandant, Hans-Peter Guth. How could he murder thousands of people each day and then go home to laugh with his children? This is not only an unflinching portrayal of the machinery of the gas chambers, it is also the story of how prisoners burned the camp to the ground and fled into the woods. It is a story of rebellion and survival. It is a story of life amid death.With a strong eye towards the history of the Holocaust, The Commandant of Lubizec compels us to look at these extermination centers anew. It disquiets us with the knowledge that similar events actually took place in camps like Bełzec, Sobibór, and Treblinka. The history of Lubizec, although a work of fiction, is a chillingly blunt distillation of real life events. It asks that we look again at "Operation Reinhard". It brings voice to the silenced. It demands that we bear witness.
Not Without My Sister
Marion Kummerow - 2021
Two sisters seek to overcome impossible odds to be reunited, in this utterly devastating and unforgettable novel about sisterhood, courage and survival.All they had left was each other. Until the Nazis tore them apart.After years of hiding from the Nazis, Rachel Epstein and her little sister Mindel are captured by the Gestapo and sent to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. The only ray of light for either girl is that they are together.But on arrival they are separated. As she’s seventeen and deemed an adult, Rachel is sent to work in a brutal factory whilst four-year-old Mindel is sent into the so-called “star” camp for Jewish prisoners. All on her own, Rachel knows her sister will have no chance of survival—unless she can find someone to take care of her.Working in the windowless, airless factory—filling munitions casings with chemicals that burn her fingers and make her eyes sting—the only thing that keeps Rachel going is the thought of her little sister. Because if there’s even a chance Mindel is alive, Rachel knows she must try to save her.But, separated by barbed wire, and treated brutally by SS guards who do not even see them as human beings, can either of the orphaned sisters ever dare to hope that they’ll find their way back to each other? And to freedom?A completely heartbreaking, utterly gripping tale of courage, loss and overcoming impossible odds, perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Ragged Edge of Night and The Orphan’s Tale.
News of Our Loved Ones
Abigail DeWitt - 2018
Maman, Oncle Henri, Yvonne, and Françoise silently watched as their Jewish neighbors were arrested or wordlessly disappeared. Now in June 1944, when the sirens wail each day, warning of approaching bombers, the family wonders if rumors of the coming Allied invasion are true—and if they will survive to see their country liberated.For sixteen-year-old Yvonne, thoughts of the war recede when she sees the red-haired boy bicycle past her window each afternoon. Murmuring to herself I love you, I love you, I love you, she wills herself to hear the whisper of his bicycle tires over the screech of Allied bombs falling from the sky.Yvonne’s sister, Geneviève, is in Paris to audition for the National Conservatory. Pausing to consider the shadow of a passing cloud as she raises her bow, she does not know that her family’s home in Normandy lies in the path of British and American bombers. While Geneviève plays, her brother Simon and Tante Chouchotte, anxiously await news from their loved ones in Normandy.Decades later, Geneviève, the wife of an American musician, lives in the United States. Each summer she returns to her homeland with her children, so that they may know their French family. Geneviève’s youngest daughter, Polly, becomes obsessed with the stories she hears about the war, believing they are the key to understanding her mother and the conflicting cultures shaping her life.Moving back and forth in time, told from varying points of view, News of Our Loved Ones explores the way family histories are shared and illuminates the power of storytelling to understand the past and who we are.
A Fight in Silence
Melanie Metzenthin - 2019
When Richard and Paula meet in bustling, cosmopolitan Hamburg, everything feels possible. They fall in love, marry and are soon blessed with twins, a beautiful boy and girl. When Richard qualifies as a psychiatrist, life ahead looks bright. Their only sadness is that their son, Georg, was born deaf, although with his family to protect him they’re sure he’ll be okay.But happiness turns to horror when the Nazis seize power and begin forcing doctors to euthanise anyone the regime deems imperfect. Suddenly, Richard is falsifying medical records to save his patients—and hiding Georg, whose deafness now makes him a target for the authorities.With his family plunged into darkness and his son’s life in his hands, can Richard find the strength he needs to keep his family together and evade the world’s most merciless regime?
The Paris Children
Gloria Goldreich - 2020
A dark shadow falls over Europe as Adolf Hitler's regime gains momentum, leaving the city of Paris on the brink of occupation. Young Madeleine Levy—granddaughter of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish World War I hero—steps bravely into a new wave of resistance and becomes the guardian of lost children.When Madeleine meets a small girl in a tattered coat with the hollow look of one forced to live a nightmare—a young Jewish refugee from Germany named Anna—she knows that she cannot stand idly by. Paris is full of children like Anna—frightened and starving, innocent casualties of a war barely begun. Madeleine offers them comfort and strength while working with other members of the resistance to smuggle them into safer territories. But as the Paris she loves is transformed into a theater of tension and hatred, many people are tempted to abandon the cause—and the country. And amidst the impending horror and doubt, Madeleine's relationship with Claude, a young Jewish Resistance fighter, as passionate about saving vulnerable children as she is, deepens. With a questionable future ahead of them, all Madeleine can do is continue fighting and hope that her spirit—and the nation's—won't be broken.A remarkable, paranoramic novel, The Paris Children is a story of love and tragedy that illuminates the power of hope and courage in the face of adversity.
The Light After the War
Anita Abriel - 2020
It is 1946 when Vera Frankel and her best friend Edith Ban arrive in Naples. Refugees from Hungary, they managed to escape from a train headed for Auschwitz and spent the rest of the war hiding on an Austrian farm. Now, the two young women must start new lives abroad. Armed with a letter of recommendation from an American officer, Vera finds work at the United States embassy where she falls in love with Captain Anton Wight.But as Vera and Edith grapple with the aftermath of the war, so too does Anton, and when he suddenly disappears, Vera is forced to change course. Their quest for a better life takes Vera and Edith from Naples to Ellis Island to Caracas as they start careers, reunite with old friends, and rebuild their lives after terrible loss.Moving, evocative, and compelling, this timely tale of true friendship, love, and survival will stay with you long after you turn the final page.