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When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (1971)

by Judith Kerr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Memoirs of Judith Kerr (1)

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1,281266,134 (3.94)34



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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Told from the perspective of nine year old Anna, in 1933, her secure life becomes shattered as she and her family flee Berlin in 1933. Her father, a well-known writer, finds it impossible to support his family as increasingly his articles are not allowed to be printed.

Insightful, fearful he knows he must take his family and leave all behind before it is too late. Moving from Germany to Switzerland, then France and finally England, Anna finds it difficult to adjust. Middle class and sheltered, she has no reference for the difficult life they face as the family learns different customs and languages.

While the book is well written, I felt it lacked depth. As others were dying in concentration camps, starving and losing all contact with loved ones, Anna's family is fortunate to be able to leave.

In comparison to other nine year old children, Anna is very naive regarding just how frightening it is to exist under Hitler's reign of terror. ( )
  Whisper1 | May 24, 2014 |
This book was fantastic! I never planned on reading it but I got it as a gift and it was just really good. I do enjoy like historical fiction but I never really buy books like that because I always think I wouldn't enjoy it when in reality I always do. This book was really interesting and I couldn't put it down. But there's one thing that confuses me about this: I recently found out that there are like two more books in this series? Which I really don't understand because for me this was concluded. ( )
  JustSitAndWooui | Mar 1, 2014 |
When Hitler Stole pink Rabbit is Judith Kerr's YA novel based on her flight from Germany and Hitler at age nine. When she began writing this book, Kerr had only published picture books (Mog series and [The Tiger Who Came to Tea]) and was feeling unsure of both her rusty German and the exactness of her memories. So rather than using a first person narrative, Kerr tells this story from Anna's point of view. The major events and feelings are hers, with some invented detail. Unlike many Holocaust novels, what emerges is not a tragedy but a beautiful book of adventure, family and warmth. Anna, despite the family's new poverty, enjoys Switzerland and France, the excitement of new people and the challenge of learning new languages. (YA) ( )
  Berly | Feb 13, 2014 |
Nine-year-old Anna is living in Germany, and the year is 1933. It is one of the country's most troubled eras. But she's too busy with her schoolwork and friends to notice Adolf Hitler's face glaring from political posters plastered all over Berlin. And she's never even paid much attention to the fact that she's Jewish. Being Jewish, she thought, was just something that you inherited from your parents and grandparents, like the color of your hair. One day, she is forced to take notice. Her father is unaccountably, horrifyingly missing. Soon after, she and her brother, Max, are hurried out of Germany by their mother with alarming secrecy that Anna does not fully understand.
At last, they are reunited in Switzerland, and Anna and family embark on an adventure that extends over the course of several years, and over the borders of many countries. Along the way, they learn new languages, new customs, how to cope with confusion, and how to be poor. They are refugees, and Anna soon discovers that it requires special skills to stay a few steps ahead of the Nazis.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit avoids most of the details of the actual Holocaust. Instead it provides young readers with a gentle, yet important introduction to a devastating chapter in world history. The family moves all around and finally ends up in England.

I really enjoyed this book. It was very easy to understand due to the fact that I am also Jewish. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and/or autobiographies. Overall this is definitely a humorous yet terrifying novel about a little girl living in the Holocaust. ( )
  br14elmo | Sep 30, 2013 |
It comes as no surprise to discover that this outstanding British children's novel, which chronicles the childhood experiences of a young German Jewish girl named Anna, whose family must flee their comfortable home shortly before the 1933 election and resultant Nazi rise to power, is based upon Judith Kerr's own life-story. So convincing is it, so real does it feel, that I found that I had to continually remind myself that it was fiction, rather than autobiography. Opening in Berlin, where the oblivious young Anna is more concerned with school than with Hitler, who seems a distant disturbance in the adult world around her, rather than an immediate concern in her own life, the story moves on to Switzerland, where her family settle for a time. Unable to go back to Germany to collect the belongings - including Anna's stuffed pink rabbit - that they left behind, and unable to earn a sufficient living, the family move on to Paris, where Anna's writer father briefly finds work for a German expatriate newspaper being published there. When even this small source of revenue dries up, the family must move on again, this time to England.

With its distinctly memorable title and its influential role in the teaching of World War II history to both British and German schoolchildren, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is one of those books that I have long been meaning to read, making its selection as our November title over in The Children's Fiction Book-Club to which I belong particularly fortunate. By turns humorous and heartbreaking, it is a story of one family who, despite confronting terrible times, managed to stick together and to flourish. Although the historical details are specific to a particular time and place, many of the general experiences that Anna and her family confront - trying to learn new languages and to find new friends, in strange places; trying to find a job and make connections, in one's field of work; confronting a significant loss of affluence, and learning to make do with less - will be familiar to refugees and immigrants the world over.

Stealing 'Pink Rabbit' is clearly not the worst of Hitler's crimes, but then, this is not a book about the Holocaust. It is a book about the refugee experience of one fairly well-to-do family in pre-WWII days, and is told from the perspective of the nine-year-old daughter of that family. Although the more disturbing realities of what is going on back in Germany do enter the story - most notably, in the tragic figure of Onkel Julius, a family friend and naturalist who does not flee Germany when he has the chance, and who sees his entire world destroyed, even to the point that he is forbidden to visit his beloved animals at the Berlin Zoo - those realities are fairly distant. As they would be to the child narrator, living in safety in Switzerland, Paris, and England. I think that it is this very quality, this feeling of distance from the full horrors of the war (which, after all, hadn't happened yet!) and the Nazi regime, that makes this an ideal introduction to the topic for younger readers, and am bemused to note that some reviewers have taken the author to task for not writing a story horrific enough to suit their taste.

Highly, highly recommended, to all young readers who enjoy historical fiction, and who are interested in the story of World War II. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit will serve as an excellent entree - truthful, sometimes tragic, but often hopeful - to a very disturbing moment in history. For my part, I intend to read the two sequels, The Other Way Round and A Small Person Far Away. ( )
2 vote | AbigailAdams26 | Apr 19, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Judith Kerrprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Manninen, KerttuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Anna was walking home from school with Elsbeth, a girl in her class.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142414085, Paperback)

Anna is not sure who Hitler is, but she sees his face on posters all over Berlin. Then one morning, Anna and her brother awake to find her father gone! Her mother explains that their father has had to leave and soon they will secretly join him. Anna just doesn?t understand. Why do their parents keep insisting that Germany is no longer safe for Jews like them? Because of Hitler, Anna must leave everything behind. Based on the gripping real-life story of the author, this poignant backlist staple gets a brandnew look for a new generation of readers just in time for Holocaust Remembrance Month.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:15 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Summary: The story of a nine-year-old Jewish girl and her family in the early 1930s as they are divided, reunited, and travel from Germany through Europe to England to escape persecution.

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