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All but my life (1957)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809015803, Paperback)
All But My Life is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz (present-day Bielsko) in Poland to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops--including the man who was to become her husband--in Volary, Czechoslovakia, in 1945, Gerda takes the reader on a terrifying journey.
Gerda's serene and idyllic childhood is shattered when Nazis march into Poland on September 3, 1939. Although the Weissmanns were permitted to live for a while in the basement of their home, they were eventually separated and sent to German labor camps. Over the next few years Gerda experienced the slow, inexorable stripping away of "all but her life." By the end of the war she had lost her parents, brother, home, possessions, and community; even the dear friends she made in the labor camps, with whom she had shared so many hardships, were dead.
Despite her horrifying experiences, Klein conveys great strength of spirit and faith in humanity. In the darkness of the camps, Gerda and her young friends manage to create a community of friendship and love. Although stripped of the essence of life, they were able to survive the barbarity of their captors. Gerda's beautifully written story gives an invaluable message to everyone. It introduces them to last century's terrible history of devastation and prejudice, yet offers them hope that the effects of hatred can be overcome.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:46:32 -0500)
Fifty years ago, in the winter of 1945, Gerda Weissmann, with more than four thousand other young women, began a thousand-mile march from a labor camp in western Germany to Czechoslovakia. A prisoner of the Nazis from the age of eighteen, Gerda was one of 120 who survived that march. On May 7, 1945, she and the rest of the group were liberated by the 5th American Infantry Division. The Nazis had taken all but her life. She was rescued by Lieutenant Kurt Klein, who saw to it that she received immediate medical care and visited her during her long convalescence. They fell in love, and a year later were married in Paris; they then traveled to Buffalo, New York, to begin a new life together. All But My Life is Gerda Klein's celebrated account of her three frightful years as a prisoner. It was the memories of her parents (who died at Auschwitz) and of her brother (who fled to unoccupied Poland and later perished) that made it possible for her to survive.Since coming to America, Ms. Klein has become prominent in Jewish affairs and has lectured throughout the country on behalf of the United Jewish Appeal, Bonds for Israel, and Hadassah, as well as to colleges and public schools. In the epilogue to this new edition, Gerda Klein answers the questions posed by her readers and her audiences across America.
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