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Mischling by Affinity Konar

Mischling (original 2016; edition 2016)

by Affinity Konar (Author)

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4613635,511 (3.97)19
It's 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood. As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele's Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain. That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin, but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion Feliks--a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin--travel through Poland's devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, or the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it.… (more)
Authors:Affinity Konar (Author)
Info:Lee Boudreaux Books (2016), Edition: 1, 344 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites

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Mischling by Affinity Konar (2016)


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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
This book crawled beneath my skin and wrecked my heart. The poor children and all that they went through. I can’t fathom the tragedy, horror, and faithlessness that lived within their tiny minds. Yet, the strength and perseverance that so many showed is quite commendable.

Stasha and Pearl were twins at Auschwitz. From day one, they were test dummies. “Uncle” came in throwing around magical words and candy, and then stripped the girls of every last bit of dignity. He flat out tortured them. He poked and prodded, stripped them down, and messed with their minds. Together though, the girls made a pact to live. They split up duties and began making the best of the hell they were living through.

When they were separated though things got blurry. Death lingered about the surface and endless possibilities began to take form. Each girl had a solid foundation in a friend and while they slowly navigated towards another, all chaos broke loose. There were guns fights, beautiful horses, childbirth, sauerkraut barrels, gold temples, and more...

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s not a fun book. In all honesty, it’s a hard one to digest. The impact though, and the sacrifice need felt by all. It’s a dark dark read about a dark dark time. It’s gut wrenching, emotionally draining, and pure evil. The words left me breathless at times and I slowly turned the pages because I needed time to process all of the horror within the words. I think Stasha was my favorite, just because her personality screamed from the pages, but Pearl also tugged at my heart strings because it was her, that was worse off.

If you’re still uncertain, just trust me and read it. You may not like it, but never forget that it’s history and it’s really not supposed to be liked— it’s to be felt. ( )
  ReadersCandyb | Jun 4, 2019 |
This is the story of twins, Pearl and Stasha, who are Polish Jews. They are captured and sent to Auschwitz, and become victims of the terrible experiments of Josef Mengele. In 1945, when the camp is liberated, Stasha and Pearl are separated, but each seeks to find the other. This is a story of love and family. It is beautifully written, although there is tremendous horror in the book. ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
It's a good book, just unrelentingly dark. It has a happy ending and all but I really think I should have gone for something a little lighter with my current mental state... ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
One of the most critical factors in my life is the love of reading; the second is history. These two get along very well with each other. Therefore, every time I discover a book that deals with this or that historical period, I immediately buy it. And of all the books, my favorites are those who use historical facts to tell an imaginary story. In my past decade, I have been drawn to papers dealing with the Second World War, with emphasis on the subject of the Holocaust and in general, on everything related to the ability of people to exterminate their kind out of a problematic instinct.

Such is the book, but this time, it seems that the writer chose to take his readers to the extreme point. This is not a pure gamble for the writer, because even for a girl like me who like such books, this book was very problematic.
And though I have read countless Holocaust books, this book doesn't fit into the definition of such one mainly because it is an indictment against a horrific monster - Josef Mengele.

As for the book, since it written in such a poetic and unusual way, in complete contrast to the terrible story. It recounts the suffering of two 13-year-old twins who fell into the hands of Mengele, who experiment with them without any specific or legitimate purpose. As in the stories of superheroes, when "bad" people try to capture and analyze the heroes to understand what materials they made off. In this case, Joseph Mengele succeeds in fulfilling the aspiration and in fact, in his clinic he holds many heroes of various types which he tries to "break apart" to match medicine to the human race and examine Its borders.

As a matter of fact, Mengele was not only enjoying his actions but rather taking possession of the most humane profession - he was a doctor. And therefore, I claim that in history you won't find another evil sadistic bastard with the power of the animal called "Mengele."

Mengele was never found to be prosecuted by humanity and presumably spent the rest of his life comfortably in another country. On the one hand, perhaps it was good that this was so because any punishment imposed on him would have contained nothing but what the criminal had done to people-even the death penalty wouldn't have restored the justice he needed.

Although the book touches the story of Mengele only at the surface level, yet, I feel at the same time it must be mentioned that his actions wasn't done in a vacuum, that is, there were other doctors and nurses and a large group of staff. And while all these were involved in the monstrous act itself, Mengele beat them all, as if it were a choir playing enjoyable music.

And here comes my embarrassment-
I don't know what kind of recommendation should I give you for this book, and while I feel a heavy responsibility to convey this message and this story, and despite the writer's excellent writing, I put here a big warning sign - don't open this book without prior preparation. Write the name "Jozef Mengele" on Google and read a little about his exploits before you start reading the book. ( )
  mazalbracha | Jan 12, 2019 |
I have read many Holocaust books, but this book is among the hardest, the most disturbing and shocking to learn.
The book describes the horrific tortures inflicted on Auschwitz-Birkenau by identical twins of 13, by Dr. Josef Mengele.
Although the heroines of the book are fictitious characters, it is clear that their story and other characters in the book based on real cases and testimonies of survivors.
Each chapter described from the perspective of one of the twins. The book is written in a poetic form, full of images; This is a sharp contrast to all descriptions of the suffering, abuse, humiliation and intense pain felt by the characters on their flesh. There are detailed descriptions not only of the twins, the heroines of the book but also of other twins who were with them in the camp, families of dwarves or "extraordinary" others, who had to be tested in their bodies by Dr. Mengele. He had mutilated them, performed unnecessary surgeries, removed organs from their bodies, destroyed their hearing or sight, to change the color of their eyes. For some reason, these children called him "uncle". He sometimes gave them candy at the end of a round of torture, but it is difficult to understand the degree of trust they had in the beginning.
Even at the end of the book, I felt almost no catharsis. Everything almost remains distorted, without hope, full of grief, death, and agony. ( )
  JantTommason | Jan 7, 2019 |
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