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The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia by…

The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia (1968)

by Esther Hautzig

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (21)  French (2)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This memoir of a Polish girl and her family in exile in Siberia during WWII is a well-told reminder of the horrors visited upon the Jews who didn't experience Nazi concentration camps. Along with the narrator, we witness the deprivation, the cold, & the humiliation of a family who struggle and survive.
( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
This memoir of a Polish girl and her family in exile in Siberia during WWII is a well-told reminder of the horrors visited upon the Jews who didn't experience Nazi concentration camps. Along with the narrator, we witness the deprivation, the cold, & the humiliation of a family who struggle and survive.
( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
This is a very interesting story about a young girl and her family getting arrested and exile to Siberia, and their experience in working in labor camps. The book goes in depth about her experiences working and how hope kept her and her family alive. This would be a great book to use when talking about world war two. This gives students perspectives from people who suffered and survived during this time. ( )
  Beckylchiamaka | Feb 27, 2018 |
Esther Hautzig's recounting of how her family in Vilna, Poland, was sent by the Russians to Siberia because they were seen as "enemies of the people." Her mother thinks she is saving her brother when he comes to their house as they are being arrested, but he does not escape the Holocaust. . At the end of the book there is a brief explanation of how the book came to be written and followed by a brief biography of the author. Ms. Hautzig also wrote A Gift for Mama, a charming family story about life in Vilna before the Holocaust, a collection of I.L. Peretz stories which she translated, and many more books. ( )
  raizel | May 12, 2016 |
What ages would I recommend it too? Twelve and up.

Length? Most of a day.

Characters? Memorable, several characters.

Setting? Real world. World War 2 Poland and Russia.

Written approximately? 1968.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? Ready to read more.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? A little clarification on the grandmothers at the beginning. First chapter was slightly confusing.

Short storyline: A young girl and her parents and grandparents are deported from Poland to Russia during World War 2.

Notes for the reader: I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It delved so deep into the character, who wasn't afraid to have emotions and think before she acted. Then, I looked at the date it was written. 1968. Today, no writer would get past a beta reader with so well written a novel! They'd be told to cut the emotion and add commotion. Not to mention a million other things that would destroy the story. ( )
  AprilBrown | Feb 25, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hautzig, Estherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bohlmeijer, Arnosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bresnahan, AlyssaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montagne-Andres, L.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podevin, Jean-FrançoisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pollay, Ulrike A.Übersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Post, Mancesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This story would not have been told without the help of many, many people. It is gratefully dedicated to all of them.
First words
The morning it happened - the end of my lovely world - I did not water the lilac bush outside my father's study.
Those of us who were lucky enough to have had a slice of that watermelon that night - like me - must count it the most delectable food ever eaten anyplace by anyone.
I bent my head closer to the vines; I didn't want to see the dunce. But as a member of the collective dunce, I too called out, "No, no." We were not humanitarians; we were just hungry children who didn't want to starve, and I think it likely that collectively we had it in us to stone the next child who pulled a potato.
Later, I would occasionally watch my mother work with the jack hammer, but the woman whose guts seemed about to be shaken out of her, whose face was contorted to ugliness, would seem a stranger.
Hadn't I learned by now that it was not all that easy to die?
The flatness of this land was awesome. There wasn’t a hill in sight; it was an enormous, unrippled sea of parched and lifeless grass. “Tata, why is the earth so flat here?” “These must be steppes, Esther.” “Steppes? But steppes are in Siberia.” “This is Siberia,” he said quietly.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006440577X, Paperback)

Exiled to Siberia

In June 1942, the Rudomin family is arrested by the Russians. They are "capitalists -- enemies of the people." Forced from their home and friends in Vilna, Poland, they are herded into crowded cattle cars. Their destination: the endless steppe of Siberia.
For five years, Ester and her family live in exile, weeding potato fields and working in the mines, struggling for enough food and clothing to stay alive. Only the strength of family sustains them and gives them hope for the future.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:17 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

During World War II, when she was eleven years old, the author and her family were arrested in Poland by the Russians as political enemies and exiled to Siberia. She recounts here the trials of the following five years spent on the harsh Asian steppe.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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