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Gertruda's Oath: A Child, a Promise,…
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Gertruda's Oath: A Child, a Promise, and a Heroic Escape During World… (2007)

by Ram Oren, Ram Oren

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I admittedly had lower expectations upon beginning to read it, but ended up being pleasantly surprised and enthralled by this story regarding the Holocaust. I have since passed it on to co-workers who agree! ( )
  chris_iginla | Jul 26, 2011 |
I received this book as a Goodreads winner. I have been reading many books and watching many films recently in regards to the Holocaust. This book was very powerful and captivating. To know the courage, fear, and determination of Gertruda, one woman, to save a Jewish child was inexplicably the truest form of human kindness a person can have. I was encaptured by the story and felt the emotions and pain that was involved within this book. I work for someone whose father is a Holocaust survivor. I have met this amazing man several times and have heard his story of survivorship. The strength of the people, deceased and survivors, is a true testament. ( )
  littleamyshort | Nov 6, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm going to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Holocaust books tend to be either heartbreaking or over the top sappy, but this was neither. If anything, the book was uplifting and restored some of my faith in humanity. Although the book provides a lot of gruesome detail, it is never over the top or there simply for shock value. I highly recommend for anyone interested in this time period, or anyone who is interested in reading about the better side (and the worse side) of human nature. ( )
1 vote nicole0112 | May 8, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Perhaps you think there is no need for another Holocaust memoir. This story adds to our collective knowledge about the horror of that time and of the courage that was displayed by the most unlikely heroes. The heroes in this case include a young Catholic governness, a small boy, a priest, and an SS officer. Gertrude and young Michael, who she loves and cares for as her own, live on the outside. They are not incarcerated in a concentration camp or consigned to life in a Jewish ghetto. They live in the gray fringe of freedom, barely getting by and always fearful of discovery. The story climaxes as their story intersects with the dramatic, nearly tragic voyage of the Exodus.
This story is told with feeling but it is not maudlin or sentimental. The "heroes" are ordinary people struggling in extraordinary circumstances to survive and keep their dignity. Even in the case of the SS officer we see that rarely is an individual completely good or evil.
1 vote wood4wv | Jan 30, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When I first received this book from librarything I thought
I had made a mistake in requesting it. Another Holocaust memoir, I just wasn't up for it. But I started to read the book
and it grabbed my attention from the first page. This is a beautifully rendered story and the memoir reads like a fast pace thriller. There are a number of different characters in the story and the fun part is to see their
trajectory through the course of the second World War and
how they eventually interconnect with one another. For
me by far the most intriguing character was the Nazi
officer Karl Fink. A faithful SS officer, Karl is an intriguing
character because he also happens to be married to a Jewish woman when under the Nazis this is against the law, and he has a daughter who by birth is also Jewish.
Karl's story is but one of the very moving renditions in this
work, he is by far the most interesting to follow. Gertruda
herself is a bit of a one-note character, believably heroic
in all of her actions to save the young boy who the book
is mostly about,but this seems to be her sole purpose and
it isn't until she actually falls in love with a priest who himself turns out to be gay, do other dimensions of her
character become apparent. I don't doubt that she was a remarkable woman, she just doesn't come across as the most complex of people. but maybe people who are so inherently good don't need other complexities.
For me the book was exhilierating until the end when Gerturda settles into her new home with her young charge. It is never explained why the young Polish Jew
eventually leaves Israel and Gerturda behind, but I guess
this would be another great story that needs to be told.
The narrator at times was a little too omniscient for my liking. He seeemed to know things that were garnered more from history rather then his being present when the
events took place. But this was still a thrilling read for me and it certainly reignited my interest in memoirs of this
period. The tragedy of the war is that so many different
types of people suffered, Jews, christians and some who
even followed the faith of the fascists. You get the sense
of how deeply scarred Europe was after this tragedy.
I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to read a
heart-rendering and very powerful story of faith and indomitable will. ( )
2 vote alans | Jan 4, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ram Orenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Oren, Rammain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385527187, Hardcover)

Trapped in the horrors of World War II, a woman and a child embark on a journey of survival in this page-turning true story that recalls the power and the poignancy of Schindler’s List.

Michael Stolowitzky, the only son of a wealthy Jewish family in Poland, was just three years old when war broke out and the family lost everything. His father, desperate to settle his business affairs, travels to France, leaving Michael in the care of his mother and Gertruda Bablinska, a Catholic nanny devoted to the family. When Michael's mother has a stroke, Gertruda promises the dying woman that she will make her way to Palestine and raise him as her own son.

Written with the invaluable assistance of Michael, now seventy-two and living in New York City, GERTRUDA’S OATH re-creates Michael and Gertruda’s amazing journey. Gripping vignettes bring to life the people who helped ensure their survival, including SS officer Karl Rink, who made it his mission to save Jews after his own Jewish wife was murdered; Rink’s daughter, Helga, who escaped to a kibbutz, where she lived until her recent death; and the Jewish physician Dr. Berman, who aided Michael and Gertruda through the worst of times.

GERTRUDA’S OATH is a story of extraordinary courage and moral strength in the face of horrific events. Like Schindler’s List, it transcends history and religion to reveal the compassion and hope that miraculously thrives in a world immersed in war without end.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Michael Stolowitzky, the only son of a wealthy Jewish family in Poland, was just three years old when war broke out and the family lost everything. His father, desperate to settle his business affairs, traveled to France, leaving Michael in the care of his mother and Gertruda Bablinska, the family's devoted Catholic nanny. When Michael's mother had a stroke, Gertruda promised the dying woman that she would make her way to Palestine and raise him as her own son. Written with the assistance of Michael, now 72, this book re-creates Michael and Gertruda's amazing journey. Vignettes bring to life the people who helped ensure their survival, including SS officer Karl Rink, who made it his mission to save Jews after his own Jewish wife was murdered. This is a story of extraordinary courage and moral strength in the face of horrific events.--From publisher description.… (more)

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