Monday, November 6, 2017

Macky Reads The Librarian of Auschwitz

The Librarian of Auschwitz
Decades after the terrible events of World War Two, more stories about Auschwitz are being told. The Librarian of Auschwitz in particular is unique in that it follows the life of a young girl named Dita, a girl who curates the tiny handful of books smuggled into Auschwitz. 

Now, I can’t speak to the historical accuracy of all the events and recognizable names that played a part in Dita’s very long journey. (I do know enough about World War II to seriously want to have a chat with the author and the real life Dita Kraus herself to pick apart fact from fictional embellishment.) Even so, it’s not an easy read. No Holocaust story is. And given the breadth and scope of the other intertwined stories that run parallel to Dita’s, that’s a larger magnifying glass to peer through. History can talk numbers and crimes, but none of those books talk about the despair, the fear, and how one’s soul is crushed by the very sight of oppression and atrocity. 

Without any fanfare or dramatics, the hearts and minds of Dita and her campmates unfold with the turning of each page in perfect clarity. I would think that every story about the Holocaust is immediately a story of tragedy and horror. Of loss, and of proof that there is indeed evil in this world. 

But Dita’s tale is one such story that needs to be told, if only as a reminder of what people are capable of, both good and bad. That somehow, someway, there will always be hope. And that true heroes (as the lovely JK Rowling has said) rebuild, and do not let the tragedies of the past prevent them from moving forward with life. 

If any other WWII story was just about ready to be turned into a mini-series or feature length film, it would be The Librarian of Auschwitz. It puts names and faces, dreams and hopes to the millions of innocents murdered at the hands of the Third Reich. Their story must always be told, lest we ever start to forget. The Librarian of Auschwitz comes out October 10, 2017 and it has been my privilege and honor to have read this recounting of a brave young woman’s descent into and journey out of hell.


The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) | Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Source: ARC received from the publisher (Thanks!)

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