Signs of Survival A Memoir of the Holocaust

Signs of Survival A Memoir of the Holocaust
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Release Date
November 02, 2021
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RENEE: I was ten years old then, and my sister was eight. The responsibility was on me to warn everyone when the soldiers were coming because my sister and both my parents were deaf.

I was my family's ears.

Meet Renee and Herta, two sisters who faced the unimaginable -- together. This is their true story.

As Jews living in 1940s Czechoslovakia, Renee, Herta, and their parents were in immediate danger when the Holocaust came to their door. As the only hearing person in her family, Renee had to alert her parents and sister whenever the sound of Nazi boots approached their home so they could hide.

But soon their parents were tragically taken away, and the two sisters went on the run, desperate to find a safe place to hide. Eventually they, too, would be captured and taken to the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Communicating in sign language and relying on each other for strength in the midst of illness, death, and starvation, Renee and Herta would have to fight to survive the darkest of times.

This gripping memoir, told in a vivid "oral history" format, is a testament to the power of sisterhood and love, and now more than ever a reminder of how important it is to honor the past, and keep telling our own stories.

Editor review

1 review
Signs of Survival A Memoir of the Holocaust
(Updated: July 29, 2021)
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What worked: This haunting memoir is about two young sisters who helped each other survive the Holocaust. Both of the girls parents are deaf. So is Herta. Renee is the one who helps her family know whenever the Nazis are close by. Their parents end up sending the girls to a farm in the hopes to hide them from the Nazis. The girls are sent back when there is no word from the parents. When the sisters are back in Bratislava, they find out that their parents were sent to a concentration camp. Later they are sent to join them.

What makes this memoir powerful is it's told in an oral history format. Readers can feel the loneliness, horror, that the sisters must have felt during this time. The memoir also personalizes what it must have been like to be a child witnessing and experiencing the horror of the Holocaust. The strength of this book has to be the power of the love of these two sisters that helps them survive through a dark time in history.

There's also photographs at the end of the book that show both sisters and the concentration camp they were liberated from.

Riveting memoir of two sisters who survived the Holocaust. I feel this book would be a perfect addition to elementary and middle school libraries.
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1. Riveting memoir of two sisters who survived the Holocaust
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