Friday, November 2, 2018

Survivors Club by Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat - ESSENTIAL

Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz by Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat, 344 pages.  Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017.  $17.  

Content: Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG-13.  



Michael Bornstein was the youngest child to survive Auschwitz.  In this harrowing story, Michael tells of his family’s experience in Poland during World War II.  Michael was born shortly after the war started, but through research among his family members he paints a vivid picture of the losses suffered by Polish Jews.  He explains his father’s role as a mediator between the German soldiers and the Jewish community and his mother’s strength in the work camp as well as Aushwitz.  After Aushwitz is liberated, Michael tells of some of the hardships of coming home and moving on.  

I devoured this book in two days.  I listened to the audio book read by Fred Berman (who did an outstanding job) and it is heartbreaking yet hopeful.  Michael’s daughter Debbie helped him write this story and together they did a masterful job.  The violence is super upsetting, including executions and implied sexual assault, but it is never gratuitously graphic.  This is an important read and is well done.  

C. Peterson

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