Friday, August 3, 2018

Book Review: Auschwitz Lullaby: A Novel by Mario Escobar

This book presents an interesting twist of the story regarding survival  at Auschwitz. The author tells us about a pure German woman named Helene, who is married to a Roma and has five children with him. An unusual union given the time and the distrust between both Germans and Roma and that union is about to be tested even more. The year is 1943 and Helene is under no illusion what fate awaits them. While she as a German is free from prosecution, both her husband and kids are subject to prosecution by the Nazis. And so one day in 1943, the knock occurs at the door and the policy arrive to deport the family. Helene can choose to stay behind, but is determined to protect her family and her children as much as possible and so she does the unthinkable - she vo9luntarily joins the transport to Auschwitz.
Arriving at the camp after a ride of several days, they are greeted by chaos and mayhem. Her husband is separated immediately and so it is up to Helene to protect her children and ensure that they have a chance to survive. Helene is not only German, but also a trained nurse, a skill very useful in the camp that has rampant outbreaks of diseases. The author goes on to describe in vivid detail not only the horrific daily routine in the camp, but also the attempts by Helene to set up some kind of normalcy for her children and the other children in the camp.
Not giving in to the Nazis, Helene makes daily attempts to protect the children, not just from the horrors of Auschwitz, but also the horrors of war, by giving them glimpses of what a normal childhood outside of KZ and war would look like. This is a very moving book, that shows that hope can overcome many obstacles.

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this review is my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

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