Welcome back to another First Lines Friday post! In today’s post I am changing things up a bit. I have been featuring some older reads in the last few First Lines Friday posts, however this week I am featuring something on my TBR, or To Be Read pile, instead.
I’ve selected this book completely at random. I basically did a quick scroll through the list without looking and picked the one I stopped on. Sometimes it’s nice to do things a little random.So, without further adieu, here is this week’s book. Can you guess the book from the introduction?
The Nazi officers are dressed in black. They look at death with the indifference of a gravedigger. In Auschwitz, human life has so little value that no one is shot anymore; a bullet is more valuable than a human being. In Auschwitz there are communal chambers where they administer Zyklon gas. It’s cost-effective, killing hundreds of people with just one tank. Death has become an industry that is profitable only if it’s done wholesale.
The officers have no idea that in the family camp in Auschwitz, on top of the dark mud into which everything sinks, Alfred Hirsch has established a school. They don’t know it, and it’s essential that they should not know it. Some inmates didn’t believe it was possible. They though Hirsch was crazy or naive,: How could you teach children in this brutal extermination camp where everything is forbidden? But Hirsch would smile. He was always smiling enigmatically, as if he knew something that no one else did. ‘It doesn’t matter how many schools the Nazis close, he would say to them. ‘Each time someone stops to tell a story and children listen, a school has been established.’
Shall we find out what it is?
The Librarian of Auschwitz – Antonio Iturbe
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.Goodreads
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.
Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.
I have read and listened to a number of books from this time period and setting already. The conditions people had to suffer were horrendous. It’s awful, but I honestly believe that education about it is the way to prevent history from repeating itself.
I’m really looking forward to reading this novel and take on life in concentration camps from a new author. The main character is all about preserving books, so she has won me over already!
Have you read The Librarian of Auschwitz?
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