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About this item
Number of Pages: 272
Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Author: Zdena Berger
Street Date: April 1, 2007
Item Number (DPCI): 247-77-3750
This autobiographical novel depicts the experiences of three girls coming of age in the Nazi concentration camps. Through Tania's eyes, we experience claustrophobic uncertainty, grief, terror, exhaustion, and Tania's sustaining hope, her ability to always see and experience beauty. As in The Diary of Anne Frank, Tania's youthful concerns and observations are interwoven among accounts of extremity: her brother's murder; her mother's decision to stay with her father and die in the gas chamber rather than be transported to another concentration camp; the saving friendships Tania develops; her relationships with young men who are prisoners. Tania's release from Bergen-Belsen and her return to Prague after the liberation is unforgettable and devastating: She observes people wearing normal clothes, eating ice cream, and traveling on buses between work and home. There is no judgment, only the reality of two worlds existing simultaneously. With spare prose, Zdena Berger's first-hand observations convey the deprivation and brutality in which Tania comes of age, and the friendships and hope that help her to survive.
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