Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Through the Eyes of a Survivor

I must confess when I first received this book as part of a bookring I really did not want to read it. The sheer size of the book, 503 pages, had me wishing for a lighter read.

As I began to read Nina Morecki's personal account of her survival of one of the most horrific periods in History I became enthralled with her story and could not put the book down. Nina grew up in a privileged Jewish family in Poland; beautiful new dresses, vacations to her beloved country retreat, a solid education. It would appear that she had it all. Her parents worked hard to build. But, even pre-war Poland there was animosity toward the Jews. Life slowly became harder and harder as Poland was invaded by the Russians and then the Germans and her family lost everything. Nina survived the following years following her instincts, her quick wit and her strength.

Colette Waddell weaved Nina's oral account of her life in a caring and informative fashion. Unique to Holocaust survivor stories, Waddell, with Nina, relays her entire life including immigrating to the United States, building a life and a family. No matter how many accounts I read of the Holocaust it is always shocking to imagine that not only did people live in such horrible conditions, but they survived. Nina's story is definitely no exception, she is an incredible lady. It was a privilege to be able to read her story.

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