Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Holocaust’s Hidden Child Survivors


Today’s post is on Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Holocaust’s Hidden Child Survivors by R. D. Rosen. It is 304 pages long including a bibliography, list of documentaries and feature films  and is published by HarperCollins. The cover has a picture of a young girl praying in a garden. The intended reader is someone who is interested in Holocaust history. There is some language, talk of rape and sexual abuse, and talk about one of the most horrible times in human history; teens and adults for the best. This story is told from interviews, journals, newspaper articles, and research data. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Only one in ten Jewish children in Europe survived the Holocaust, many in hiding. In Such Good Girls, R. D. Rosen tells the story of these survivors through the true experiences of three women.
Sophie Turner-Zaretzky, who spent the war years believing she was an anti-Semitic Catholic schoolgirl, eventually became an esteemed radiation oncologist. Flora Hogman, protected by a succession of Christians, emerged from the war a lonely, lost orphan, but later became a psychologist who pioneered the study of hidden child survivors. Unlike Anne Frank, Carla Lessing made it through the war concealed with her family in the home of Dutch strangers before becoming a psychotherapist and key player in the creation of an international organization of hidden child survivors.
In reading the stories of three women who defied death by learning to be “such good girls,” R. D. Rosen examines a silent and silenced generation- the last living cohort of Holocaust survivors. He provides rich, memorable portraits of a handful of hunted children who, as adults, were determined to deny Hitler any more victories, and he re-creates the extraordinary event that lured so many hidden child survivors out of their grown-up “hiding places” and finally brought them together.

Review- This was a fascinating and wonderful read. I truly enjoyed this book. I felt that there was really some hope for both these survivors and others who have had to hide from horrible things in their lives. The three women that the story mostly focus’ on are truly terrifying and amazing. They survived things that no one should ever have to and then they go on to lead lives that help other people. The women talk about how hard it was to move on but they do. They are inspiring. The writing is wonderful, the research is heartbreaking but I felt like I could trust Rosen. He was very thorough and the notes help if you want to track back for yourself. The things that happen to the women and their families is just heartbreaking but I felt hopeful at the end. I highly recommend this book.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I was given this book by HarperCollins in exchange for a honest review.