Saturday, May 5, 2012
Surviving the Angel of Death: The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor, Lisa Rojany Buccieri
Eva Mozes Kor was 10 years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Mengele's twins were granted the privileges of keeping their own clothes and hair, but they were also subjected to sadistic medical experiments and forced to fight daily for their own survival, as most of the twins died as a result of the experiements or from the disease and hunger pervasive in the camp. In a narrative told with emotion and restraint, readers will learn of a child's endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil. The book also includes an epilogue on Eva's recovery from this experience and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she has dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and working toward goals of forgiveness, peace, and the elimination of hatred and prejudice in the world
This story reminded me a lot of Night by Elie Wiesel it was a very short story of this particular author's memories of what happened to her and her sister during the war. It is of course a little less detailed and horrific as the book Night was. This book would be a good addition to school libraries and classrooms to help lead discussions on the war and what the people experienced above and beyond what most classrooms see through the story of Anne Frank.
Eva and her twin sister are the focus of this story. We get a little bit of background of the war and the Third Reich and politics behind it. The family is taken out of their home to ghettos, them to camps and onto Auschwitz. It goes into some detail about the experiments that happened to them, but nothing that would give the reader nightmares, more like a hint at what happened.
We do not stay long at the camp, they were their in the last days of Auschwitz and the second half of the book is their survival and moving into the orphanage and then onto living with their relatives.
There are photos that go along with the story and it was interesting to see a lighter read that also details the ideas and politics behind the war with the heart of a survival story, forgiveness.