All But My Life by Gerda Weissman Klein was published in 1957 and is her first person account of being a young Polish Jew during WWII.
She is a teen girl when her story begins, and what I liked about this book is that she gives background information as she tells her story. She helps the reader understand what was happening politically and the increasingly restrictive rules that the Jewish population faced. Her story follows her from her home to several work camps and on to a forced death march. I also liked that her story told about what she did after the war.
She told of working in the factories and trying hard to work fast enough in order to stay safe and alive. She showed that there were kind Germans who did what they could to lighten her burden, but there were others who were horrible. I was so frustrated with Abek, and although he loved her, I felt he put way too much pressure on her. She was very young and was in such a horrible situation. She shouldn't have had to deal with him and the feeling of being trapped by him.
Her letters to her parents and especially to and from her brother were heartbreaking. I wanted to go rescue them all. No one should have to go through what they went through. The title of the book refers to the fact that the Nazis took all from her but her life.
Thank you, Gerda, for sharing your story and helping the world see that we must all be a little kinder.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.
Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We are in need of Spanish books at this time, especially board books. We can always use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the book you donate.