Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust Book Review

If we are lucky, the bond that we have with our siblings is one that is strong. In certain circumstances, it can mean the difference between life and death.

Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust, was published at the beginning of the year. Written by Joshua M. Greene and Renee Hartman, the memoir is the story of how Renee and her sister, Herta survived the Holocaust. Renee was both the ears and the voice for her family as both her parents and Herta were deaf.

Before the war, life was relatively normal. Everything changed when the girls were separated from their mother and father. With a target on their back due to their Jewish faith, their only choice was to find a safe place to hide. But they were soon caught and sent to Bergen-Belsen. With death all around them, the sisters turned to each other, hoping that would be enough to stay alive.

Told in an oral history format, this book speaks to the strength of two young girls who could have easily given up. But in turning to one another, they found the spark that allowed them to pull through and live. Though the main audience is young readers, the impact of this experience is not on an adult who might pick up this book. Though we know that both Renee and Herta survived, that journey to liberation is fraught with danger and suspense.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.


My Survival: A Girl on Schindler’s List: A Girl on Schindler’s List Book Review

We all know that The Holocaust happened. Six million Jews and millions of others were persecuted, tortured, and murdered simply because of who they were. Yet, there are still some who claim that it is a myth or that the numbers of victims are not what they claim to be. The only way to counter these lies is via the fact and the first-hand accounts of survivors, whose numbers are dwindling as time goes on.

My Survival: A Girl on Schindler’s List: A Girl on Schindler’s List, by Rena Finder and Joshua M. Greene, was published in 2019. Mrs. Finder had a normal childhood until the age of 11, when she, along with her family and all other Jewish families in the area, were confined to the Krakow ghetto. After they were forced out of the ghetto, they were put on trains to Auschwitz. It looked like all was lost, until an unlikely savior came along. Oskar Schindler was a businessman who was known for crossing moral lines that others would never even consider getting close to. But he was also responsible for saving the lives of Rena, her mother, and many others. In total, over 1000 people were alive at the end of World War II due to his efforts.

I really enjoyed this book. It is age-appropriate for young readers while telling Mrs. Finder’s story in heartbreaking detail. In speaking directly to the audience from one child to another, the narrative hits home how important it is that we respect another’s differences, even we disagree with them. Only then, will the souls of the millions who were murdered be at peace and we will have finally learned from the past.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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