Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust

Scholastic Nonfiction. Jan. 2022. 128p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338753356.
Gr 5-8–This title is a transcribed compilation of video interviews from the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University. Hartman narrates her early experiences (at age 10) with the Nazis and other anti-Semites. Each short chapter is alternated with that of her younger sister, Herta. Born in Bratislava, Renee was the “ears” of the family since her sister and both of their parents were Deaf. It was her job to warn the family when they were in danger of being arrested by the marauding troops. The family moved to the country, seeking safety, but moved back to Bratislava when it became too dangerous there. The sisters continued to be shuffled from place to place in search of shelter, but after living on the streets, and separated from their parents, they eventually ended up in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The only thing that kept them going was their sisterly bond. After the camp’s U.S. liberation, Renee and Herta were released by the Red Cross into the custody of their U.S. relatives. Photos and a note from the author conclude the stirring text.
VERDICT Difficult to read at times, this touching narrative is a poignant addition to the World War II Holocaust canon.

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