Berlin 1941. Marie Jalowicz Simon, a 19-year-old Jewish woman, makes an extraordinary decision. All around her Jews are being rounded up for deportation, forced labour and extermination. Marie takes off her yellow star and vanishes into the city.
Always on the move, never certain who could be trusted and how far, her quick-witted determination and the most amazing and hair-raising strokes of luck ensured her survival.
©2014 Hermann Simon and Irene Stratenwerth. Translation copyright Anthea Bell (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd
"Jalovicz Smon is a born storyteller, fluently describing dire practicalities, sparing no one in criticism or praise, including herself." (Observer)
"The tone of her testimony is remarkable, unsentimental and yet often infused with unexpected empathy for so many of the people with whom she crossed paths." (Jewish Chronicle)
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"A woman's wartime memoirs"
This book is the memoir of one woman - a Jewish girl in Berlin during world war 2. I found her story fascinating as she hid in plain sight by pretending not to be Jewish. She considered different options to stay safe and was helped by several weird characters. I liked that this offered a different perspective from other memoirs of the period I've read and I liked that the author said how things were and didn't try to view things with modern eyes. She simply told her story. Unfortunately this matter of fact delivery kept me at a distance. At no time did I really feel the true peril that she was in or feel involved in the choices she made. It reads like a history book and it jumps around in time a little which didn't help build up any dramatic tension. This woman is amazing for everything she went through and for sharing her story but it felt very flat and I don't feel I truly understand what it was like for her.
The narrator was okay and tried to lift the book a little with a few voices but I found that didn't work for me. Overall worth a listen for the valuable historical information but doesn't engage well with the listener.
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