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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The powerful, heartbreaking memoir of Dita Kraus, the real-life librarian of Auschwitz.

Born in Prague to a Jewish family in 1929, Dita Kraus has lived through the most turbulent decades of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Here, Dita writes with startling clarity on the horrors and joys of a life delayed by the Holocaust. From her earliest memories and childhood friendships in Prague before the war, to the Nazi occupation that saw her and her family sent to the Jewish ghetto at Terezín, to the unimaginable fear and bravery of her imprisonment in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and life after liberation. 

Dita writes unflinchingly about the harsh conditions of the camps and her role as librarian of the precious books that her fellow prisoners managed to smuggle past the guards. But she also looks beyond the Holocaust - to the life she rebuilt after the war: her marriage to fellow survivor Otto B Kraus, a new life in Israel and the happiness and heartbreaks of motherhood. 

Part of Dita's story was told in fictional form in the Sunday Times best seller The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe. Her memoir tells the full story in her own words.

©2020 Dita Kraus (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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  • Pam Jolliffe
  • 16-02-2021

An uplifting life

Dit’s’ story is written without pity, without judgement or hatred. A teenager in Prague from normal life to ghetto to Auschwitz Hamburg work amp and Belsen. But it is the life after that to 2018 that is so heart rendering balanced with joy.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-10-2020

Delayed life indeed

Excellent biography from a lady who has had her fair share of misery but still manages to enjoy life, doesn’t sugercoat anything and tells it how it was and is. Superbly narrated by Paticence Thomlinson.

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  • J. A. Croucher
  • 08-04-2020

Very emotional in places

I didn’t take to the narration straight away, but because the story was so moving in it’s own right a more expressive narrator might have ruined it.

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