Memoirs provide readers with a first-hand look at a life. Holocaust memoirs record the horrors of World War II from the people who lived through this time or often the memoirs are written by a remaining family member who in their own way lived the Holocaust “second hand” through their parents.
The Watchmaker’s Daughter: A Memoir
I recently read The Watchmaker’s Daughter: A Memoir by Sonia Taitz, which was published in 2012. Sonia is the daughter from the title. Her Jewish father repaired watches for the Nazis in Dachua prison and her mother was also held, with her mother, in a concentration camp during World War II. The effects of her parents’ circumstances formed Sonia into the woman who was brave enough to write this book.
A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy
The memoir A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy by Thomas Buergenthal is
told with candor by a man who was a 10-year-old boy when he entered Auschwitz. He survived because a kapo (a prisoner in charge of other prisoners) let him work as an errand boy in the camp, which kept him alive in one of the worst camps. Now a human-rights lawyer, judge, and professor, Buergenthal truly survived his trials.
The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust’s Shadow
This memoir was written by Holocaust survivor Krystyna Chiger, a Polish Jew, who survived by hiding in the sewers of Lvov, Poland with a group of Jews including her family. This book has been made into the 2012 movie called In Darkness, which chronicles her story of living in the Polish sewers for fourteen months.
Reading So We Don’t Forget
I read these Holocaust memoirs from time to time, but I find I can’t read them frequently or too close together. The stories are just too powerful and sad for that. But I do find that reading about first-hand accounts of the horrors that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis inflicted is a humbling and educational experience that is important to keeping this part of recent history alive.