Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Star: Memoirs of a Holocaust Survivor by Felicja Nowak

Interesting moving story
Rating 5 out of 10

I was actually slightly pleasantly surprised by this book. It's written by a Polish/Jewish woman who spent some of the time during WW2 in the Jewish ghetto (organized by the Nazis) in the Polish town Bialystok. I am a kind of person who have always felt quite immune to having a terrified emotional response to Holocaust. But reading Felicja Nowak's account I actually felt it was too bad that she lost both her parrents on account of the Nazis killings of Jews. The best part of the novel I think is when she describes life in the ghetto, the struggle to survive. It's also liberating that she gives a more nuanced picture of the Germans. For example she works in a factory in the ghetto, and in the daytime the Germans walk around and scream at the Jews to keep them to work. But after work the Germans and the Jews are forced to also spend the time together and there they just talk together like normal people. Eventually it is actually also a German who help Felicja to flee from the ghetto! Also it was moving when Felicja describe her parting with her mother when she flee the ghetto, shortly after her mother, like her father was killed by the Nazis.

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