I’ve really been into WWII books lately and have been on a roll in finding good stories. I picked up this one because of its initial similarity to The Tattooist of Auschwitz. However, I was surprised to find a different story that could hold its own.
The Twins of Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri
The Nazis spared their lives because they were twins.
In the summer of 1944, Eva Mozes Kor and her family arrived at Auschwitz.
Within thirty minutes, they were separated. Her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, while Eva and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man who became known as the Angel of Death: Dr. Josef Mengele. They were 10 years old.
While twins at Auschwitz were granted the ‘privileges’ of keeping their own clothes and hair, they were also subjected to Mengele’s sadistic medical experiments. They were forced to fight daily for their own survival and many died as a result of the experiments, or from the disease and hunger rife in the concentration camp.
In a narrative told simply, with emotion and astonishing restraint, The Twins of Auschwitz shares the inspirational story of a child’s endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil.
Also included is an epilogue on Eva’s incredible recovery and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and worked toward goals of forgiveness, peace, and the elimination of hatred and prejudice in the world.
The main difference between The Twins of Auschwitz and similar books is that this is more of a memoir than anything else. Eva is the narrator and she tells us not only her story, but the story of her family also. This story stretches from the displacement of Jewish people in Eastern Europe to a point way beyond her life in the camp. Each point of her life which is recalled is full of strength and the determination to survive.
The language of this book is quite simple. I wasn’t a fan of the style too much at first but appreciated that it would be good for a younger audience interested in history. When I got to the end of the book, I read that Eva actually intended for this book to be used in schools. On that basis, it is perfect. However, it is not too juvenile for a more adult audience. I found out lots of information about Auschwitz that I didn’t know before, namely the experiments carried out in twins. Any book that I can learn something from is a winner in my eyes. Saying that, I would have liked to have more detail as I found the overall story to be a bit rushed.
The Twins of Auschwitz is available to buy now.