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September 14, 2020

The Brothers of Auschwitz by Malka Adler ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"I realized that the war had ended in the world but not in people's hearts.  I knew the war would never leave us. Just like putting a boiling iron with a number on the body of a calf. The calf grows older, the number remains unchanged." (loc 2298)
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Brothers of Auschwitz
September 2020; One More Chapter; 978-0008398439
ebook, print (464 pages); historical fiction

An extraordinary novel of hope and heartbreak, this is a story about a family separated by the Holocaust and their harrowing journey back to each other.

I read a lot of WWII fiction but this book is told on such a personal level that it really touched me. I will admit to some tears as I was reading it but the overwhelming feeling after reading this book is the bravery and resilience of the people who survived the concentration camps - the people who saw humanity at its worst and then had to live with the memories of the people they lost and how they were treated for the rest of their lives.  

In 1944, a family living in an isolated town in Hungary was told that they had one hour to get ready for their transport to Auschwitz. The family had always been part of the town but suddenly the town turned against their Jewish families.  The story of the family is told six decades after they were released from the camps by two brothers, Dov and Yitzhak who were teenagers when they were sent to the camps. They refused to share their story for many years but finally agreed to tell their memories to the author in Israel. Their time in the camps was brutal and inhumane. It was difficult to read some of it and to believe that people could be so evil that they would inflict such pain on other humans. Less than half of the book is about their time in the camps.  The rest is about their recovery in the hospitals after they are rescued and the way they were treated by other people.  One of the brothers returned to their hometown after he recovered and found a family from the town living in their house and using their furniture and possessions. They moved into the house immediately after the family was taken and had no regrets because they believed that no Jews would ever return to Hungary.  Even when the brothers moved to Israel they were faced with people who had no understanding of what their lives had been like and didn't understand why they didn't fight back.

The Brothers of Auschwitz is a raw, heartbreaking novel about two brothers who survived the war and their life after the war as they tried to acclimate back into normalcy.  It is full of pain and sorrow but there is also love and friendship and people who put themselves in danger to help the brothers.  Even though it was difficult to read, I highly recommend it to people who enjoy reading books about this brutal time in history. This is a book that I won't soon forget.


About the Author

Malka Adler was born in a small village near the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. She began her work as an author after the age of 50 when she joined a creative writing course and fell in love with the art.

So far, Malka has written six books, four of which are about the Holocaust. It was never clear to her why she was drawn to this subject again and again.

Only recently perhaps has she begun to understand, after finding out accidentally that most of her father’s family together with all the Jews of Komotini in Greece were sent to Treblinka in 1943. Malka was named after one of the aunts who perished at the camp together with her 3 kids.

The Brothers of Auschwitz was translated into English by Noel Canin

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Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter




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3 comments:

  1. This sounds like an amazing story. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today. Hope you have a nice week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    ReplyDelete

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