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May 12, 2022

Pillar of Salt: A Daughter's Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust by Anna Salton Eisen & Aaron Eisen ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts



"You can't do it alone.  You must let other people help you.  And when you're better, then  you go and help someone else."  (p 148)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of nonfiction WWII story Pillar of Salt by Anna Salton Eisen and Aaron Eisen
May 2022; Mandel Vilar Press; 978-1942134824
ebook, print (192 pages); history nonfiction

Anna grew up in a comfortable household with her parents and two brothers.  Her parents were both Holocaust survivors and to protect their children they didn't want their children to ask any questions about their earlier lives and the family that they had both lost during the war.  Anna was a quiet child and started to study the Holocaust on her own.  As she learned more about the horrors of life for Jewish people she internalized it and began to have bad dreams.  She couldn't really make any friends in school because she knew that no one would understand her life.  Her parents were loving and supportive to their children and occasionally told stories about their childhoods or about friends that they had lost.  Even though her father kept his life a secret from his children, Anna finally got him to talk about it.  He had been in ten different concentration camps over a two-year period and had encountered all of the horrors of the camp.  When Anna finally convinces him to look at this past, the family took a trip to Poland to important places in their parent's past.  On the trip, her parents were able to confront their pasts and honor their lost relatives.   Once they returned home, her father started speaking to groups about his past and wrote a book about his life.  Anna became very involved in groups of people whose parents were Holocaust survivors.

By revisiting those places of trauma with her father as her guide, Anna Salton Eisen's tour of terrors provides her with a new understanding of how her identity has been shaped under the shadow of the Holocaust. Anna confides that by looking back like Lot's wife, and by taking in the whole story, "I could carry the pain of the Holocaust and find there is more to me than a pillar of salt."

This book was beautifully written and honest.  I read a lot of WWII fiction and the treatment of the Jewish people by the Nazis always horrifies me.  To read a firsthand account of this treatment was even more disturbing.  We need to remember what happened during those years so we can work to make sure that it never happens again.

Buy Pillar of Salt at Amazon


Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. 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 Facebook.
  


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