He was born a Jew during the German invasion and Michael and his family lived in an open ghetto. Bribing a German officer, his father saved his family for many months with cash collected from their community. Eventually Michael’s family found themselves in Auschwitz, where they were the last prisoners to have their numbers etched in their arms. Michael, the youngest child in the camp is grouped with his mother (Mamishu) and grandmother (Babeshi) while his brother and father are placed in another group. Mamishu continues to care for Michael as best as she can, given the extreme conditions that they are in, hoping that one day the family will be reunited and that they will return to their home in Zarki. Meanwhile all around them, the horrors of Auschwitz descent upon them. Michael survived this ordeal as he was filmed in 1945 by the Soviets being “carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms.”
- I appreciate the author’s ability to reconstruct his family’s history and share it with others. I enjoyed reading this novel and I enjoyed the second half of this novel especially. I liked how some matters came full circle for Michael, for these matters became an emotional tie. This novel is great for individuals who like nonfiction, history, WWII, memoirs, or survival.