Each Holocaust narrative has something special to give to the reader. In this case, I believe that Ms. Bitton-Jackson has answered a question I frequently hear - People ask why I am drawn so strongly to the Jewish experience during the Holocaust. In the foreward to her book, the author writes:
My hope is that learning about past evils will help us to avoid them in the future. My hope is that learning what horrors can result from prejudice and intolerance, we can cultivate a commitment to fight prejudice and intolerance. It is for this reason that I wrote my recollections of the horror. Only one who was there can truly tell the tale. And I was there. My stories are of gas chambers, shootings, electrified fences, torture, scorching sun, mental abuse, and constant threat of death. But they are also stories of faith, hope, triumph, and love. They are stories of perseverance, loyalty, courage in the face of overwhelming odds, and of never giving up. My story is my message: Never give up. (p. 11)
I think this is why I am drawn to the Holocaust narratives - the universal ideas of hope and survival, the intimate relationships that sustained people through horrible times.
TITLE: I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing up in the Holocaust
AUTHOR: Livia Bitton-Jackson
TYPE: non-fiction, Holocaust narrative
RECOMMEND: I think the author has shown a wide range of experiences during the later years of the war, from the ghetto to the transfer from camp to camp as the Allied forces came closer. Excellent book.