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The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival
The Children of Willesden Lane Beyond the Kindertransport A Memoir of Music Love and Survival Author:Mona Golabek, Lee Cohen Based on the true story of her mother, Mona Golabek describes the inspirational story of Lisa Jura Golabek's escape from Nazi-controlled Austria to England on the famed Kindertransport. Jewish musical prodigy Lisa Jura has a wonderful life in Vienna. But when the Nazis start closing in on the city, life changes irreversibly. Although he has th... more »ree daughters, Lisa's father is only able to secure one berth on the Kindertransport. The family decides to send Lisa to London so that she may pursue her dreams of a career as a concert pianist. Separated from her beloved family, Lisa bravely endures the trip and a disastrous posting outside London before finding her way to the Willesden Lane Orphanage.It is in this orphanage that Lisa's story truly comes to life. Her music inspires the other orphanage children, and they, in turn, cheer her on in her efforts to make good on her promise to her family to realize her musical potential. Through hard work and sheer pluck, Lisa wins a scholarship to study piano at the Royal Academy. As she supports herself and studies, she makes a new life for herself and dreams of reconnecting with the family she was forced to leave behind. The resulting tale delivers a message of the power of music to uplift the human spirit and to grant the individual soul endurance, patience, and peace.« less
This was an extremely memorable and well-written Holocaust story from a point of view not often described. Lisa Jura was one of the 10,000 German, Austrian, Polish and other Jewish children sent to England on the Kindertransport, to escape from the onslaught of the Nazi regime and the (at that time) unimagined horrors of World War II that were to come. The children were given lodging at various hostels, and put to work to earn their keep as nannies, maids, and in factories. Lisa Jura had been learning piano during her former life in Vienna, and started secretly using the piano in the hostel when she could. Her talent for piano was discovered, and she was awarded a scholarship to the London Academy of Music, and went on to become a world-renowned concert pianist. The story is told with pathos, humour and charm, by Lisa Jura's daughter, Mona Golabek, also a concert pianist. I usually read Holocaust memoirs at the same time while reading other books, but I can truthfully say, once I started this book, I could not put it down. I highly recommend it.