EXCELLENT first hand account. Definitely worth a read if you are interested in the genre.
This book is haunting, evocative and acutely unforgettable. I became interested in the holocaust after watching the movie, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I first read the book that was tied to the movie and was so horrified by the `story' I had to learn more.
I began by first reading Night by Elie Wiesel which for an introduction into the holocaust and all that entailed I was captured by not only the evil behind the massacre but also the strength and spirit of the prisoners held captive. My heart broke for each and every single person lost and this compelled me to continue reading ... for what I didn't know but I knew I couldn't stop.
I followed Night by reading `I Have Lived A thousand Years' by Livia Bitton Jackson. I don't like to use the word enjoy when describing my feelings on reading these books, but I did learn a lot and was overcome with compassion for her story and what she went through.
My next book was The Cage by Ruth Minsky Sender. This book was my least favorite and if you had to choose one book on the holocaust I wouldn't recommend this one.
In my opinion Five Chimneys is the very best book out there that details the horror, pure evil, cruelty, humanity, kindness, strength of the prisoners and finally the overall happenings at the concentration camp/s. God bless those who suffered. It is truly a miracle those who survived had the capacity to get back up and keep going. I found myself shaking my head as Olga explained the atrocities that went on. Her tone was very matter of fact, but I think maybe a lot of the emotion was lost in translation when the book was turned to English. The only part of the book I thought was missing was how Olga fared in her life once she returned to the rest of the living world. Did she continue being a doctor? Did she remarry and have another family? How did she feel as her life went on and she looked back at the events at Auschwitz? This is my one thought on what I wished could have been included. This is really not any of my business though. Olga shared everything; an active and flourishing imagination could not conjure up such horrendous events so I understand that maybe she felt the rest of her life wasn't relative. I however would have enjoyed knowing how she fared as her life went on.
If you have an interest in furthering your reading, I would start with Five Chimneys, Night, & finish with I Have Lived A Thousand Years. Five Chimneys is not for the faint of heart. The descriptions of what happened to pregnant women, and to the babies/children throughout the camp was beyond horrific and I still struggle with those images in my mind. This book is certainly not for those seeking enjoyment. Five Chimneys is for people who don't want to forget the loss and suffering. For people who hope to gain a better understanding of what happened over 60 years ago and who aim to carry in their hearts compassion for others to aid in preventing such an occurrence from ever happening again.
This is one woman's first-hand account of life at Birkenau and Auschwitz. While imprisoned there, she made it her goal to survive, explicitly to tell the world about the atrocities perpetuated by the Nazis. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in true accounts of the Holocaust.
i'm reading this book now and i got it from a yard sale. did not see the underline and highlights in it. so bummer! all pages are here, looks like it was a college book for students. if you would still like this copy for no credit them PM me.
book is being sent out to a member. (5-1-12)
Shortly after World War II, I was living in Japan attending the eighth grade, about 13 years old. A friendly neighbor gave me a copy of this book to read and keep. I was fascinated with the holocaust then and have been ever since. The thought of the cruelty of the Nazis is beyond belief. I have read many good books about the cruelty to the Jews since, but this one remains so fresh in my mind. I can't really improve on the other reviewers' reviews except to say it is an excellent book. It should be required reading in school. Then we might stop hearing the lament "but how do we know it really happened." I give it five stars.