This is a beautifully written memoir. Gerda was just 15 years-old and living in Poland when the war began. Slowly, during the war years, she lost everything. Holocaust survivor stories fascinate me because it is interesting how some people had a little extra desire to live and were able to endure more than others. Gerda was one of these people. She kept the idea of a reunion with her family as incentive to endure the brutal hardships of work in various labor camps. There is also an epilogue written when she was 70 that gives her perspective of bearing the intervening years of her life. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in WWII, the Holocaust or survival stories.
I loved this book! A great book about a young girl's experiences and determined struggle to stay alive. She lost and endured so much! A much better book than Survival In Auschwitz. A more detailed and descriptive book.
This was a true story of a teenager in Poland. Her family was forced to leave their home, then their town. As you can expect, she lost her parents and brother.
I've read many Holocaust books, each one gives me more and different insights. This lady had it fairly good compared to many concentration camp victims, and her life once liberated has been good.
One thing I found interesting is how she talked about how lonely and alone she felt, even tho she was surrounded by others in the camps. But she had lost everything she knew - family, friends, home, and eventually even her country.
I recommended this book if you have an interest in Holocaust and/or WWII.
This is the story of Gerda Weissman Klein's six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her home with her parents and brother in Bielitz, Poland, we see the disintegration of her life and family and she spends three years in various labor camps, then is forced on a three-month death march across Poland and Germany. Gerda somehow survives to tell the tale of her miraculous survival and her liberation by the American soldiers, one of whom she eventually marries.
I wanted to read this book since seeing the author on Oprah over 10 years ago. When she told her story, I cried and cried. I later saw part of a documentary based on this book, and cried and cried. And, when I read this book, you won't be surprised to hear that I cried and cried. (Book do not usually make me cry.) This is an inspiring story of survival that I would recommend that everyone read. My rating: 5 Stars.
Gerda was a teenager at the onset of WWII, living an upper middle class life in Poland. She is the only member in her family to survive, she was in various work camps rather than a concentration camp. She lost hundreds of co-workers in the work camps. She is a very good writer who makes you feel you are there with her. She ended up marrying one of her liberators, an Army Lt. from Buffalo, NY, where she lived her life until recently retiring to AZ. A must read.
ALL BUT MY LIFE recounts the story of Gerda Weissmann, a young woman forced into slave labor for the Nazis during the Holocaust. Stripped from her father, mother, and brother, Gerda must endure cruel working conditions, little to no food, and harsh weather as she fights for survival during Nazi Germany in the 1940s. Gerda promised her father that she wouldn't give up and with her mother's last words of âBe Strongâ, young Gerda keeps going, even when there is no hope left.
The book is divided into three parts. In Part One, we learn of Gerda and her immediate family before the war and during the beginning of the war. They are a family of pure strength and love. I was struck by the intense closeness of her family and cried when they were ripped apart.
In Part Two, we relive Gerda's experiences during her time in the Nazi labor camps, being shuttled from one camp to the next, some better than others. The friendships Gerda is able to make with other girls at camp are heartwarming, yet heart wrenching. How hard it must be to become close to someone who may not be there the next minute, hour, or day? The decisions Gerda makes throughout this period are, at times, unbelievable, yet she survived. I have no doubt that she was meant to live to tell her story and that of her family and friends. What if Gerda had made a different decision at a crucial crossroads?
Finally, in Part Three, we are told of Gerda's life after she was liberated by Lt. Kurt Klein, who becomes her husband. What an incredible love story.
This is a book of inspiration, faith, and hope. It will definitely make one think of problems in a new light. If the human spirit can endure what Gerda did, then we all can survive what is thrown at us, even when it seems like we cannot.
I whole-heartedly recommend this book to everyone. It's phenomenal. I cannot praise it enough. Although it is not an easy book to read, the message it sends is one of hope and strength. We can all survive, we can all make it. Thank you for telling us your story, Mrs. Klein. It is not one I will ever forget. 5+ stars!
I learned about this book at the end of another. I just finished it. It is an amazing account of a different view of the concentration camps during WWII. Very moving and very well worth the read! I highly recommend it.
All But My Life is holocaust literature, a memoir of a teenager's life during WWII as a nazi slave laborer. The significance of the title is that she did not commit suicide even in her horrific circumstances.
I just received the book and read it in one day. It is a moving story and beautifully written. Although the story includes the horror and terror-- losing her parents and brother, and much more--three years in forced labor camps and a three-month forced winter march from Germany to Czechoslovakia--it is moving. It is unlike any other holocaust literature I have read. I recommend it to anyone who is fascinated by holocaust history.
What a great book. She talks about her early life in Poland, the death march where she lost several of her closest friends, and almost her feet, then about finding love and moving to America. Everytime I read a memoir about the Holocaust I just can't fathom what they all had to go through. Very much recommended, especially for those of you who like to read about the Holocaust.
I was fortunate enough to meet Gerda Weissman Klein and hear her speak. Everyone should be so lucky. However, you will never forget Gerda Weissmann Klein when you finish reading her story. Despite the horrors of the war, you won't be able to put the book down. Unlike many others, her story has a wonderfully poignant ending.