The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (Translated by Lilit Thwaites)

librarian.jpgI knew that this book was going to break my heart by the time I had finished the first page. I mean, for one thing, I had absolutely NO IDEA about the family camp in Auschwitz, so this book led me down a whole tunnel of research because I wanted to know everything about it. The entire premise just makes me shutter, but then again, everything about concentration camps does that (for good reason).

This book is a bit on the slow side, storywise, but the subject matter is so good and the stakes so high, that it didn’t bother me. It’s a loooooong book, but there is a lot of interesting information and even though I had an inkling as to how it would end, I couldn’t tear myself away or keep myself from getting attached.

Dita is the unofficial (as in: illegal) librarian of Auschwitz. She risks her life every day to keep a few barely-held-together books thriving and circulating throughout the family camp. The stakes get even higher (as if they weren’t already high enough) when the imfamous Josef Mengele singles her out and tells her that he’s watching her. Faced with her fear of being discovered by Mengele and her desire to keep the books safe, Dita decides to continue guarding the books at great personal risk. The resulting story is extraordinary.

It’s a story of hope, of love triumphing in the most unlikely of places (and ways). It’s a story of human suffering. It’s a story that will take your breath away, and remind you to be a little kinder, a little more human every single day.

Don’t miss this one.

Rating: 5/5 stars 

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