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Thoughts on Surviving The Angel of Death by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri

April 7, 2011

Surviving the Angel of Death (Goodreads)

Surviving the Angel of Death The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri is a Holocaust survival story aimed for a young adult audience.  The tale is a first person account of a child’s battle for survival in Auschwitz as a Mengele twin.  The Mengele twins were young Jewish twins that were experimented on by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, also known as the Angel of Death.

“‘Are they twins?’ he asked Mama.  She hesitated. ‘Is that good?’ ‘Yes,’ said the guard.  ‘They are twins,’ replied Mama.  Without a word, he grabbed Miriam and me and tore us away from Mama.”

Eva, as a ten year old child throughout most of the book, is a strong person whom you can’t help but continually cheer on and hope that she perseveres.  It is hard not to get emotionally involved in a tale like this.  The losses endured and the pain and suffering are hard to comprehend and are maddening.  I believe though that the goal of the book wasn’t to just focus on the suffering and loss, but to impart a lesson.  Through Eva’s experiences we learn to be strong and to never give up.  Her book provides excellent examples of overcoming immense obstacles and making it through them through the will to survive.

The book provides a unique look at the life of one holocaust survivor from childhood through adulthood and even discusses Eva’s momentous decision as an adult to grant forgiveness to those who did her harm.  Eva’s story is touching and full of lessons to be learned about the harshness of life as well as the strong will survivors can have.  This is truly a survivor’s tale.  As you read this book you get to know Eva and her sister Miriam and what life in Auschwitz for a Mengele twin was like, as well as what life was like after liberation.  Eva Mozes Kor is an inspirational woman and her book gives a bit of insight into her life.  It is well written for a young adult audience and would be an excellent way to introduce younger readers to the tales of Holocaust survivors.

Overall, this is a short book and well worth the read.  It is a first person account of a Holocaust survivor and provides lessons in the will to survive and forgiveness.

I first heard of Eva Mozes Kor through a documentary about her called “Forgiving Doctor Mengele.”  This is a great documentary and well worth watching, it goes especially well with this book.

I received this book from NetGalley.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2011 6:23 pm

    This sounds like a fascinating book. I’m going to have to look into getting a copy. Thanks for the informative review.

  2. Beth permalink
    December 31, 2013 7:54 am

    I have the great pleasure of knowing Eva and her husband Mickey (also a survivor) and can never tire of reading this book. I guess having gone with Eva to Auschwitz and hearing her tell this same story in person, it has become more than a novel. I teach 6th grade and no matter how hard I try, I can never manage to gather a class set of this book because it seems that when my “kids” read this, they never put it back on the shelf!

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