Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.
Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.
I should mention that while The Librarian of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Auschwitz prisoner and Holocaust survivor Dita Kraus, it has been published as fiction.
Dita, who is 14 years old, is offered the “job” as the librarian of block 31. It was her job as the librarian of Auschwitz to monitor and hide the 8 contraband books in the camp. If Dita were caught with these books, she would die because of it. It was a risk that Dita would take.
“It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books, and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns”
We also learn about other characters in this book, sharing their own stories and thoughts, and most of them intertwine with Dita somehow.
After I finished this books I went online and I googled Dita, I just had to know more about her, and I was watching documentaries on Auschwitz for hours.
The Librarian of Auschwitz details the horrors of the concentration camps and the inhumanity of genocide. It details so much of what none of us should ever forget, and all of the innocent lives lost, and even those who survived.
Dita Kraus (pictured below)