01 March 2007

Surviving Hitler

Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps by Andrea Warren
I.L. 7-8
137 pages

I. Synopsis- Jack Mandelbaum was a young Jewish boy living in Gdynia, Poland. He lived with his father, mother, sister and brother. At the outbreak of WWII, Jack’s father, Max, instructs them to go live with Jack’s grandfather in a small town. One day, the Germans marched into the town in which they are staying. Jack watches the Germans from a balcony as they march past. One of Jack’s aunts in a near-by town is expecting a baby and asks if his older sister can come to help take care of it when it is born. Jack’s mother agrees yet, soon after the sister leaves, the Germans put up a block separating the towns. After losing her husband and her daughter to the Nazis, Jack’s mother leaves the grandfather’s house and goes to her brother’s. While living there, Jack, to make money to make ends meet, starts to work. While he is working the Germans gather the Jews in the town and place them in a ghetto. After living there for a bit, one day, the Germans gather everyone up and start to split them up. Jack gets separated from his mother and brother. He gets sent to Blechhammer, a concentration camp in Germany. Now, he must fight to live to see his family again.

II. Evaluation of Work as Literature- The theme came across very well. One item that helps the them along is the many quotes that are given at the beginning. They speak of how the Germans started killing off the Jews and no one cared enough to get involved until it was too late. She enforces the theme throughout the book by inserting quotes from Jack Mendelbaum talking about how it was, what he felt towards the Germans, and by describing how the Germans treated the Jews lower then animals.

III. Personal Comments- This book is very good for introducing the horrors of the Holocaust to young readers, yet not too graphic. Yet, I like the pictures that they put in for they too exemplified the horrors of the Jew’s plight.

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