Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the book in this review in order to provided my honest opinion.
Some books are truly harder to read than others. For me that normally occurs when the book breaks my heart. Now I do want to start off by saying this book is historical fiction. It is based on a true story though. It is the story of Helene a mom who loved her family so much that when police, under the order of the SS, came to take her family she went with them. Helene choose to die with those she loved. In the book Helene over and over again doesn't all she can to protect the children. While at the camp Dr. Mengele ask her to organize a school for the Romani children. She does and provided as much of a safe Haven as possible for the children in her care.
This story is not an easy read. It broke my heart several times over, BUT I do think it is a must read. Before the story even starts the author quotes Elie Wiesel
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
A.d the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death. "
Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save.
On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.
After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.
Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.
Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.