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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Suvrival

    This story is a page turner, but not in the usual sense, I wanted to know if they survived the terror that they ended up in. Of a family of five, we follow two of them as they journey to survive the evil that is taking place in Germany during WWII. Two sister’s one seventeen and one four at the time they are placed in the Concentration Camp, and they are there because of a religion. The author makes this read so very real, and the horrors of what happened during this time, linger. Books like this one make me realize how fortunate we are, and we should not forget, and all the while you keep wondering if these girls will survive, most don’t. Keep reading as there is an epilogue at the end, and I loved the updates! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bookoutour, and was not required to give a positive review.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • As long as we are together, We'll be fine.

    A heartbreaking story of the courage of two sisters living in horrible circumstances in the worst of times. In the flick of an eye Mindel and her sister Rachel went from eating Apple cake for Mindel's fourth birthday to being transported to Nazi concentration camps until they ended up in Bergen-Belsen. When they arrived the girls were separated from each other and Mindel found herself alone with her rag doll Paula. She met a boy named Laszlo who was Seven years old. Laszlo and Mindel took care of each other until they went to stay in the orphan's hut. Rachel found herself separated from Mindel and every time she got close to finding her in the other part of the camp she would be set to a work camp. She kept trying to find Mindel the whole time she was at the camp. She felt guilty that she didn't try hard enough to keep a hold of Mindel. The book is a touching story about the two girls and their time spent in the camp. I like the way Mindel's story is told through the eyes of a child. The things they saw and were subjected to should never have happened. This was the cruelest time in history led by the cruelest group of people in history. The Nazi's were cruel but so were the townspeople that did not stand up to them and treated the Jewish people as badly as the Nazi's. This was a good book to read of the courage of two girls and their love for each other. I would recommend this book. Thanks to Marion Kummerow, Bookouture, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy for an honest review.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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  • Little sister won't go without big sister

    Not Without My Sister by Marion Kummerow Rachel and Mindel are from Bavaria, Germany. They and their parents and two brothers enjoy a quiet, hardworking life on their small farm. They are Jewish, but non-practicing, which does not matter to the Natzis The Natzis arrive to take away their parents, a woman from the village warns the children away, so they are not immediately taken. They survive in the woods, finding small morsels of edibles to fend off starvation. Eventually, Rachel who is the eldest child, and Mindel who is the youngest child, the girls are snatched by roaming SS officers. They are sent to work camps. The boys had been sent off, by Rachel, to a convent, where they can live secretly and hopefully survive this awfulness that has become their world. Rachel and Mindel are slowly being starved to death. They witness hundreds of atrocities daily. Rachel does her best to shield Mindel, so she does not worry. They are bounced around from camp to camp, but when they arrive at the Bergen-Belsen camp, they are separated, never to know if they will ever find their way back to each other. Rachel talks to another woman who helps her learn the workings of the camp. The women's camp is forced labor for the SS. There is also a small men's camp, a small infirmary, and a camp for exchanging prisoners of war. Rachel has no idea which camp Mindel is in. Rachel gets sent to a munitions factory, while the work is not hard, it is hard on her body, the chemicals turn her hair and skin a different color and give her lung problems. After an accident, she is sent back to Bergen-Belsen to recover from her injuries. Rachel finds out that Mindel is in the prisoner exchange camp, there are a lot of orphans located there. Rachel is allowed three days to heal and is sent right back out to a salt mine. Conditions are deplorable, so bad, that Rachel gives up. There is no point in going on. Mindel is bewildered, she is four years old and has no one who loves her to take care of her. Rachel even has her bowl. Mindel finds out that if you have no bowl, you get no soup. Other women give her short orders to tell her where to bunk and what to do during the day. She has to sleep in a bed with two other women, she likes this since she has no blanket and one of the women shares with the other two bunkmates. She has to meet up in the yard and stand sometimes for hours, to be counted, the SS guards must be so stupid, that they can't count a few people who can't go anywhere. She eats two measly meals a day. The soup is ghastly grey in color and tastes terrible. Then all day long, Mindel stays on her bunk, there is nothing for her to do. The adults and older teenagers all have to do jobs, but Mindel is all alone. One day a group of small children runs into her barracks. They see her and run out. She takes off after them. She makes friends with them, especially liking seven-year-old Laszlo. He is an orphan, also. He has been on his own for a while and knows what to do and how to stay safe. Never draw any attention to yourself. If a guard doesn't like the way you look or even smell, they will start beating you, sometimes not even stopping after you die. Mindel is terrified of this. Laszlo takes Mindel under his wing and even brings a blanket and cup for her and sleeps with her at night, to keep her warm and comforted. You would think the title Not Without My Sister would refer to Rachel worried about Mindel, but it's actually Mindel's words, she does not wish to leave Bergen-Belsen, for fear that she will lose Rachel forever. This book shows that all of the inmates of the concentration camps had impossible odds, the lucky ones surviving until the liberation by the Americans and their allies. They were treated horribly by sadistic guards, both male and female. I am thankful that there were some survivors to tell the story of the atrocities perpetrated by the Natzis. Many thanks to #Bookouture and #NetGalley for the complimentary copy of #notwithoutmysister I was under no obligation to post a review.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tissue alert!

    Have your tissues handy! This is the story of the Epstein family who were living in Bavaria during WWII when the parents were sent away while the children were out gathering berries. A neighbor tipped them off and helped get them to someone who would hide them temporarily. The Epstein children, Rachel 17, Israel 10, Aron 7 and Mindel 4 were heading to an convent/orphanage when they were separated with Rachel and Mindel being captured and sent to Bergen-Belsen. Once there, they were separated and Mindel was left to more or less fend for herself while Rachel was sent to work. This is the story of their plight to try and survive and to find each other. This was a quick, easy read and I really liked it but I felt that Mindel was a little too precocious. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this very very interesting book that kept me on the edge of my seat in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Heartbreaking story

    An often bleak story about two sisters, separated in Jewish concentration camp, and their efforts at reunion. Teenaged Rachel has always been a caretaker for her four-year-old sister, Mindel, but when they and their two brothers are forced to flee their family farm, Rachel becomes solely responsible for Mindel after they lose their brothers. While both endure unimaginable hardship and suffering at the hands of the Nazis, their determination to find each other is the one thing that sustains them. Rachel is forced to work, nearly to death, while Mindel needs merely to survive, which is no easy fear for a four year old on her own. She finds a group of other orphans and forms a deep friendship with the plucky Laszlo, a few years her senior. This heartbreaking novel is not always easy to read, but really brings life to a historical period, and does end on a hopeful note. #NetGalley #NotWithoutMySister

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