Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Review-"Clara's War"

Review-"Clara's War" by Clara Kramer
Harper Collins Publishers 
339 Pages

Before I start on this review, is it ever appropriate for a reviewer to blatantly accuse an author of falsifying information? Maybe impolite would be the right word? Or maybe disrespectful would be more accurate?
Why am I asking these questions? Because I just read a couple of other reviews from other blog reviewers that have reviewed this book, and they feel this book may have not been written truthfully.
My opinion is that I am NOT in the position to ever accuse someone of not writing a memoir with honesty.
We all have our opinions, but we should not always open up our mouth and speaketh, or writteth.
Tact--meaning--a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense.

Review--"Clara's War"
Clara and her sister Mania, and their parents Meir and Salka Schwarz lived in Zolkiew, Poland. For many generations their family had lived in Zolkiew. Clara's father had a prosperous business. They had many other family members living nearby. Clara and her sister went to school, Mania was a talented vocalist. 
1 September 1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland and then the Nazi murderers began the genocide, there would eventually be over 3 million Jews murdered in Poland.
After the Nazi's invasion of Poland and the occupation began, the Schwarz family knew they must hide, if they did not hide they would be forced to live in the ghetto, or they would be sent off in the trains to the camps.
The Beck family offered the Schwarz family a hiding place under the crawl space of their home. This small crawl space was also occupied by other families as well.
Mr. Beck had a bad reputation, and Mrs. Beck had helped the Schwarz family as a housekeeper in their home. Ala Beck age 18 was their only daughter.
Clara was encouraged by her mother to keep a journal of their lives during this horrific time. It is this diary that Clara wrote that has now been turned into a memoir with the help of Stephan Glantz.

At the beginning of this year I signed up for War Through The Generations WWII Challenge. I had already passed my goal of books to read on this subject, but saw "Clara's War" in the public library and had to read it!

I felt that this was a well written, gut wrenching, memorable account of a survivor of the Holocaust.
This story pricks your heart with the memories of a young girl and her family.
The stark fear that Clara and her family faced day after day, the fear for their own lives, the lives of their other family members, friends, and what if the Becks that were hiding them were caught. 
This book is a testimony of the deep love of a family, and if necessary sacrifice.

Blissful Reading!


Anna & Serena said...

I don't think its write for reviewers to call memoir writers liars without evidence. This is how clara experienced the war.

Anyway, we've posted a link to your review on the war blog. Thanks for participating. We hope you will consider the 2010 Vietnam War Reading Challenge.

J. Kaye said...

Great post. Love the youtube too!