The Brothers of Auschwitz by Malka Adler
• Paperback : 464 pages
• Publisher : One More Chapter (September 1, 2020)
An extraordinary novel of hope and heartbreak, this is a story about a family separated by the Holocaust and their harrowing journey back to each other.
There was a good orchestra at Auschwitz. I could immediately hear it was good. I almost wept for the beauty of it, but the large pile of striped pajamas stayed in my mind, and I didn’t cry…
Dov and Yitzhak live in a small village in the mountains of Hungary, isolated both from the world and from the horrors of the war.
But one day in 1944, everything changes. The Nazis storm the homes of the Jewish villagers and inform them they have one hour. One hour before the train will take them to Auschwitz.
Six decades later, from the safety of their living rooms at home in Israel, the brothers finally break their silence to a friend who will never let their stories be forgotten.
Narrated in a poetic style reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Malka Adler has penned a visceral yet essential read for those who have found strength, solace and above all, hope, in books like The Choice by Edith Eger and The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe.
About Malka AdlerMalka Adler was born in a small village near the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.
She began her work as an author when she turned 50. After taking a creative writing course, she fell in love with the art.
Malka has written six books, four of which are about the Holocaust. She obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees in educational counselling at Bar Ilan University and is a family and couples’ therapist, writer and facilitator of several reading clubs.
Think of a book you have read that has touched you so deeply, that you can't even find the words to properly describe what you felt.
When I first started reading I was a bit confused with the way the author chose to write it. The parts that were spoken by Yitzhak and Dov, or anyone else for that matter, were not in quotes, and I felt like they were run on sentences. But let me get that out of the way, because in no way, shape or form, does that interfere with the phenomenal story you are about to read.
I have always been interested in the Holocaust, and I know that may seem like a strange thing to say, but I love history, love learning and believe that we need to learn from our mistakes, so that they are not repeated. I have read multiple books on the subject, watched movies, listened to interviews with survivors, but never, and I say NEVER, have I encountered a book that brought to life in such vivid detail, what these poor souls endured.
Heartbreaking doesn't seem near enough adequate to describe what was done to them.
Malka Adler grew up with Dov and Yitzhak, in the Sea of Galilee in Israel. She makes the journey by train, over a period of time, to hear the stories and first hand accounts from the brothers. What we get out of that is a book so poignant to history and so filled with shocking moments, that we can't help but cry.
I was merely 20 pages in and the tears were flowing. The ugly cry overtook me. The brothers leave no detail out, they don't try to make it look prettier than it was, and they get completely vulnerable and down to the point in every single situation they encountered. That in itself is so hard to read.
Like I said above I have read and watched and listened to a lot of material on the subject, but this book leaves nothing unsaid and makes a point of telling us, word for word, what happened from the moment the Nazi troops invaded their small village in Hungary, in 1944.
The train rides to the camps, the moment they all realized they weren't just being sent somewhere to work, the awful conditions they were forced to endure inside the train, the first signs of torture and merciless killing upon arriving at their destination. We go through every moment, every pain, every humiliation, every fear, every hunger pang, every realization that they are in hell on earth. We also get to follow along the moment the war is over, their recuperation after, the flashbacks, the overwhelming fear that never seems to leave.
Malka Adler does such an amazing job of portraying their lives and I am so thankful that, we also get to see how they deal with the aftermath of the war, how it affected them, how they overcome their demons, learn to fit back into a society that doesn't seem to have a place for them anymore.
I have no words to describe how brave these survivors were. What was done to them and many others, was some of the worst torture and punishment ever put upon a human being. I am in awe of their strength and how they were able to keep pushing on through adversity.
This book is going on my bookshelf, right at the top, it is now my absolutely favorite book of all time.
I had never read Malka Adler before, but my word, I am now on the hunt for her other books on the Holocaust.
Let me be completely real with you all. This book is not easy to read, and if you are easily affected by certain things, I don't know if you will be able to get through it. However, I believe in my heart, that this book needs to be read by every man and woman on earth. It needs to be read, it needs to be shared, it needs the respect and admiration it deserves.
Giving this book 5 stars doesn't seem enough, I feel it deserves so much more.
Thank you to TLC Book tours and Harper Collins Publishers for providing me with a review copy.