The events of the holocaust are not sugarcoated here and it’s hard not to be disturbed by human suffering, I’m not one to turn my head from the truth . . . so if you find any details hard to stomach, please push through . . . in the end, the information revealed is transformative and necessary.
I really connect with books that urge me to think about the world around me. I know The Librarian of Auschwitz is about horrific events in a time gone by, yet it is rich and relevant with topics of governance, humanity, and the struggle for personal freedoms . . . context that will never go stale.
There is a scene in this book where a young man in a position of power over the political prisoners of Auschwitz (which I have learned consist of not only Jewish dissidents but also other persecuted countryman . . . such as homosexuals and uncooperatives) gives a poorly chosen gift to a teenaged girl who is cold and malnourished. It is reflective of how far removed a governing body can be from the needs of its people when allowed to place themselves in ivory towers. No government should be permitted to glare down their noses at the people who struggle to carry the burden of their weight.
It doesn’t feel right to say that you enjoyed a book about a subject so dark, but the history is on the page and palpable. The Librarian of Auschwitz is well-written and I consider it a must-read . . . let’s not doom ourselves to repeat such atrocities.
As in most human experiences, there are bright spots amidst the devastation . . . like the scene that perfectly captures the solace that books can give to us in times of great need. How just the feel of one in your hand can bring comfort, like an old friend. As well as highlighting beautiful moments that can bind us in love and friendship.
This book’s takeaway quote for me was—”Life, any life, is very short. But if you”ve managed to be happy for at least an instant, it will have been worth living.”