The Storyteller opening line: My father trusted me with the details of his death.
Minka survives the horror of Hitler. Growing up in a privileged part of Lodz she and her family are forced to move to the Ghetto. Her brother-in-law is deported for selling bread on the black market to save his son, who is smothered to death as his mother hides with him from the SS. Minka’s mother is deported when she can no longer work and Minka and her father are told how the SS are killing the Jews by gassing them. Minka eventually is deported with her father to Auschwitz and here her path crosses with an SS officer who seems to have compassion.
This gripping story had me in tears on numerous occasions. It deals with the awful crimes committed by the SS from the perspective of both an SS officer and Minka, who could not do anything more than watch her father be marched to the gas chamber.
I am truly blessed that my Grandparents were not sent to concentration camps, and had they stayed in Europe, that might have been their fate. The entire time I was reading this book I though of Oscar Schindler who said “whoever saves one life saves the world entire”. Could it hold true that whoever causes the death of one person kills the entire world? So many people knew exactly what being deported meant and the death of 13 million people killed in the concentration camps should rest on their shoulders and stain their hearts. In 1933, the 9.5 million Jews in Europe made up only 1.7% of the total European population. This number represented more than 60% of the world’s Jewish population at that time, estimated then to be 15.3 million. The current population of Jews worldwide is 13.3 million!
Based on the lives of survivors this book is one every person should read so that we never forget. If you would like to read food related stories from Jewish women who survived World War 2 please follow this link. Food Is Love is one of the most moving sites I have visited in a while.
First published in America by Atria Books in 2013
Paperback – 528 pages
What I blogged May 31:
- two years ago – Pain Au Chocolat
- three years ago – Grapefruit And Honey Sorbet
- four years ago – Rich Tomato Pasta
- five years ago – Parsley Sauce Vierge