I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up In The Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson
I’ve read a lot of Holocaust memoirs, and this one is a standout. Bitton-Jackson does a stellar job of describing her experiences trying to make it through the war. As a young Jewish girl in Hungary, she was insulated from many of the effects of the war until 1944.
The final year of the war brought incredible suffering: at 13 she was rounded up with her family and moved into a Jewish ghetto, where she was separated from her father and brother. After transportation to Auschwitz and surviving the selection process, inside the camp she endured torture and forced labor.
Her detailed story of survival in horrific circumstances is moving, and despite the circumstances, the book has an underlying message of hope that helps to prevent it from becoming a bleak recitation of events.
Livia Bitton-Jackson, born Elli L. Friedmann in Czechoslavakia, was thirteen when she, her mother, and her brother were taken to Auschwitz. They were liberated in 1945 and came to the United States on a refugee boat in 1951. This is her story, written for middle school or high school students.
If you enjoyed this book, Livia’s story continues in My Bridges of Hope, which is also excellent.
Additional Holocaust memoirs which I highly recommend include:
- The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom and John and Elizabeth Sherrill
- Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy
- Leap into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe by Leo Bretholz with Michael Olesker
- In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke
- A Jump for Life: A Survivor’s Journal from Nazi-Occupied Poland by Ruth Altbeker Cyprys
To see all the books featured in 31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads, go to the series page.
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