In a clear, objective narrative, Hillman (called by her German name, Hannelore, in the book) describes her life from April 1942, as a student at a private school in Berlin, until the German surrender in April 1945 that freed her from a detention camp. After her father's death, she left school and was deported with her mother and brothers to Poland. During her three years of captivity she was moved to several labor and concentration camps. Her inclusion on Oskar Schindler's list led, finally, to her deportation to the BrÃ¼nnlitz camp in Czechoslovakia, where Jewish prisoners were treated humanely. At the fourth detention campâ€“Budzynâ€“Hannelore met the man who would become her husband. Her growing love and concern for him; her strong instinct for survival; and her endurance in the face of deprivation, inhumane conditions, and near-starvation provide considerable inspiration. â€“Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH This is Young Adult fiction for grades 9 and up. So it was a quick read recommended by my friend Barb. It was very interesting to read such an account from a teen's perspective. Hannelore was 16-19 years old at the time of the story. It was interesting to see his horrible time through her eyes and see that she survived and went on to marry a young man that she met in the camp.
I could find very little about the author's life except the following.
Laura Hillman (nee Hannelore Wolff) was born in 1923 in Aurich, Germany, near the North Sea. She was the third of five children born to Karoline and Martin Wolff. Five years after Hitler came to power, Laura was separated from her town and family. The events Laura witnessed in the camps kept her from writing for many years, but she finally set out to write her memoir, facing for the first time the circumstances that led to her survival. Laura now lives in Los Alamitos, California, and devotes her time between talking in high schools and colleges about her experiences and being a docent at the Long Beach Museum of Art.
I wish I had been able to learn something about her life after reaching America.