Book Review: Surviving the Angel of Death by Eva Mozes Kor and Lisa Rojany Buccieri

I don’t think I am going to review this book as such, but more discuss it as I don’t feel that you can review this kind of book.

Eva Mozes Kor was just ten years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Subjected to sadistic medical experiments, she was forced to fight daily for her and her twin’s survival. In this incredible true story written for young adults, readers learn of a child’s endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil.

The book also includes an epilogue on Eva’s recovery from this experience and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she has dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and working for causes of human rights and peace.

I bought this book from the little bookshop shop at Auschwitz II – Birkenau. Whilst we were walking around and both Marysia and I had decided we wanted to purchase a book before we left so we could read a little bit more about what had happened at Auschwitz.

World War 2 and everything that happened during the war has always interested me and was the main part of my history lessons at school which really captured my interest.

I hadn’t read or learnt a lot about Dr Mengele before visiting Auschwitz. I can vaguely recall hearing the name crop up in a few articles, but I never knew the extent of the horrific things he did.

The tour guide had mentioned Eva and her sister Miriam a few times whilst showing our group around Auschwitz and the name stuck in my mind and I wanted to remember to look them up once we had left. However, whilst looking in the book shop I cam across her book and decided that the best way to understand what happened was through Eva’s words herself.

I started reading this book when I came back from Poland and I read it very quickly and consists of approximately 135 pages, so is a relatively short book. I would have said it is mainly targeted towards young adults.

 The way that this book is written means you can really picture what Eva and her sister Miriam went through. The book really brings to life the horrific things that people endured whilst trying to survive living in Auschwitz from the minute the arrived, and even how Eva has dealt with what happened to her since she left Auschwitz. It is hard, really hard, to comprehend how someone could be that evil to do the things the victims of the Holocaust endured.

I think the book is also brought to life by the photographs that are included showing Eva’s family meaning you can really picture them throughout the book.

I would recommend reading this book as it gives you a much better understanding of horrific things Dr Mengele did to the twins in Auschwitz. I also think that it is important that we remind ourselves how horrific the holocaust was so that it is never repeated.



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