The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz by Sara Leibovits & Eti Elboim

Powerful, Inspiring & Horrifying

The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz by Sara Leibovits & Eti Elboim is a powerful, inspiring and horrifying account of a sixteen year olds year spent in Auschwitz. Sara Leibovits was her name. This is her story, interspersed with memories by her daughter Eti Elboim. This is a journey to hell and back.

Sara Leibovits spent three days with eighty four people crammed into a cattle car, destination Auschwitz in May 1944. Already so much had been lost living in the ghetto, but far worse was to come.

Sara Leibovits is an amazing lady. She showed strength of character, resilience and maintained a kind heart, as she shared what little she had with those around her in Auschwitz. Her experiences make difficult reading but the reality would have been far worse – something we cannot even imagine, it’s so awful.

A loss of dignity and identity for all in Auschwitz as they were no longer known by name but by a tattooed number. Eti Elboim as her daughter affirms, “You are no longer a number.” The strong mother-daughter bond is clear for all to see.

In later years Sara Leibovits has visited Auschwitz and also spoken of her experiences to others. She has survived.

The reader hears from Eti Elboim what it is like as the second generation of an Auschwitz survivor. It was a perspective I had not read about before. I had not realized it could mean no grandparents, aunts, uncles… whole generations wiped out. Just your parents. Eti Elboim’s words are powerful and heartfelt.

There are poems interspersed throughout. They are powerful too.

What I found most powerful of all – is the faith of Sara Leibovits and her husband, also an Auschwitz survivor. They descended into the pits of hell but still kept their eyes and heart on God. Their faith never wavered. I will let Eti Elboim tell of her mother’s faith in her words:

“Her faith in the Creator was not eroded under the soldier’s boots, did not dissipate with the sight of the crematorium smoke, and did not disappear in the hunger, exhaustion or suffering” Wow!

The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz is powerful, heartbreaking and inspiring. We need to know what happened. It will make your heart break. It is beyond horrific. But we need to know in memory of the six million innocents who died and of those who survived.

The final words are from Eti Elboim on her parent’s faith:

“That is the power of faith of two survivors, who saw everything yet continued to believe in the Creator of the World and to keep His commandments with joy and devotion.”

I received a free copy from the publishers via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


Photo is from the author page on Amazon

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