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The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

Bringing The Women To Life

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold is a comprehensive look at the five victims of Jack the Ripper during the ‘autumn of terror’ in 1888.

Hallie Rubenhold has brought the women to life as she has examined their lives from birth onwards and presented her findings. The women were so much more than just the Ripper’s victims. They were wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.

We hear so much speculation about Jack the Ripper but we largely forget about his victims, lumping them together as women of the night, drunkards, living in poverty. And yes, while some of these labels may apply, we must remember that these victims were women first. Yes they did live in poverty but so did millions of others. Yes, drink was a problem in the nineteenth century and yes they may have turned to prostitution as a means to survive but that is no reason to kill them. These women were victims of circumstance, living in poverty, doing what they had to, to survive. They did not deserve to have their lives snuffed out.

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Holocaust: The Nazi’s Wartime Jewish Atrocities by Stephen Wynn

May We Never Forget

Holocaust: The Nazi’s Wartime Jewish Atrocities by Stephen Wynn is a comprehensive pocket book of the leading events, camps and figures in the worst crime against humanity. It is horrific reading but we need to know what happened in memory of the innocents who perished.

Stephen Wynn has clearly done significant research as there were figures I had heard of and those I hadn’t. Many of the perpetrators were captured, tried and executed but some were not. A leading figure, Dr Mengele escaped justice.

There were also leading Jewish figures mentioned including the most famous of all, Anne Frank.

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The Good Doctor Of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford

A Light In The Darkness

The Good Doctor Of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford is a powerful true story of Dr Janusz Korczak and his love and care of children in his Warsaw orphanage during World War II.

This is a harrowing read and not for the faint hearted. Elisabeth Gifford tells it as it was and life in the Warsaw ghetto under the Nazis was horrendous. I am sure that the horrors described were even more horrific in reality as we ‘see’ man’s inhumanity to man. Through it all, Dr Korczak believed that deep down even then Nazis must have a heart, sadly he was proved wrong. The Nazis were a systematic killing machine, operating with brutality and efficiency. They never saw the individual.

Dr Korczak always believed in the rights of children to be cared for, loved and safe. A decorated war hero from World War I, Dr Korczak lectured and wrote about the need for children’s rights until the Nazis stripped him of his rights as he was Jewish. It always seems so awful that you can be good enough to fight in one war but not good enough to be seen in another.

Dr Korczak could not abandon the children in his care and transferred his orphanage to inside the ghetto. Far from abandoning children, he ended up overseeing four thousand children in the ghetto. “His orphanage is … a little oasis.” Whenever Dr Korczak saw a child in trouble, he rescued them. “Korczak… represents: justice, kindness, fairness and love. He is their candle held up against the darkness, the gleam of sunshine that makes the ghetto smile.” Even when given a chance to escape the transport to Treblinka, Dr Korczak would not abandon his children. “You do not leave a child alone to face the dark.”

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Paws In The Proceedings by Deric Longden

Laugh Out Loud

Paws In The Proceedings by Deric Longden is the perfect book for the cat lover as the author describes daily life with his cats.

Deric Longden is remarkably perceptive in his observations. The traits that he sees in his cats, I see in mine. This book was so easy to picture and empathise with. I have five cats and my life also revolves around their needs. Like Deric Longden, I too, have a rescued cat who needs to be handled with caution for fear of drawing blood and losing digits!

Deric Longden is a people watcher. As he goes about life he keeps his ear to the ground. Some of the snippets he overhears are hilarious.

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