“We were too lucky, always getting away in the nick of time, and always finding someone who was willing to help us, for who knows what reason.”
When they came for the Jews in the Polish city of Butla, the Shwartz family hadn’t believed it could happen. They decided to run and that sole decision saved all their lives. David and Hinda were raising three young children and their niece, Rachel, and enjoying farm life in their Polish village until the Russians and then Germans came. The family fled to Hungary, but peace there was short-lived. The family had to separate at times to survive, yet David was always watching to make sure they didn’t get captured.
My Family’s Survival is a true story about the author’s grandmother (Rachel) and her relatives survival during the Holocaust. Aviva grew up knowing her grandmother was a survivor of those times, but her grandmother would not talk about it to anyone. As she got older, she started researching and found recordings and writings that pieced together the family’s story of survival. I found this book through Instagram when the author contacted me about a book she was writing. I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
David, Hinda and their youngest are captured one day, leaving Rachel to care for the other two children. Rachel finds a woman in the village to take them in while David, Hinda and the baby are moved from jail to jail to jail – no one really knowing to do with them. Finally, they are released and David finds Rachel. Soon after that, the children are sent to an orphanage to be kept safe possibly with Christian families. Then, there is talk of escaping into Romania. Years of cold and starvation start taking their toll on their bodies, but David pushes them to find safety in a new country.
My Family’s Survival reads like most historical fiction books from this time period, but it’s all true. I’m amazed at how this family ended up all surviving after the separations, sicknesses and bombings. The book shows how offering help to those in need can make a huge difference in a family’s future. I highly recommend this book to anyone high school age or older. Lovers of historical fiction should pick this up to read some of the true history of the Holocaust.