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I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler's List Survivor
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I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler's List Survivor

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  3,795 Ratings  ·  253 Reviews
In the spring of 1942 Hannelore received a letter from Mama at her school in Berlin, Germany--Papa had been arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Six weeks later he was sent home; ashes in an urn.
Soon another letter arrived. "The Gestapo has notified your brothers and me that we are to be deported to the East--whatever that means."
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 9th 2003)
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Nov 25, 2009 Em rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, holocaust
Laura Hillman‘s I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler’s List Survivor is one of those unforgettable first-hand account of the Second World War.

The memoir begins with the period when the writer was still in boarding school in Berlin. She writes, Since Hitler had come to power, it was dangerous for Jews to walk on public streets.

Few days later, she received the news of her father’s death, to be followed by her family’s deportation to the concentration camps. In spite of the danger
Jun 06, 2010 Sara rated it it was amazing
This book is about a young jewish girl named Hannelore who is deported to several Nazi concentration camps during WW2. When HANNELORE'S brothers and mother are deported to a concentration camp and not Hannelore, she decides to turn herself in to the gestapo. She begins her horrifying journey from concentration camp to concentration camp; eight in total. She meets various people who will stay in her life forever.

This book was interesting from the beginning. Usually books only get interesting tow
Jul 13, 2011 Tanja rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-memoir
This is the thought-provoking, shocking, horrifying, and deeply touching account of a young woman’s three-year nightmare in Nazi deportation and work camps during Word War II. Hannelore Wolff (now Laura Hillman) has written down her personal story and how she managed to survive the horrors of starvation, maltreatment, brutality, rape, and the loss of family and friends as one of the women on Schindler’s list. I admire the author’s courage and determination, not just in surviving the camps but al ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Heather rated it really liked it
Short and simply told but doesn't lose any of its power in that. I do love my historical fiction centring around World War Two but there's something about reading a memoir, reading the bare facts laid down - no frivolous words are used, there is no excess, no artistic license that really makes the horrors alive again.
I really wish I could give this book 3.5 stars. I thought it was very good. The book itself I liked, the story and Hannelore herself. The pictures of her family that she saved through her time in the camps were also nice to see because it was mentioned so many times how she saved these pictures under a bench, in her shoes, and even hiding them in her hands during a shower. I could sit down and probably read this whole book in one sitting just because it flows easily and while reading it you hard ...more
Jun 29, 2010 Tracey rated it it was amazing
Stories of the horrors of Nazi concentraton camps never fail to rip my heart open. This true memoir of Hannelore Wolff, a Schindler's list survivor had a profound impact on me. I began the book this morning and read straight through. The absolute uncertainty of every single moment for the imprisoned and tortured Jews is plainly laid out in a rather matter of fact language. It felt all the more unsettling and truthful, I found myself able to imagine sitting with the author as she told her story. ...more
Mar 19, 2017 Vartika rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
The unimaginable happened during the world war and sadly continues to happen around the world.

Hannelore's account of her experiences, trials, insults, physical abuses, luck in finding the right jobs, her chance encounters with people who will become her saviors, her experience of falling in love at the camp, marrying that prisoner of war, big force of life amidst the lowest humanity can stoop, sheer will to live, and existence of saints that walked around in Oskar Schindler... Must have been a
Dec 07, 2009 Kayse rated it really liked it
The book I read was I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree by Laura Hillman. The title of the book is very fitting, because those words are one of the best parts of the whole book.The book takes place during the Holocaust. The protagonist is Hannelore Wolff, sister of Selly and Wolfgang. Hannelore puts her life into Gods hands asking to be deported so she can stay with her mother and brothers. She goes to many different camps never knowing where any of her family is or if she will live to see them ever a ...more
Jasmine Gedeon
Apr 24, 2015 Jasmine Gedeon rated it liked it
Recommended to Jasmine by: Teacher
I was just assigned this book for a project in my history class. I read it in two days, and I really enjoyed it (well, however much you can 'enjoy' a book about a Holocaust survivor). It was very well written, and it was a good book. It really gave me insight on this time period, but I had two issues of the book that I just can't let go. And I see on other reviews I'm not the only one who had these issues with the book.

My first issue was about how the title of the novel states that it is a memoi
Apr 02, 2010 Lynne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone, even young adults; the prose is quite simple
Recommended to Lynne by: found it in the school media center
People who believe in a magical, invisible Cloud Being will find something of miracle or destiny in Hannelore and Bernard's ending up in Oskar Schindler's factory only a few months before the Russian liberation of Czechoslovakia. I see it as a) luck and b) Laura's own chutzpah to sneak out of line. Hannelore (Laura) was on her way to the "shower" when she got in a different line, screwed up the headcount at the barracks she went to instead of the shower, was reprimanded by the barrack supervisor ...more
First, a disclaimer of sorts: I always hesitate to critique Holocaust memoirs. Who am I to judge or asses the manner of writing such a thing? That the author was brave and strong enough to write it at all says so much - why quibble over details of style or method?

That being said, as a reader I am also entitled to an opinion. And I didn't include the above as a prelude for a hack job on this book. My used copy indicates that a library somewhere classified it as YA, with which I disagree - althoug
Mar 20, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it
What a beautiful ending to a terribly sad story. Knowing the premise of the book surrounds the Holocaust, I knew it would be heartbreaking to read, but with my ever interest in the whole aspect of the worst episodes in history, I jumped right in.

I am so glad "Laura" was able to tell her story. Each individual's recount of what happened during that terrible time is so alike, yet unique in their own way. "Laura" counts the days she is in many camps and her "jobs" she had to do to endure. Meeting
Olivia Boone
Oct 20, 2014 Olivia Boone rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely amazing! You will never want to put it down. Between the in-depth details, and the intense events that occur, you are continuously pulled in page after page! Laura Hillman (Hennelore Wolff), shares her story of how she survived three years in multiple, brutal labor camps, and later intensive concentration camp.Through the urge to give up on life during her sickness, and loss of family members, Hennelore found a way to push through it all when it was announced she was apa ...more
Jun 04, 2011 Jane rated it it was amazing
This is a remarkable account of Hannalore's survival of the Nazi holocaust as a Schindler's list survivor. The journey of evil that this young woman endures shows us that there is no mistake as to her survival. It is very hard for me to even imagine a world so full of evil and hate. It is important for us to be reminded of these horrific accounts so we remember not to stand by and allow this type of hatred to take hold again. Laura tells her story simply, I felt like she was sitting at the tabl ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Lorrie rated it it was amazing
This is a memoir of a Holocaust survivor who was selected to work for Oskar Schindler, which made her lucky enough, with other 'Schindler's List' Jews, to leave Auschwitz. This was a gripping and incredibly sad story. What she and many other Holocaust victims endured is just too much for me to completely come to terms with. I simply cannot imagine enduring the suffering and terror that these people had to endure for so long. How these survivors came out of this with any semblance of normalcy is ...more
Lily J
Oct 13, 2016 Lily J rated it really liked it
This book was unlike any other Holocaust book I had read before. Hannelore, a Holocaust survivor, describes her horrifying yet beautiful journey to freedom. Despite the harsh conditions surrounding her she is able to remain optimistic and find love. An experience that would normally be difficult to relate to is made easier with the perspective of this young woman. If you enjoy romance and learning about the holocaust (and can handle the horrors of it) then I would recommend reading this book.
Doreen Petersen
Feb 18, 2014 Doreen Petersen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii
Such a good book! That some people could treat others as less than animals digusts me. We must never forget! On a personal note I had an uncle and cousin who were murdered in Auschwitz because they were Polish and educated. We must never let something like this happen ever again!!
May 11, 2009 Sara rated it liked it
"I liked it" if you can like a true story about a Jewish teenager who survives a couple concentration camps and even manages to find her future husband. This would be a good school assignment for 7th - 8th grade and beyond.
Jul 07, 2014 Allison rated it it was amazing
What an unbelievable story! How I wish it weren't a true story....a true testament to Hannelore's courage, strength and bravery, while in the presence of pure evil and utter insanity.
Debbie Lisman
Jun 12, 2017 Debbie Lisman rated it really liked it
Very good book! True story of Hannalore Wolfe's experiences in the concentration camps during WWII. She is the only one in her family who survived by being lucky enough to have been on Shindler's list. The book takes the reader through her experiences in several camps, the people she meets and befriends, and ultimately ending up near death in Auschwitz-Birkenau before she finally makes it to Oskar Schindler's camp. I can't say I "enjoyed" this book, it is well written and a first hand account of ...more
Mar 25, 2017 Mark rated it really liked it
A straight forward easy reading teen book. The story about Hannelore Wolff, a teenage German Jewish girl during Nazi era of 1940-45. Her brothers and mother were called to report. Hannelore wrote asking for permission to join her family without knowing what was going to happen. Her father had already been sent to a work camp and his ashes returned. Her story shared her journey through many work/concentration camps. The atrocities which occurred to many including her and family. A story of loss, ...more
F.J. Soto
May 14, 2017 F.J. Soto rated it it was amazing
Short and simply told but doesn't lose any of its power in that. I do love my historical fiction centring around World War Two but there's something about reading a memoir, reading the bare facts laid down - no frivolous words are used, there is no excess, no artistic license that really makes the horrors alive again.
May 09, 2017 Gabi rated it it was amazing
This was a great book that explained a story of a girls life during the holocaust. Knowing that this was a true story was very inspiring for me. I love it how she fell in love. She found happiness in a middle of a concentration camp run by the Nazi's. The braveness that she had to do this was and still is incredible to me.
Mar 17, 2017 Chrissi rated it it was amazing
Another story to put the Holocaust all into perspective - it is incredibly important to collect these narratives because, as Eva Schloss said, it's only about thirty more years before we do not have any first hand survivor accounts left to tell the world.
Deziree Bryant
Title: I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree
Author: Laura Hillman
Student: Deziree Bryant

I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree is about the life of a young girl, Hannelore, and her family. Hannelore’s family consisted of Hannelore, her mother and father, and her brothers, Wolfgang and Selly. The book took place during the time of the persecution of the Jews by Hitler and the German soldiers.
Hannelore Wolf is a young girl who was living a hard life. The persecution of the Jews by the Nazis had separated Hannelo
Melissa Frye
Dec 26, 2012 Melissa Frye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Memoirs of the holocaust are often hard to read. They shine a light on a very dark part of history and remind us of the inhumane acts of humanity. I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler's List Survivor by Laura Hillman is no different. The ugliness revealed within these pages should stand as a reminder of what we don’t want to happen again.
In the spring of 1942 Hannelore received a letter from Mama at her school in Berlin, Germany--Papa had been arrested and taken to a concentra
Kimberly Greenwell
Mar 07, 2017 Kimberly Greenwell rated it it was amazing
This story was very eye-opening with all that the author as well as her family went through. I thought the story was tragic and beautiful; there was loss, love, and friendship.

Sarah Collins
Jan 10, 2013 Sarah Collins rated it really liked it
I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler’s List Survivor by: Laura Hillman starts off with a little girl named Hannelore finding out her Papa has died. It then goes on to explain how her life was affected by the terrible event called the holocaust. I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree shows Hannelore’s thoughts on her boarding school, family, losing her dad, forgotten memories, and the holocaust. Hannelore’s story takes place during world war two and is one of the most interesting memoirs ...more
Feb 26, 2014 Carolinef0x rated it liked it
I Will Plant You A Lilac Tree is a biographical book written by Laura Hillman. She wrote this book to account all of her traumatic events as a child. The book starts out with Hillman living in Berlin and attending a school for all girls. During her teenage years, she finds out that her father had been killed by Hitlers policeman and her family was being sent to a labour camp in Poland. She later requested that she be moved with her family so she too can live in the labour camp. Hillman (known as ...more
Madison Pike
Jan 16, 2017 Madison Pike rated it really liked it
I Will Plant You A Lilac Tree by Laura Hillman is a book about a Schindlers List survivor. The book sets a grim mood when her father passes away. After that she was taken to a ghetto with her family, then later separated from them. As the book progresses, she makes her way through many other camps. The book also gets interesting; she falls in love with a Prisoner Of War. They fight to stay alive and remain optimistic throughout their separations.
The main character, Hannelore Wolff, began the st
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine: I will plant you a lilac tree 3 13 Jan 27, 2014 10:22AM  
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“Love is not something you plan, it just happens.” 16 likes
“I can't prove to you that there is a God, I just know. All this suffering has to have a reason.” 11 likes
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