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

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  2,785 ratings  ·  211 reviews
"HANNELORE, YOUR PAPA IS DEAD."
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."
...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published January 9th 2003)
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The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankNight by Elie WieselThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John BoyneNumber the Stars by Lois Lowry
Well Written Holocaust Books
82nd out of 526 books — 2,234 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankNight by Elie WieselSarah's Key by Tatiana de RosnayNumber the Stars by Lois Lowry
World War II/Holocaust Fiction & Non-fiction
114th out of 514 books — 459 voters


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Community Reviews

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Em
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
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Sara
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
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Tanja
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
Meghan
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
Tracey
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
Olivia Boone
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
Deena
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
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Lynne
Apr 05, 2010 Lynne rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Kayse
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
Becky
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
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Allison
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.
Jane
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
Lorrie
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
Debbie
I found this book in the teen section of my local library, and while it may well be directed towards them, I think adults should read it as well.

Hannelore Wolff, was at her school in Berlin during the spring of 1942, when she received a letter from her mother telling her her papa was dead, and that her mother and brothers were being deported east. Her mother advised her to stay where she was and to take care of herself. Hannelore made the decision that she would go home and be deported with her
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Jessica Carroll
I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: Heartbreaking, hopeful memoir
Laura Hillman's memoir of her experience with the Holocaust allows the reader to have the perspective of a young jewish woman during Hitler's rise to power. The book takes place in a suburb of Berlin, Germany. Early on in the story, Hannelore (Laura) is devastated to hear of her father's death death in a work camp. Hannelore learns about her mother and brothers being deported to concentration camp, after gaining knowledge she composes a
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Jasmine Gedeon
Apr 24, 2015 Jasmine Gedeon rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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Mercedes Enciso
Hillman, L. (2005). I will plant you a lilac tree: A memoir of a Schindler's list survivor. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

I Will Plant You A Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler’s List Survivor is such a breath-taking book. From the very beginning I was drawn because you soon find out that Hannelore’s father was arrested and then returned back home, in ashes. This book is amazing. I felt scared, sad, and mad as I read this book. I was eager to find out if Hannelore would ever be reun
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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
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Sarah
One of the most unique aspects of this Holocaust memoir is that the author, who was 16 years old at the beginning of her story, chose to go with her family when they were given a notice of deportation. She herself had been living at a Jewish school for girls and had not yet received deportation papers, but she wanted to stay with her family to protect them as best she could. This is especially brave considering she had also recently received news of her father being murdered at Buchenwald concen ...more
AyaY
Hannelore is a 16 year old girl who has the misfortune of living in Germany under Hitlers rule. She is beaten, and separated from her family and starts to loose hope in surviving. One day she finds out that she's on Schindler's list and her hope starts to rise, but she knows it will be a long and hard path to get there. In this memoir Laura Hillman's experiences help to show that people should be grateful of what they have and the fact hat they can see their family. After reading this book I am ...more
Carolinef0x
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
Catherine J
I come to understand about the author Laura Hillman , that she is a very strong women who likes to stand up for her rights. Hannelore and her 2 brothers , mother and father lived in Weimar Poland but then got deported to Lublin Poland. The conditions in these ghettos were not good. They were unsanitary, unsafe , unwelcoming and diseases filled the place. Hannelore the protagonist and narrator is a young girl around 14 years old who is Jewish and is sent to a holocaust camp along with her two you ...more
Sara
"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.
Sarah Graham
Every Holocaust victim story is full of grief, pain, and sadness. This novel is no exception but it does offer a look into more aspects of this victim’s life than just the bad. Hannelore is a young Jewish girl who decides to join her family when she hears that they are being deported from her home while she is away at school. Voluntarily joining them means voluntarily stepping into the grief and pain it was to be Jewish under Hitler’s regime but she does it out of love for her family. She doesn’ ...more
Tyler Hardy
Although hard to believe, this is a true story about a young Jewsh girl who is deported to multiple concentration camps during World War II. Not only is the girl disrespected for her religion, but she is raped, torn from her family, beaten, and starved. This heart wrenching story sent my heart out to the victims of the holocaust. Even though the story is depressing, it was well written by the girl herself and it always kept me engaged. If you are interested in learning more about the Holocaust a ...more
Madelena
In the book so far, Hitler has taken over Germany and has made everyone hate the Jews. He has made it so that Jewish families can't live together. That is what happened with a Jewish girl named Hannelore. She we taken from her family and put into a boarding school because she wasn't allowed to go to public schools. Her father got killed in Buchenwald, and her mother and 2 brothers got a letter saying they have to go to camps in Poland. Hannelore bravely agreed to go with them. She is now having ...more
Andrea
I appreciate every holocaust survivor's story. This book is written with a simplicity that young readers will understand, but the harshness and fear are not glossed over. The title is a bit misleading as the writer does not become one rescued by Schindler until the final few pages. It's mostly about the other atrocities acted out against Hannalore and her family. I would love to have read a final chapter that summarized her life after the war though perhaps it is intentional for the reader to be ...more
Melissa
This is a raw, haunting account of a survivor of many labor camps and the dreaded Auschwitz. Laura (Hannalore) never quite gives up hope, and even believes there must be a reason for the suffering. It is well-written, and though aimed toward children and young adults, it is certainly not light reading, nor one that is unprofitable for adults. In fact, it may be better for adults or young adults, because of the mature elements, such as rape. There are a few uses of the Lord's name in vain, and so ...more
Melissa Frye
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
...more
Savannah Cole
No escape, broken inside the main character of I will plant you a lilac tree by Laura Hilman. Young Hannelore Wolff felt as her family were being taken by the Jewish. Heartbroke,and Assamed Of all that her family are going through and she is off at borading school crying out to help them. Throughout she is worried that things will happen to them and she not there to defend her family.Things got very suspecious when Hannelore's mom was not replying back to her message.Something went wrong. Finaly ...more
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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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