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Thanks to My Mother

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  1,798 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Susie Weksler was only eight when Hitler's forces invaded her Lithuanian city of Vilnius. Over the next few years, she endured starvation, brutality, and forced labor in three concentration camps. With courage and ingenuity, Susie's mother helped her to survive--by disguising her as an adult to fool the camp guards, finding food to add to their scarce rations, and giving h ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Puffin Books (first published April 1st 1998)
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Feb 12, 2010 Chrissie rated it liked it
Shelves: bio, soviet-union

Having now finished this book my head cannot drop the following question: Do you rate a book by the seriousness of the topic or simply by asking yourself honestly, how much did you like the book?! If you go by the first criteria all holocaust books will get five stars. Thenhow does a reader choose which to pick? I have followed my emotional response to this book. I liked the book, so three stars. Please, please remember this does not mean people should not read the book. In fact I
Oct 02, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
This book was written by Schoschana Rabinovici who lived through the holocaust. What a harrowing tale it was to read. While it is sad and heart wrenching to read it. I found myself thoroughly engulfed in her saga to stay alive in the worst of circumstances. I was amazed at her will to live and her Mother's ideas and protective nature. It also struck me that their were and are everyday hero's in the darkest of places. Meaning when life is terrible and in this case it was really terrible you stil ...more
Feb 16, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing
My mother read this to me as a child actually. Then, at about 8 or 9 years old, I didn't really understand it. Now at almost 17, it really is life-changing; what a mother wouldn't do to save her child. Depicting the true life events of one girls tale of survival, thanks to her mother. It's heartbreaking and hard to swallow when you actually understand it, but it's true. I love this book, and wish everyone could get a chance to read it. You won't be sorry.
Chris  Muller
Aug 20, 2008 Chris Muller rated it it was amazing
I came across this book because someone had me return it, and I was reading the back cover and decided to check it out only because it took place in Lithuania, and I am of Lithuanian decent...It turned out to be an intruiging adventure that gave great empathy towards the characters, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys holocaust stories.
Samantha K
Thanks to my mother is a great book written by Schoschana Rabinovici. I would personally recommend it if you like to cry. This book is about the Holocaust and the pain that people had to go through with the annexation of the jewish people in Germany. Whether it be going to a new house to hide from the Nazis or heading to a concentration camp, not knowledgeable of what is going to happen next, Susinka narrates the book quite calmly and builds suspense. This book contains a mystical plot line, bei ...more
Jun 12, 2010 Meaghan rated it really liked it
As the title would have you suppose, the book is largely a tribute to the author's mother, Raja, who moved heaven and earth so Schoschana (then called Susie) could survive. The odds were stacked against them, particularly since Susie was a child, only eight years old when the war began. VERY few Jewish children survived the war, and most of those who did survived in hiding with gentile families or in institutions. Susie never went into hiding; although a kind former maid offered to take her, Raj ...more
May 22, 2008 Sandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, history
Enjoyed would be the wrong adjective to describe how I felt about this book. I was appalled, as I usually am when reading about the Holcaust, and to say that I "enjoyed" a book detailing the horrificness coming out of the concentration camps seems to me to be a slap in the face of those who suffered.

With that being said, I was engrossed from the beginning of this memoir. Susanna was only 10 years old when the Nazi's invade Poland and shuttle everyone to the ghettos to live. Eventually, the famil
Oct 07, 2008 Kelli rated it it was amazing
Although you will find this book in the children's section of a bookstore, it is also appropriate for adults. I am amazed at what this author's mother did, how clever and insightful she was and hope that I, too, could help my child and myself live through a life-threatening experience. These stories of suffering during the Holocaust make me shudder to think of "man's inhumanity to man" and yet in that same moment make me shake my head in amazement at what people can endure and the hope that peop ...more
Oct 03, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible story about a young girl and her mother who overcame all odds and survived the holocaust. I couldn't put this bbok down as I read about some of the most horrifying situations this poor girl went through during Hitlers rampage. These women survived many concentration camps in the worst conditions you could ever imagine possible. I was astounded by the hero roll that this young girls mother took on to get them both through it. I really believe they saved eachother. This book ...more
Jaclynne Brown
Jul 24, 2008 Jaclynne Brown rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Janet Crandall
Recommended to Jaclynne by: Mandi Zappe
This is a heart wrenching tale of optimism and hope during an immensely dark period in our World's History. The bare truth of the happenings from the persecution to the ghettos and finally the deportation and mass murdering of the Jews through the eyes of a survivor only ten years old, hidden by her mother in the work camps disguised as a young adult. The imagery of what this child saw is haunting, and her tale of how she overcame this torture is inspiring.
Amy Hustead
Sep 12, 2011 Amy Hustead rated it it was amazing
Ended up thoroughly enjoying this book (despite it's topic) just as I knew I would. Am shocked this was a YA as there's alot of detail. Would recommend to others whom are interested in holocaust memoirs.
Sep 15, 2008 Melody rated it really liked it
touching story.
Oct 21, 2008 angela rated it really liked it
A very good book. Hard to read at times because of sensitive issues back then, but definately worth it.
Jun 29, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing
This book shows a strong bond between a mother and daughter during the hardest time, the holocaust.
K.C. Gordon
Jul 10, 2008 K.C. Gordon rated it it was amazing
You'll never forget this story once you've read it. I loved this book and I think about the real life characters in this book often.
Jose Rodriguez
May 08, 2012 Jose Rodriguez rated it liked it
good book had fun reading it
L Frost
Mar 09, 2017 L Frost rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A personal account of a Jewish girl's life during WWII. For those interested in the fate of Jews in Lithuania and that region compared to Poland, Germany and Western Europe, this provides a detailed description of how things played out in the East. This is an amazing story of a mother's love and devotion to her young daughter in the most impossible circumstances. Like all stories of the Holocaust, this one includes the horrific treatment of Jews, a limited amount of language, and only one thinly ...more
Eni Byambadorj
Eni Byambadorj
January 4, 2015
8A Ms.DeBianchi
Thanks to My Mother (Novel Review)
“From now on you are no longer people; you are numbers, only numbers… you [have] lost every right… The only possibility you have of leaving here is to fly through the chimney,” (Rabinovici, 190). Thanks to My Mother is an autobiography by Schoschana Rabinovici about a brave mother and daughter who suffer through the grueling effects of World War II. At only eight years old, Susie, the narrator and protagonist, f
Terri Lynn
I had very mixed feelings about Susie's (Schoschana) mother Raja. She was said to be a gorgeous woman but photos of her show differently. She was, however, a slut who caused Susie's wonderful father to be murdered by Nazis and "thanks to her mother" and her adulterous ways and selfishness, Susie was lucky to survive years of hell on earth.

Let me back up and explain. The family lived in the village of Vilnius in Lithuania which had been controlled by Poland until the Russians took over. They had
Brandon Mueller
May 19, 2012 Brandon Mueller rated it it was amazing
One of the most awe-inspiring books I have ever held in my hands, "Thanks to My Mother", by Schoschana Rabinovici, will leave you speechless at some points and crying at others. If you are looking for an excellent book on the real events of the holocaust then look no further, because this story will lead you through the unbelievably horrific events millions of Jews went through, and how some had amazing courage and bravery to survive it all. Rabinovici explains in perfect detail her story of the ...more
Sydney Hollis
Dec 02, 2011 Sydney Hollis is currently reading it
The book I read was "Thanks to my mother" by Schoschana Rabinovici. The purpose of this book was to inform. The author was informing you about hard times in our past. The hard time in this book was the Holocaust. People were being racist towards the Jews during this time period. Unfortunately many of these people didn't make it out of the Holocaust and were unable to return to their homes. Why? Because they died. They were either shot, starved, or sick.
The theme of this book is don't give up. O
Collin Hecker
Oct 01, 2014 Collin Hecker rated it really liked it
Thanks to My Mother is the jaw-dropping memoir of Holocaust survivor, Schoschana Rabinovici and her horrific experiences in one of the most tragic eras of world history to date. Rabinovici's purpose in writing this book was to inform the reader of the events that occured behind the gates of the concentration camps and to insure that nothing like the Holocaust will ever happen again. This book spoke to me like few other books have in my lifetime. On numerous occasions, thanks to Rabinovici's use ...more
Kyle Sheppard
Schoschana Rabinovici's, Thanks to My Mother, was written to inform the readers of the horrific events of the Holocaust and the determination for survival the Jewish people possessed. Rabinovici's purpose is to teach the reader about the importance of having faith and making sacrifices for survival in difficult times. By informing the readers of the tragic events of the Holocaust, the author's purpose is to not only remember those who suffered through the Holocaust but also to teach the readers ...more
Shelby Cass
Oct 05, 2016 Shelby Cass rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 13 and older
The book I am reviewing if you didn't see the title, is called "Thanks to My Mother" by Shoshana Rabin vici. I think the authors purpose in this book was to tell the horrors of being Jewish and living during WW2 and the Holocaust. Rabinovici was a young girl then. Now she wants to tell her story to inform the reader about her terrifying experiences. To show the reader emotion on her horrifying life as a kid and what it took to survive a living nightmare.

I believe the theme of the story is ther
May 05, 2011 Cathy rated it really liked it
I read this book this week in honor of Mother's Day, and I am haunted by it. The Holocaust is such a difficult and painful thing to read about, and as a mother, I could barely cope with reading about some of the tragic events shared in this book. The author was an 8-year-old Jewish girl when the Holocaust began in Lithuania, and she tells of her experiences during that time. I have an 8-year-old daughter, and I cannot even imagine her having to see and endure such horrible things. I have read ma ...more
May 29, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
I'm not quite sure where to start with this one. A first hand account of living as a Jew during the Holocaust, it's everything you thought it would be, horrifying, degrading, disgusting and filled with death, despair and evil. But then it's even more than that, the author's descriptions and feelings are so vivid and real that it's very difficult to think of anything but what these people had to endure and were put through when reading it. I was lucky enough to be part of a production where Anne ...more
Sep 02, 2013 Audrey rated it it was amazing
Thanks to My Mother by Schoschana Rabinovici is a memoir about a young girl named Susie. At the beginning of the book she is content child living in Vilinius in Lithuania. She lives with her mother, Raja, her steofather Julek, and her stepsister Dolka. When the Germans invade Vilnius, her beloved father is taken away to Ponary where she later learns that he was killed. She and her huge family all move to one room in the Ghetto in Vilnius. Susies Mother keeps going no matter what and is a very st ...more
Jill Jacoby
Jan 22, 2016 Jill Jacoby rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a birthday gift when I was quite young and not really capable of understanding the enormity of the Holocaust. Looking back, it's the one book from my childhood that I continually reference in my day to day life. The author's writing is so clear for such a muddy subject. She deals with unspeakable situations with clarity and honesty.

When I feel like life is giving me a particularly rough go, I pick up this book to remind myself how easy I have it in today's world.

For me,
Jun 10, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it
I found this to be a particularly touching, albeit grim, account of one Lithuanian woman's survival of the Holocaust thanks, in large part, to her mother's love, ingenuity, and refusal to give up. As I said, this is a grim look at the conditions they endured and the experiences can be shocking, but just about everything dealing with the Holocaust is shocking and upsetting. When I first read this, I knew very little about how the Holocaust played out in these small Eastern European countries. Aft ...more
Chris Holder
Aug 19, 2015 Chris Holder rated it it was amazing
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“Here mankind discarded civilization as if it were an article of clothing and left behind every decent feeling: love; loyalty; simply everything. Here it stood naked, and exhibited it's wretched soul. Here, faced with the realm of death, all the baseness and cruelty of mankind was on display.” 0 likes
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