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We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust

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3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,726 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
David Rubinowicz, Yitzhak Rudashevski, Moshe Flinker, Eva Heyman, and Anne Frank were all teenagers during World War II. They lived in different parts of Europe. They had different lives. But they all had something in common: They were Jewish, and therefore, under Hitler's twisted rule, they were five of the six million men, women, and children sentenced to death.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 1st 1996 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published June 15th 1995)
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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
63rd out of 562 books — 2,276 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankNumber the Stars by Lois LowryBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta SepetysThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Best Young Adult Holocaust/WWII Books
25th out of 46 books — 56 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jenny
Read in 2001 for the Black Diamond book club.
favorite quote: "In Germany, the Nazis came for the communists adn I didn't speak up because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the labor unionists and I didn't speak up beaucse I was not a labor unionist. Then they came for the Catholics adn I was Protestant so I didn't speak up. Then they came fore me.... By that time there was no one to speak up for anyone."
Bradley
Jun 18, 2014 Bradley rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dana
May 31, 2012 Dana rated it it was amazing
What gets me about this book, is that the stories are real. These entries are from real teenagers who have gone through something so horrifying, and yet their stories are being told. They have a voice, that will live forever. When I was reading this book, and looking at where their families have come from, I couldn't help to think about my own family. How my family came from similar places in Europe, and it could have been anyone. This book reminded me of how we need to keep their voices alive t ...more
J.M.
Apr 12, 2013 J.M. rated it liked it
This was an interesting book. Everyone's heard of or read Anne Frank's diary, but her war-time experiences are a little bit unique because her family was in hiding. In this book, four other diaries by teenagers are discussed at length, each portraying a different aspect of what it meant to be Jewish in occupied Europe during the war. Among the other diarists were families who were forced into ghetto life, or who fled the country and pretended to be Christian to escape notice, and these stories a ...more
Katie Coci
Jul 12, 2010 Katie Coci rated it really liked it
What a poweful and wonderful book!! This book will make anyone not take life for granted. Within his book we hear from 5 teentagers, David, Yitzhak, Moshe, Eva and Anne and their struggle with survival during the Holocaust. This book is overflowing with emotion. Starvation, fear of death and left to die are some of the experiences that these teenagers face. Once you start reading this book, you won't be able to put it down. This book can used in the classroom when learning about the Holocaust. K ...more
Antonio Rossano Mendes Pontes
Today is a cloud Sunday morning; I just had breakfast, and lay in my hammock to continue reading it. I feel devastated for David sobbing at his beloved father’s departure to a forced labor camp, without knowing the fate that waits for him there, and if he will ever see him again. Even more when Yitzack’s mother, after many other failed desperate attempts, gets a yellow pass (a pass that allows the survival of a family of four under the greatest of the beast’s Reich in Lithuania), and they rush o ...more
Nichole
Oct 16, 2012 Nichole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow! I loved this book! it's about 5 different Jewish teenagers who wrote Journals and were later found after the war. The commentary is great and it's just an amazing book to hear from 4 different teenager's points of view of how they lived in the Holocaust, their lives, their thoughts and feelings, their struggles....I say 4 because Anne Frank is the epilogue and the last teenager. I skipped that because I want to be surprised when I read her diary in the original book with no commentaries. Bu ...more
Emily
Oct 08, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
Overall, I'm a big fan of Holocaust literature. I am continually amazed by how people responded to such a tragedy. This book left a bit to be desired. It had the potential to be powerful but didn't quite make it there. Positively, the variety of viewpoints from Jewish teenagers from a variety of backgrounds, and I liked how historical fact was intertwined with the journal excerpts. However, I did not like the organizational technique. I didn't feel like I was getting a full picture of the charac ...more
SB
Mar 03, 2016 SB rated it liked it
I often feel like the Diary of Anne Frank gets TOTALLY overdone when it comes to the Holocaust. I liked We Are Witnesses because it's a complilation of pieces from five different diaries (one of which is Anne Frank's) written by Jewish teens during the Holocaust. The teens came from five different areas of Europe. Exerpts from the diaries provide insights into the culture that existed in the Ghetto once Jews were placed there. The exerpts also speak to the feelings these very same Jews had that ...more
Courtney
May 15, 2016 Courtney rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caroline Benson
In the book "We Are Witnesses" it tells five stories about people who died in the Holocaust. Each person had many hopes and dream in their future and they expressed this in their diaries. Later they all went through sadness and lose and each one has their own little twist.

This book was ok but it did not interest me like others. It was a little boring and the stories got repetitive. All in all, the book was good, but I am just not into that kind of story.

I recommend this book to people who are
...more
Austin Berry
David Rubinowicz, Yitzhak Rudashevski, Moshe Flinker, Eva Heyman, and Anne Frank were all teenagers during World War II. They lived in different parts of Europe. They had different lives. But they all had something in common: They were Jewish, and therefore, under Hitler's twisted rule, they were five of the six million men, women, and children sentenced to death. I think this book was okay because it was very depressing but kinda cool to Learn about all of this. I would not recommend it if you ...more
Sammy
May 24, 2013 Sammy rated it liked it
I have recently finished the book We Are Witnesses. The story was being told from the perspective of 5 teenage Jews that went through the holocaust. There names were David Rubinowez, Yitzhak Rudasherk, Moshe Flicker, Eva Heyman, and Anne Frank. In the book most of the people's perspectives didn't change but in David's story his perspective did change. In the beginning before his dad left he thought awful things about him. But once the dad left to the labor camp he realized how much he loved him ...more
Naone14
Nov 21, 2013 Naone14 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Isabelle
May 23, 2013 Isabelle rated it liked it
The book We Are Witnesses by Patricia C. McKissack and Jacob Boas is a collection of diary entries during the time of The Holocaust. This book Is narrated from the perspective of five different jewish teens. (There names were, David Rubinowicz, Yitzhak Rudasherk, Moshe Flinker, Eva Heyman and Anne Frank.) Throughout the pages of the characters diaries some of the perspectives change like in David's case he was never really close to his father until his father was taken to work at the labor camps ...more
Emani Price
May 25, 2011 Emani Price rated it it was amazing
Shelves:
The book was a very strong minded book. David Rubinowicz, Yitzhak Rudashevski, Moshe Flinker, Eve Heyman, and Anne Frank went through things that no teenager should ever go through in ther life from people calling them bad people to shooting them in feilds in Poland. My qoute for this book would be "They died because they lived and they lived because they had a reason to and they had a reason because they were Jewish." I think that their reason to live was because they had to share their story f ...more
Margi
Jan 13, 2014 Margi rated it really liked it
This book consists of five diaries of teenagers who were killed in the Holocaust: David Rubinowicz, Yitzhak Rudashevski, Moshe Flinker, Eva Heyman and Anne Frank. It is so very interesting to read how each of the teens viewed what was happening around them and to them. The five diaries are compared in the final chapter and that is really quite compelling. These children all started keeping diaries in the early or mid-teens until they were brought to an extermination camp and killed. It is also v ...more
Ryan
Apr 28, 2015 Ryan rated it liked it
We Are Witnesses had five stories in it about five teens in the Holocaust. In this book you will find five teens who try to survive”,” but “they “either succeed or fail and face the horrible concentration camps. You will find scared people and those who will speak out against what they know is wrong. This book is historical fiction”,” and I prefer to read historical nonfiction because it is real and not fake. If I could change one thing in this book it would be to add some more interesting event ...more
Jessica Percy
Jan 03, 2015 Jessica Percy rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kiara Sulivan
Dec 15, 2013 Kiara Sulivan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for a book report at school and loved it. It was more emotionally affective then reading a regular World War II book in history class. This book Consists of five diaries written by five teenagers who died in the Holocaust. These diaries were written by Yitsak, David, Moshe, Eva, and Anne. All of these teens were pulled apart from there family and killed before they could finish the last sentence in their journals. These are all Jews and were all affected negatively by the German ...more
Hermien
Jun 25, 2014 Hermien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A poignant analysis of the diaries of five teenagers, all different individuals in different countries but having jewishness and being persecuted in common. How sad that none of them survived.
Michelle Lin
Feb 23, 2016 Michelle Lin rated it really liked it
It was a really deep and serious book. It also has a lot of information about the lives of people in the Holocaust.
Jenny
Mar 21, 2015 Jenny added it
Recorded in AR journal. Teacher's comments: "You are doing so well! Enjoy your new home!"
Jessalyn Gray
Apr 13, 2016 Jessalyn Gray rated it it was amazing
These stories are incredible. I find that they were also well written.
Rylee Arner
Apr 30, 2014 Rylee Arner rated it it was amazing
It showed the ways jewish men and woman lived as they were being murdered and discriminated in the time of Hitler's reign.
Sandra Strange
The subtitle will suck in readers: “Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust.” This book tells the stories of these Jewish teenagers, but the book is NOT all diaries. The book contains five accounts of the teen’s lives and deaths by Jacob Boas, with liberal quotes from their diaries. The accounts are touching and very sad. The last account is a summary of Ann Frank’s diary. The diary wishes to communicate that people remain hopeful and courageous to the end, despite the circumstances: ...more
Lindsay
Jun 30, 2008 Lindsay rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those wanting more information about history
This book is not complicated in syntax but it is difficult to get through, mainly because of the subject matter. The book follows journals of Jewish teens as they face the gruesomeness of war. As the title tells you none of the teens survived. The journals they left are the only thing we have of them. Each teen grew up somewhere different and has a different perspective on Nazi invasion. The author has pieced together details about their life in various concentration camps to help you understand ...more
Jenn
Mar 23, 2013 Jenn rated it it was amazing
Even though I think that some of the entries are more powerful than others, I didn't have the heart to take a star away from this book's rating. It felt unjust. They had enough taken away from them, and who am I - a modern, "gentile," by all comparisons pampered person - to give quality judgements on how they related their experiences. Watch out for Éva's entry. It will take your breath away.
Jennifer
Oct 16, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
It is a little hard to read...the diaries were obviously not written in english, so it is all translated and sometimes a little difficult to understand. It was good though, and it really showed me the difference between teens now and teens back then and in that particular culture. I learned a lot about the different ways teens stuggled through the Holocaust.
Edwina Hall Callan
Jun 18, 2013 Edwina Hall Callan rated it really liked it
Jewish teenagers David, Yitzhak, Moshe, Eva, and Anne all kept diaries and were all killed in Hitler's death camps. These are their stories, in their own words. Author Jacob Boas is a Holocaust survivor who was born in the same camp to which Anne Frank was sent.
I donated this book to the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Holocaust Museum for their library.
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Jacob Boas has a Ph.D. in modern European history and is a historian, writer, and translator. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife.
More about Jacob Boas...

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