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I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust (Elli Friedmann #1)

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,337 Ratings  ·  687 Reviews
What is death all about?
What is life all about?

So wonders thirteen-year-old- Elli Friedmann, just one of the many innocent Holocaust victims, as she fights for her life in a concentration camp. It wasn't long ago that Elli led a normal life; a life rich and full that included family, friends, school, and thoughts about boys. A life in which Elli could lie and daydream for
Paperback, 234 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Simon Pulse (first published January 1st 1997)
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Madelyn I am currently reading this book for an assignment in school (7th grade) I think this would be a good book for anyone age 13+ to read, as it is…moreI am currently reading this book for an assignment in school (7th grade) I think this would be a good book for anyone age 13+ to read, as it is somewhat a quick read, but also very detailed.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 21, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barbara by: Chrissie
I cannot resist the urge to compare and contrast this book with Shanghai Diary: A Young Girl's Journey from Hitler's Hate to War-Torn China, which I read prior to this one. Both are written in the first-person perspective of a young teen during the Holocaust. Although their situations differed markedly, both were wrenched from their homes, stripped of personal properties, separated from loved ones and confined in inhumane situations. In Shanghai, the family had chosen to immigrate to avoid maltr ...more
Apr 05, 2009 Terrie rated it it was amazing
This might be one of the best Holocaust books I have read. A true account of the author as a 13 year old from Hungary sent to Auschwitz and then Dachau. Violent, haunting, grisly, hopeful, brave, and astonishing. A lump in your throat, tears rolling down your cheeks account that makes you count your blessings. Thank you Mrs. Hancock and 6th grade for recommending this life changing book.
I have to stop reading holocaust books....... The one I am reading now is a YA book, but I think it is one of the most gripping I have ever read. With little details the author puts you there in the concentration camp, naked, without clothes, in the showers, having your hair shorn off, being served soup filled with white squirming worms........No other holocaust book has done this to me so grittingly. I AM THERE. These are not just words on a page. You are equally torn when the Nazis take her ne ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war, holocaust
What sets Bitton-Jackson's Holocaust memoir apart from the others is that it is simultaneously poetic and graphic. Also, the entire book is written in the first-person which gives it a startling immediacy.

It has garnered hundreds of deservedly glowing reviews, both here and on Amazon, so I won't take the trouble of summarizing it but the following sections hit me upside the head:

Her short-lived joyful ethnic pride that she discovered in the Jewish ghetto:

"For the first time in my life, I am hap
Jan 12, 2016 Julia rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. Freaking. God.

I have no words to describe this.

Mar 04, 2014 Victor rated it really liked it
The first time I visited a synagogue, it was with a group of students and Ms Livia Bitton-Jackson was our teacher in Lehman College , the Bronx, New York, 1998. Ms Bitton-Jackson told us the story of that pretty picture of her on the cover of the book. It was a miracle. She no longer had any possessions after having lived for a long period in concentration camp. A time when she often shared raw potatoes secretly with the other prisoners. Years after the war, she visited Poland and found a place ...more
May 31, 2016 Gary rated it it was amazing
Livia Bitton-Jackson tells her story as a young teenage child and how she survived the brutality of the Holocaust and the horrors of Auschwitz.Born Livia (Ellie) Friedmann in 1931 in the picturesque and sleepy town of Somorja between the Carpathians and the Danube, in a fairly religious Jewish home.
At the age of 13 Ellie witnessed the invading Nazis sweeping into her town and the life of the family was turned upside down. Ellie as particularly upset at her brand new bicycle being taken way by th
Once I started reading this book, I just couldn't put it down. Bitton-Jackson's frank and compelling memoir details the loss of her childhood to the Holocaust, surviving the concentration camps, and finding her way back home with her mother and brother, only to find everything destroyed (except for the jewelry buried in the basement), and her father dead, two weeks before liberation.

She was just a girl, 13 years old, with blonde hair and green blue eyes, who could easily pass as a non-Jew. A me
Mar 04, 2012 Nicolle rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down. I will admit it was quite depressing at times as a "human being" that these terrible thing's took place and quite scary that something of this magnitude occured. The writing in this book is simple and straight foward. The descriptions (camps,food,clothing,injuries,emotions ect)written about in the book are very "real" to the reader. My heart goes out to the author and her family. There are no words to say how sorry I am to them for this terrible injustice. This bo ...more
Linda Trionfo
Oct 30, 2010 Linda Trionfo rated it it was amazing
If you are WWII buff like me you have to read this. I read it with the impression that it is another book about concentration camp life and eventually the liberation. But I was so impressed by her abilty to tell a story recalling what it was like as 13 year old going through it all. I was oddley unemotional through it all, all the things you have read before or seen about Death and labor camps, but her expirences and determantion were incrediable. When they were liberated I read it like any othe ...more
Feb 02, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Heather by: Chrissie
This was such a heartbreaking story, as I knew it would be. And yet, among all the horrors thirteen year old Elli was enduring, was her strength and her incredible will to survive. I was just amazed at her strength! I honestly don't know, had I been in her place, if I could have been so strong.

I thought Elli's voice set a perfect tone for this book and the telling of her story. She writes very simply, and yet her words pack a huge punch. You can really hear the poet in her come through in her w
Oct 15, 2007 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all my friends
I just previewed this book to see if I could recommend it to my students, as we are currently studying the Holocaust. I have read many books on the Holocaust, but this one especially moved me. Perhaps because it is written by a woman (Livia Bitton-Jackson)who endured Auschwitz and various other camps when she was only thirteen years old. Livia's perspective is especially poignant. When liberated, a German civilian approached her and expressed amazement that someone her age could have survived. W ...more
Emma Peterson
I actually didn't get through the book. The topic was interesting, however I just couldn't get into it. I was hoping that I would like it, since I enjoy reading stories about the Holocaust, but it was too slow. For me, I don't like to read non-fiction because it ends up boring me.
Jul 09, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
I just finished reading I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing up in the Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson. This is a well written memoir that reminds me of Elie Wiesel's Night. I've thought about her book all night and into this morning and wonder how anyone survived Hitler's killing machine. I can't comprehend how other humans could treat people the way Jackson and her family were treated. She talks about how their treatment was designed to reduced from individuals into a mass of grey uniforms ...more
Kaden Gordon
Mar 22, 2016 Kaden Gordon rated it really liked it
Poor Elli Friedmann. She was one of the many victims of the Holocaust. I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson is in her point of view. The description is amazing. I learned so much about the Holocaust from this book. "The Red Cross food trucks were a Nazi trap: They lined us up at the window with the ruse of the warm soup distribution in order to hit us more easily with machine-gun fire."
That point of view was very effective in this book. Since this book is like a biography, i
Jordan Davidson
Jun 17, 2015 Jordan Davidson rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-355
I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust
Livia Bitton-Jackson
Simon Pulse, 2011 (reprint)

Summary: This story is the author’s autobiography about her experiences as an inmate of the Nazi concentration camps. When it begins, she is a thirteen-year-old girl living with her normal family, attending school, crushing on boys, and dreaming of one day attending school in the city of Budapest. In short order, however, her life is turned upside down by Nazi invasions. Her family is strippe
Sep 23, 2013 Janet rated it it was amazing
This is a true story about a brilliant, stoic, and brave young Jewish girl from Hungary who lived through the devastation of concentration camps in the Holocaust. Pain, ridicule, hunger, starvation, thirst, abuse, torture, are just some of what she and her family endured. It is a miracle that she survived to write her story. I couldn't put this book down.
Easy read~ I would recommend this book to mature teens.

The story of the author growing up in the Holocaust.... written by a young girl's view point in first person. The book makes you feel apart of the family and glimpse into what their life was in several different death/work camps.

Dec 20, 2008 Art rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
At 13, Livia Bitton-Jackson finds hope and miracles while journeying through the massive horror of the Holocaust. She reminded me to pause to listen to people who have stories that must be told. And to not turn away from injustices.
Zev A-G
Jun 16, 2016 Zev A-G rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People who have read other holocaust books before
This book about how Ellie and her family survived the Holocaust was great, but to be honest, don't read it if it will have been your first book on the holocaust. In many ways, It doesn't depict many of the horrors of the war from a good enough point of view. I'm not saying that they didn't go through hell and back, because they did, but it is just that Ellie experienced nicer guards and nicer living conditions than many, and since she wasn't at the camps for more than a few months or so, the boo ...more
Janet Damon
Jan 07, 2015 Janet Damon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: survival
One of the best memoirs I have every read about a young girl's survival during the Holocaust. The book covers the systematic atrocities of the Holocaust from stripping Jewish families of their homes and possessions, rounding them up for relocation, the fear and terror in every moment and yet this child has continual hope. As situation worsens she struggles to keep her mother from giving in to despair. There were moments of sheer panic as the lines form for the gas chamber and you hold your breat ...more
Jenna Ellinghuysen
Mar 29, 2016 Jenna Ellinghuysen rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolyn A.
Jun 18, 2015 Carolyn A. rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this book I couldn't put it down, and when a busy schedule got in the way I eagerly anticipated getting back to it. So much so that I didn't matter that I only gave myself two days to read it before our book club due date. Even though the subject matter is a grim memoir of a horrible historic injustice, I picked up just enough hope and resilience from the author that I wasn't left overly depressed. I felt like I understood the human spirit a little bit better. These questi ...more
Jesse Painter
Feb 24, 2015 Jesse Painter rated it liked it
Shelves: english-356
Going to be honest, when I read this, I was so burnt out on Nazi Germany/Holocaust stories I had a hard time enjoying/reading any of this. But this isn't to say it isn't a good book. Though I'm still "hungover" from Holocaust stories, I'll be as objective as I can.

The story of Elli and the struggles of her family were very real and very moving. I personally prefer this account of the Jews' struggle than most of the ones I read. Elli's struggled became my struggle and I felt for her on a deeper l
Whitney Rampley
Nov 15, 2014 Whitney Rampley rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Horrifying and extremely sad memoir details the loss of her childhood to the Holocaust, surviving the concentration camps, and finding her way back home with her mother and brother, only to find everything destroyed (except for the jewelry buried in the basement), and her father dead, two weeks before liberation.

She was just a girl, 13 years old, with blonde hair and green blue eyes, who could easily pass as a non-Jew. A member of the SS actually asked her if she was Jewish and then advised her
Livia Bitton-Jackson (called Elli in the book) tells the story of her family's deportation and struggle to survive inside Auschwitz, Dachau, and other concentration camps. She, her mother, and her brother all miraculously escaped death; their wounds were, at times, so terrible the Nazis would have gassed them if they had realized their true conditions. The things Elli witnessed inside the camps and out are too horrible to imagine. Upon their liberation a German woman spoke to her and guessed Ell ...more
We decided to add this to our Holocaust novels unit this year (along with Night and The Cage), so I sat down yesterday afternoon and ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. I reminds me a LOT of The Cage, actually. Both girls were poets and wanted to become writers; both lived in a ghetto before transferring to a concentration camp. I think they both moved around quite a bit, although Bitton-Jackson did much more back and forth traveling between camps. I always feel weird saying I "enjo ...more
this book was a great primary source to the inside of concentration camps during the world war 2. this book is narrated by a girl named eli. eli and her family end up being sent to concentration camps. her dad gets killed at a death camp,she and her mom always find the way to escape gas chambers, shooting lines while the majority of her family is dead. this book reveals how the germans took advance of their trust and violated their rights of being human. in the end eli and her family return to a ...more
Jun 04, 2016 Cassie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: educators, teachers, holocaust researchers, students
Recommended to Cassie by: English 400- Remembering the Holocaust @Ball State University
I wouldn't state that this was one of my favorite books that I have read recently about the Holocaust, but I would state it is the one that was able to draw out some emotions in myself. It reminded me of some of my own experiences in life, which helped me to understand this particular era in a more profound way than I had before reading it. I had to ultimately realize that the writing style of this book was geared towards a younger audience than myself because that was my main gripe with it that ...more
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I Have Lived a Th...: Dehumanization 18 16 Mar 10, 2015 03:23PM  
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book review 1 8 Dec 01, 2013 01:35PM  
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“My hope is that learning about past evils will help us to avoid them in the future.” 21 likes
“My stories are of gas chambers, shootings, electrified fences, torture, scorching sun, mental abuse, and constant threat of death.
But they are also stories of faith, hope, triumph, and love. They are stories of perseverance, loyalty, courage in the face of overwhelming odds, and of never giving up!”
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