The Girls of Room 28: Friendship, Hope, and Survival in Theresienstadt
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The Girls of Room 28: Friendship, Hope, and Survival in Theresienstadt

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  388 ratings  ·  42 reviews
From 1942 to 1944, twelve thousand children passed through the Theresienstadt internment camp, near Prague, on their way to Auschwitz. Only a few hundred of them survived the war. In The Girls of Room 28, ten of these childrenmothers and grandmothers today in their seventiestell us how they did it.

The Jews deported to Theresienstadt from countries all over Europe were a...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Schocken (first published 2004)
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The girls of the title all resided at one time or another in room 28 of one of the girl's homes at the concentration camp Theresienstadt. As a concentration camp Theresienstadt is famous for a number of things. First of all, it was known as Hitler's "showcase" camp, where he fooled the International Red Cross into believing that the Jews were being well-treated. Secondly, and in relation to this, the camp had a lively cultural life, with famous musicians, composers, artists, and others passing t...more
I felt the title of this book deceptive. I was expecting more stories from the girls themselves, but outside of little interview snippets and diary passages that were a quite interesting look into the arts that still flourished in the horror that was the concentration camps (very few survived Theresienstadt, as it was ravaged by several epidemics, and those who did survive were oft shipped to Auschwitz), the book read more like a historical textbook than anything. Horribly dry for a leisure read...more
Not many girls survived both Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, but ten of the 11-14 year girls who lived in this room were interviewed by Brenner. Unfortunately, even with these girls’ diaries, pictures and “Brundibar” the play that they acted out, it’s still not a well-told story, skipping from girl to girl to girl without really letting us get to know anyone of them.

Mar 03, 2012 Rebecca rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rebecca by: Suzy
The story is remarkable, but it took me forever to get through this book. I don't know what it was (not exactly chronological, unfamiliar names, lots of detail...something), but I had trouble staying with this book. It was worth the effort, though, simply because I learned about a whole different aspect of WWII and the sacrifice Jewish adults made for their children.
Christine Rebbert
Another book I couldn't finish reading in September... It's basically what the title says it is, but there were a LOT of girls in Room 28, very few of whom were there the whole time, so lots of coming and going, and all the characters started to sort of run together... And kind of drily written, so just couldn't get excited about continuing...
Ryan Jackson
The concept of the story was quite good, as this was a side of the holocaust that I didn't know much about. The book, however, I found a bit hard to get into. The characters seems to blend together, and by the halfway point I was losing interest fast. Although I don't regret reading this one, I can't recommend it.
Interesting. I learned a lot about Theresienstadt, which was different from the rest of the 'camps.' It was definitely a 'model' camp and was used for propaganda. It was somewhat difficult to read because it jumped from person to person and I never knew just who was who!
About 1/4 of the way through, I called it quits. I was hoping for a more engaging read, but because the writing style doesn't really allow you to connect with the characters, it felt more to me like I was reading a chapter in a history book.
This is a nonfiction book. The author has gathered notes and interviews from people who were at Theresienstadt during WWII. While Theresienstadt was not a death camp like Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen, it was an internment camp nonetheless where inmates suffered deprivation. The Nazis used Theresienstadt as a "showcase" to fool the International Red Cross into thinking that the internment of the Jews was pleasant and enriching. The camp had musical and artistic activities that no other camp had. Wh...more
Michaela Vesela
The Girls of Room 28 is a great book but a really hard read. I am interested in book about World War II and this book was even more interesting for me because it is describing a city from my country (Czech Republic).

I have found most of non-fiction books quite hard to read for me but this one was also because of the writing style. Few pages are written as a description of the place, then you are reading a part from one of the girls diary, then diary of a dad of the girls, another description, th...more
I'm going to give my talk again on Art as a means of Survival, and have become very well acquainted with Terezin Concentration Camp and the remarkable people who were incarcerated there. In my talk on Friedl Dicker Brandeis, I especially learned about Room 28 and the girls who lived there in the girls barracks. After the Wall came down it was found that 15 of them survived and were in their 70s. Ten of them met at a resort in Czechoslovakia and renewed friendships forged in impossible circumstan...more
Hannelore Brenner’s The Girls of Room 28: Friendship, Hope, and Survival in Theresienstadt is a compelling historical read concerning the Shoah/Holocaust in its focus on ten young teen-aged survivors who witnessed what no child or adult should ever have to confront. Their individual stories, told to Brenner when they were in their seventies, are filled with courage and strength,

I feel privileged to have read their stories. Not only have the girls honored and payed tribute to all of the girls wh...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Girls of Room 28: Stories of Friendship, Love and Survival in Theresienstadt, by Hannelore Brenner, narrated by Suzanne Toren, produced by BBC Audio Books America, downloaded from

I can’t say it better than the publisher’s note except to say that it is a wonderful thing that the author found these ten women to interview, and extremely generous that these women let her see their diaries from the war.

Publisher’s Note:
From 1942 to 1944, 12,000 children passed through the Theresienst...more
For all my reading on WWII, I had not heard of Theresienstadt in any depth and this was enlightening for that side of it alone. It really is incredibly luck for future generations that so many letters and journals from these years survived and that more peoples from around the world who were directly involved are beginning to tell their stories. Compared to a lot of survival stories from WWII, these people were luckier than most - at least for most of the war, but that is not to say that they we...more
Understanding evil in history may help to recognize it in the future. Theresienstadt was an internment camp near Prague. It was the last step before the transport to Auschwitz. Families were housed in different units, but had limited visitation with each other. There were meager rations, poor living conditions, and disease. Yet in this desolate place, 12 to 14 year old girls found friendship in their Room 28. Education was forbidden for Jewish children, but through secret classes, art, music and...more
A story about a concentration camp experience, well-written and thought-provoking.
Obviously I was not expecting a bunch of laughs with this book, but I really wish they had picked a better ending. You could stop anywhere, and where they chose to stop was not what I would have done. The Epilogue was a better ending.
I'm not sure that I learned anything new from this experience, but I did connect more dots that deepened and broadened my understanding of the Holocaust. I got a much better picture of how people gradually found out about what was happening to them. The whole frog...more
Paula Hartman-Carlo
An interesting book but unfocused.
I feel horrible not giving five stars for a heroic story as this, but the book was simply hard to follow. I had to finally give up trying to figure out who was talking and just read. A lot of this book has references to music and plays! I still marvel at the strength and tenacity to keep living of the survivors of the unimaginable holocaust! I've read several survival book and am still sick hearing the torture and inhumane things they endured. Very sad.
Hannelore Brenner's compilation of stories and anecdotes from the girls who lived in Theriesenstadt is so much more than various memoirs. I love that Brenner took the time to explain the prehistory of the Holocaust and the many events that led to the girls subsequent incarcerations. I found it amazing the level of normalcy that was maintained for the children who were lucky enough to live in the girls and boys home of Theriesenstadt.
The author makes a few sweeping generalizations about things that the girls could not have known or would not have known that other authors say people in Terezin did in fact know. Sometimes the timeline of the book gets jumbled when the author is telling multiple women's stories. Overall, however, the narratives are woven into a cohesive whole. This is a hard book to put down.
While certain non-fiction reads like a story, this read way more like an extended journalistic piece. The author's attempt to make it into more of a story just made keeping the different characters straight that much harder. The story of Theresienstadt is not one that should be forgotten, and the hope and friendship of the girls who survived (or didn't)is truly touching.
This book is a very heart wrenching tale. It was amazing to read about the strength and courage of so many individuals and their families. I can't even begin to imagine the heart-ache and pain that so many suffered. It was a little difficult to read in some parts because it read like a history book at times, but definitely worth reading.
Barbara Marincel
Amazing. Couldn't put it down. Well-researched and written, this story of girls' room 28 in the Nazi show camp of Theresiendadt illustrates the youthful triumph of the human spirit of a few Jewish children over the Nazi regime that attempted--unsuccessfully to dehumanize them.
Melanie Harwood
I can't wait to read this one. I met Ela Stein last Thursday. Ela lived in Theresienstadt near Prague for 4 and 1/2 years of her life, beginning when she was only 11 years old. She is one of only 100 of 15,000 children who survived that specific internment camp.
Maxine McDonald
I liked this book as much as one can "like" a book that involves Jewish children living through the holocaust in a concentration camp. It is very realistic and deeply moving as much is written from the girl's diaries including poems and drawings.
Jackie Kehl
An objective but not depressing account of the lives of girls ages 12-14 living in a ghetto outside Prague. I liked the use of diaries and letters intermixed with quotes from those living when the book was written.
Marcos Tavares
Confira a resenha em vídeo que eu fiz para esse livro:
Emily Frankle
Poorly written and boring. I appreciate the content matter, but quit about 1/4 of the way through because of the writing style.
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