Gertruda's Oath: A Child, a Promise, and a Heroic Escape During World War II
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Gertruda's Oath: A Child, a Promise, and a Heroic Escape During World War II

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  850 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Trapped in the horrors of World War II, a woman and a child embark on a journey of survival in this page-turning true story that recalls the power and the poignancy of Schindler’s List.

Michael Stolowitzky, the only son of a wealthy Jewish family in Poland, was just three years old when war broke out and the family lost everything. His father, desperate to settle his busin...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Doubleday Religion (first published 2007)
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Shelli
Gertruda's Oath is a beautiful and tragic story about a young Jewish boy and his Catholic nanny, and those who helped them survive during the Nazi regime.

Written simply, it can be read in a few hours, but the lasting impression of Gertruda's devotion to her young charge, along with the characters that shape and influence their survival is tangible.

You begin reading, knowing that Michael is going to be saved and protected by Gertruda; knowing that the fate of his mother and father is destined to...more
Mary-Louise
One little Polish-Jewish boy's World War II tragedy could have been so much worse without his protector-nanny, Gertruda, who promised Michael's mother that she (Gertruda) would protect Michael from the Nazis as best she could. Honor was in short supply in Nazi-occupied territory, but some people risked their lives to do the right thing.

My only quibble with the book was that the writing seemed to be more at a young adolescent's level rather than at an adult's. I don't know whether the author or t...more
Terri
One of the most engrossing books I have read in a long time; I could not put it down.

Generally I steer clear of World War II books because I know it was an horrific period and I don't want to dwell on the horrors of it in a book or a movie for that matter. So with trepidation I began reading this book.

Yes, the horror and hatred that one man can do to another with relish is here; the absolute devotion to Hitler and his final solution is eery and leaves you heartbroken. BUT the kindness and love o...more
Ranjit Powar
The style is simple and direct. More than a play of words or expression, it is the stark , undiluted truth about the atrocities and loss of all that is human that hits you in the gut.The second world war - a people hounded out of the securities of a normal life for no fault of their own. And amidst it all, the amazing courage and compassion of one woman who survives it all. Read and remember, so this may never be repeated any place, any time.
S.B. Lerner
An account of how a young Polish nanny saved a young Jewish boy in the Holocaust. Concurrent background story of a young SS man who saves her life with a spur of the moment gesture. written in a very straightforward, unadorned manor, which is fitting because the tale is incredible on its own. Also tells the story of the Exodus voyage, life in Israel and the young man's efforts to claim his inheritance.
Blanka
Gertruda esküje szeptemberben jelenik meg magyarul. Nagyon várom már, igazán lenyűgöző ez a könyv. Érdekes, fordulatos és nagyon emberi. Ráadásul igaz történet. Mindenkinek jó szívvel ajánlom akit érdekel a téma, nem fog csalódni ebben a könyvben!
Megtudhatjuk a könyvből, hogyan és miért védi az élete árán is egy katolikus nevelőnő Michaelt, a lengyel zsidó kisfiùt, továbbá azt is, hogyan végződik a története annak a német férfinak, aki szerelemből házasodva zsidó nőt vesz feleségül, majd a gazda...more
Amanda Morgan
When Gertruda Bablinska, a former Catholic schoolteacher, decides to take on a job as nanny to the three-year-old son of one of the wealthiest Jewish families in Poland shortly before World War II broke out, she had no idea the ultimate responsibility she was really agreeing to in “Gertruda’s Oath: A Child, a Promise, and a Heroic Escape During World War II.”
When Michael’s father has to go out of the country on business, no one realizes it will be the last time they will ever see each other, a...more
Chris
Disclousre: won though Goodreads giveaway.

Last semester, I taught Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl for my reading skills class. My intention was to use the work as a jumping off point and go into the editing that had been done and how Frank's work compared to other diaries from the time. In other words, I wanted my students to look beyond the work and to place it in the wider context, to even challenge the idea of the "saintly" Anne Frank. My students read information from the U.S. Holocaust...more
Lorri
Gertruda’s Oath: A Child, a Promise, and a Heroic Escape During World War II, by Ram Oren is a lovely story, and a beautifully written testimony of how young, Jewish Michael Stolowitzky survived the Holocaust. Gertruda Babilinska was Michael’s nanny, and without her, it is doubtful that Michael would have survived.

Gertruda’s Oath often reads like a book of intrigue, with its pages filled with drama and riveting sequences. It is a true story, though, depicting the courage, strength, determinatio...more
Lynn
Gertruda's oath is the true story of a heroic escape from the terrors of the WWII, but it is also a story of love and devotion. Gertruda, a Catholic woman, is hired by a wealthy Jewish family as a nanny for their son, Michael, in pre-war Poland. As the war progresses and the Nazis conquer Poland and move from there to Vilna, Lithuania, the family is separated by circumstances and death. Gertruda makes a solemn promise to Michael's mother to watch over him, raise him as her own, and ultimately de...more
Anna Ligtenberg
ISBN 9780385527187 - I love books set during World War II, non-fiction in particular. They're almost always tearjerkers (at least sniffle-inducing), and certainly awe-inspiring, something we can always use more of, these days. Gertruda's Oath definitely lives up to those expectations.

Living in a world of luxury and denial, the Stolowitzky family is blissfully - for the moment - unaware of what lurks around the corner, as Hitler rises to power and threatens them from afar. By the time they unders...more
Nancy
After the Germans have invaded Poland the wealthy Jewish Stolowitzky family is separated, with father, Jacob, in Paris trying to finish up an important business deal, while mother, Lydia, Michael, and nanny, Gertruda are robbed of all they have by the family chauffeur on the way from Warsaw to Vilna. Lydia’s health is poor and made worse by her depression, and she asks Gertruda, on her deathbed, to care for Michael and be his mother. The book follows the struggles of Gertruda to survive and pass...more
Jennifer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
01sidnyr
Gertruda's Oath is not just one story, it is three stories. The first one is about Michael Stolowitzky, and his nanny Gertruda, and Michaels mom and dad. Their story is how the escape from poland and how michael and gertruda surivive during the war. The second story is about a guy named Karl Rink. His is about how he, his wife, and daughter live through the war and how karl joins the naxi party. And the thrid story tells a little bit about gertruda. When and where she was born, what she did bef...more
Nancy
I won this book on GoodReads. This is a true story of World War II. One set of characters revolves around the Stokowitzky family in Warsaw, Poland, the mother, father, son Michael and the nanny Gertruda. The other main set of characters belong to the Karl Rink family in Germany. Karl joins the SS because he is unemployed, even though his wife is Jewish is is their daughter. The book follows the two sets of characters thru the war. The story is told in an objective manner which is one of the thin...more
Ziaria
I enjoy books about WWII and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's my inability to understand it that keeps me reading book after book.

The first thing I really noticed about this book is it did not read like a non fiction, it read like any fiction novel you would pick up off a shelf in a bookstore. Very nice for someone who doesn't care for the slower pace writing that non fiction books often take.

The book shares Michael and Gertruda's journey before, through and after the war. The journey they took was...more
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosanne
This was certainly a book that I probably wouldn't have chosen to read but I am glad that I did. A true story of Gertruda, the Polish Catholic nanny whose charge is a Jewish boy from a prominent family in Poland. The story begins before the war and encompasses all the tragic moments of war and how it affected those who were Jewish living in Poland. Gertruda's undying love and devotion to Michael is the thread that weaves throughout the entire story.

I learned the true meaning of suffering and su...more
Wendy
Michael Stolowitzky, the only son of a wealthy Jewish family in Poland, was only three years old when war broke out. His father, desperate to settle his business affairs, travels to France, leaving Michael in the care of his mother and Gertruda Bablinska, a Catholic nanny devoted to the family. When Michael's mother suffers a stroke, Gertruda promises to make her way to Palestine and raise him as her own son.

Although Ram Oren has written "Gertruda's Oath" as a wonderfully inspiring fiction stor...more
Laurie
When a writer of suspense fiction tackles the right nonfiction story, it reads like a novel. Gertruda's Oath tells the story of a Catholic nanny, who became the mother of a Jewish boy, Michael, in Poland during World War II. Their harrowing experiences are woven together with the parallel story of Karl Rink, an SS officer who saved many Jews, including Michael, from certain death. The author must have spent years researching each person in the book to tie up the loose threads and leave the reade...more
Lynette
I don't know if I'm just burned out of reading WWII stories or if it was the writing style of this book, but I just didn't feel the same passion for this story as I have others in this genre. The very true story is very dramatic and amazing. Maybe it's because this is his first book but it felt like a reporter's account of this story. I never felt fully engaged. Whether that's my own problem or the author's, we may never know. I recommend the book. It's a good read-- just not my favorite so far.
Barbara
This inspiring, true story of a Catholic nanny who saves a Jewish boy during WWII also includes the stories of other individuals during the same time period, such as a Jewish doctor and an S.S. officer who is married to a Jewish woman. It is easy to follow and the narrative flows much like a good historical fiction novel;it doesn't come across like the retelling of the events in someone's life. It is, of course, very sad at times, but is tastefully done. There is a fine line between being realis...more
Freyja Vanadis
I enjoyed this book, although it was a little schmaltzy in places. Reading about the Brits forcing the Jewish immigrants to turn away from Palestine and eventually back to France angered me though. I only vaguely know about the British involvement in Israel and trying to keep Jewish immigrants away from there, keeping them in glorified concentration camps. Since I don't really know anything about it, I'm not qualified to say whether they were right or wrong. But judging from the details this boo...more
Amy
I received this book as a Goodreads winner. I have been reading many books and watching many films recently in regards to the Holocaust. This book was very powerful and captivating. To know the courage, fear, and determination of Gertruda, one woman, to save a Jewish child was inexplicably the truest form of human kindness a person can have. I was encaptured by the story and felt the emotions and pain that was involved within this book. I work for someone whose father is a Holocaust survivor. I...more
Sarah Fox
Gertruda is a catholic living during the Holocaust. She nannies for a Jewish family. When the child's parents must leave, it is up to Getruda to protect Michael, their son. This true story tells the tale of a brave women who risks her life to save Michael's. I really enjoyed this book. The only thing that I disliked about this book was that their were several plot lines that didn't come together until the end of the story. Overall, this is an engrossing novel that everybody should read.

ACADEMIC...more
Shirley
Good read. Very enlightening and a moving story.
Leora Wenger
Ram Oren is a masterful storyteller. This is an incredible but true story of a Catholic nanny who saves a Jewish child in the Holocaust, and together they settle in Israel. I loved the powerful connection between Gertruda, the nanny, and Dr. Berman, a Jewish doctor who smuggles medicine out of the ghetto for the little boy Michael. Unfortunately, Dr. Berman is killed as he fights with the partisans, and his family perishes in Auschwitz. One finishes the book feeling a strong connection to many o...more
Heather Keating
This book was gripping immediately and I could not put it down. I read it in two days which is not something I normally say.
It is inspiring that the nanny would go to such lengths to protect this little boy. But not so, actually. She comes to love him and promises his mother she will care for him. She puts her life aside to take care of him through he war and beyond. The concurrent story of an SS officer is fascinating and so interesting how it intersects with this little family. I lived this bo...more
Barbara
A good story about a woman who did everything she could to protect the boy she nannied from the camps during the WW 2. It also includes a the story of a German soldier in the SS regime and his family. Reading books like this always make me wonder what kind of person would I turn out to be if faced with such a thing. Would I resign my fate to the mercy of others, would I give up and die, would I only think of myself and hurt others to survive or would I be the person people wrote about as a hero.
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Ram Oren (רם אורן) is an Israeli author of mysteries and thrillers.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

More about Ram Oren...
The Mark of Cain לב / Lev (Heart) משחק מכור / Mishak makhur (A Fixed Game) נסיכה אפריקנית / Nesikhah Afriḳanit (African Princess) אשראם / Ashram

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