Jennifer's Reviews > All But My Life: A Memoir

All But My Life by Gerda Weissmann Klein
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Jun 04, 10

Read in June, 2010

I appreciated how this memoir started with German occupation rather than in the work/concentration camps. Somehow the in-town treatment of the Jews was almost more nausea-inducing to me than the more-commonly-repeated tales of the camps---not because the treatment was less humane in the towns but because the general public knew what was going on and let it happen; it wasn't just the military being cruel behind closed doors. The author keeps a rather calm tone throughout, which made it even more chilling for me when coming across facts like (at the end of the war), "I was weighed---sixty-eight pounds."

One thing I found most interesting about this story was that Gerda's teenage personality comes through really well. She doesn't sugar-coat the fact that she often snubbed her mother even up to their last hours together (though I was surprised she never mentions attempting to write her) nor the fact that Gerda was often fickle in her friendships.

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John Yes! It was a great way to start (the occupation). I agree that it shed some new light on the topic.


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