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In the Face of Evil: Based on the Life of Dina Frydman Balbien

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Ten-year-old Dina Frydman lives a comfortable middle class life with her family in Radom, Poland in the summer of 1939, just weeks before the Nazi invasion. The love of family and friends offer no protection against the menace of the Nazi regime that begins to siphon off the worldly and spiritual goods of Radom's Jews. We witness Dina's battle to survive and understand the ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published December 2nd 2010 by FriesenPress (first published January 2010)
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4.27  · 
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 ·  190 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who wants to avoid that this horrific part of history will repeat itself
Recommended to Lilo by: I found it on Goodreads.
Having seen the Holocaust TV-series, I had thought I was well informed about the Holocaust. "In the Face of Evil" taught me differently. It showed the horrific reality of the Holocaust which was worse than can possibly be shown on television.

The book is well written, and one feels, fears, and hopes with Dina, worries about her family, relatives and friends and, eventually, has to mourn most of them.

I rarely cry when reading a book or seeing a movie, yet this book had me in tears. And even thoug
Kaira Rouda
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was completely absorbed in this detailed, vivid account of survival and ultimate redemption in the face of pure evil. Dina's story, as told by her daughter, grabbed me from the beginning and had me turning pages long into the night.
We've read Holocaust survivor tales before - I hope. But this is a testament to a young girl's tenactiy, to the ultimate humanity found in the mundane, to luck, to timing and to the incomprehensible evil details of profound, unexplainable hatred.
I'm sure once you re
Sabrina Rutter
Thanks to goodreads for their first reads book giveaway where I was one of the lucky ones to be chosen as a winner of this book. Admittedly I haven't read a whole lot about the Holocaust, so you can imagine the impact that this book had on me. I couldn't tell you how many times I cried while reading this. My throat actually hurts from holding in my sobs. I will never forget this womans story.

Dina was just a child when the war broke out. First the nazis took all businesses owned by Jewish residen
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book. How can one say the "enjoyed" reading a memoir of life as a European Jew under Nazi rule? It's not the correct word to use when reading about the concentration camps, the death camps, the loss of friends and family. This book was difficult to read, and very difficult to put down. It is important that people read these books, even though they may be discomforting, and remember what happened all over Europe. The strength it took for Dina to survive is beyond comprehension. I wi ...more
Under Milkwood
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
It makes me uncomfortable to say that I really liked this book but the four stars really denote my utter admiration for Dina Frydman and her vivid remembrance of her early life 'in the face of evil'.
The atrocities of the Holocaust are never easy to digest, but it is so important for these factual accounts to be conveyed to the world. Dina's daughter Tema has written the book from the perspective of a thirteen year old Jewish girl (Dina) in Poland in the summer of 1939. At first it begins almost
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an inspiring story! Like other accounts of the horror of the Holocaust, Dina Frydman Balbien shares her life while showing strength and courage that not many possess. Her story is told by her daughter, lending a closeness that would have been lost if Dina had recounted her story to a different writer. Although there are grammatical mistakes throughout the book, it is easy to pass over them because of the sheer readability of the text. The details in the story are incredibly vivid, allowing ...more
Mike  Davis
This is a terrible book - terrible in its naked account of one of the survivors of German death camps. The author is daughter of the survivor and writes in the first person of her mother in her early teens, reliving her release from Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz following Nazi occupation of Poland. I have not read "The Diary of Anne Frank" but I cannot imagine much worse. Through a remarkable series of good fortune and help from others, Ms. Balbien chronicles her trip through hell and subsequent i ...more
Dec 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A detailed story of a survivor that deserves to be read and that we should never forget how horrific the holocaust was and the effect it had on the ones who made it through.

It can be a reminder to all of us of how precious life is and how blessed we are to feel safe in a world of war & religion.
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book sounded interesting to me so I decided to enter the first-reads giveaway and to my surprise I am a winner on Christmas Day! Although some of the subject matter was difficult to read, it is an amazing tale of someone overcoming evil at a young age. Highly recommend this book!
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me awhile to get to this book, but after reading it I wish I had gotten to it sooner. I'm always amazed to read about people's will to survive. I've read a lot on the holocaust and have found the will to live, to surpass anything in life. Thanks for sharing your incredible story.
This biography is a well written story of a Holocaust survivor. The book included interesting details of Dina's family and religious life. The book was written by Dina's daughter. It is a valuable addition to Holocaust biographies.
Jess (the cozy reader)
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a powerful read!
Starla B
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I can't say I "enjoyed" reading it...but it was fascinating and heartbreaking, and I couldn't put it down.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to believe that it's true.
Celeste Kautz
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A devastating eye witness account, this book is an important addition to the records of a terrible atrocity that must never be forgotten. I will never forget this book.
Patrick Lee
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literally everyone.
Recommended to Patrick by: No one. I simply saw it here.
In a way I feel inadequate to the task of speaking highly enough about In The Face of Evil.

Memoirs and novels concerning acts of unheard of courage, faith, resilience, and self-sacrifice during the world’s darkest days—those between September, 1939 through August, 1945—abound. The magnitude of these virtues was matched by acts of capricious cruelty, madness, and self-absorption. Nowhere, however, were these virtues more tested than in Europe’s Jewish communities. I would venture to say that very
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This was one of the best books I have ever read. The author set the mood of the novel very well. In The Face of Evil really helped me to gain insight into what life was like as a Jew during the Holocaust (although the only ones who can fully understand what it was like is the survivors). I found the book especially interesting because my family was also from Radom and had very similar experiences to Dina. I would recommend this book to everyone!
Marina E. Cole
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous reading

This story, and many, many more should never be forgotten. I'm so happy Dina lived and was able to tell the world of the horrors she lived through. May God continue to bless her and her family.
Jill Mccallum
I thought the writing was a bit clunky throughout this novel, however, I was able to see past this and become involved in the actual story. Like "Night", this is often very painful to read, but so important to understand. It reminded me of how much I have to be grateful for in my life.
Leslie Mccarthy cook
I loved this book, it is beautifully written and Dina is very inspiring. From the very beginning you love each one of her family members and it is difficult to read what happened to them throughout the war. When you finish the book you are truly inspired by her story.
David Foster
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great, first hand account of what life became in Germany during the prewar years. Reading this gives incite into how a German citizen became caught up in the Nazi agenda.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Something different

I have read several books about the Holocaust, but never one that covered so much about the ghettos. As with all such books, this was heart wrenching, difficult to fathom, and hard to put down.
Sandi Houghton
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Both hard to put down and hard to read. Almost too emotional at times
Michelle Rosera
rated it it was amazing
Jun 20, 2015
Meg Riley
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Apr 09, 2012
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Jun 13, 2017
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Apr 14, 2012
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Mar 29, 2015
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Apr 26, 2012
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Tema Merback is a first time author, and a former Kathryn McBride Scholar at Bryn Mawr College. Her first novel In the Face of Evil has just been selected as a finalist of the 2011 National Jewish Book Award. She lives in Malibu, California with her husband and two children.