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weiter leben: Eine Jugend

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,472 ratings  ·  116 reviews
"weiter leben" ist kein Holocaust-Buch, das ein weiteres Mal das Grauen der KZs vor Augen bringt. Hier wird nicht das brutale Detail geschildert, sondern es werden die Auswirkungen des Erlebten auf die Entwicklung eines Menschen beschrieben und reflektiert. Erinnerung und Bewältigung zweifacher Rechtlosigkeit - als Jüdin und als Frau - sind zentrale Anliegen dieses Buches.
Kindle Edition, 289 pages
Published January 27th 2012 by Wallstein Verlag (first published 1992)
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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,472 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone with a brain that works
(I read the German original, titled "Weiter leben: Eine Jugend")

It would be quite an understatement to say that this book is an excellent Holocaust memoir. You might as well describe Goethe's Faust as a captivating story about a sexual relationship gone bad.

"Weiter Leben" goes way beyond any Holocaust memoir I have read. If Primo Levy's "Survival in Auschwitz" goes deep into psychology and philosophy, this book digs even deeper. Yet I still found it easy to read. The psychology and philosophy of
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
what I most liked about this book was the way Kluger simultaneously asserts uncomfortable and contradictory things like: it's terrible when people assume that the catastrophe of the Holocaust must somehow have made people better, wiser, more loving, but it's also terrible when people don't recognise that survivors might have some special insight into some things; that silence and forgetfulness here is a terrible sin, but memorialisation is often empty and fetishistic; that survivors of this kind ...more
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Reviewing it a year after reading.) This Holocaust survivor story is different. The style, the writer's personality is unapologetic and challenged me to re-think what I as an outsider thought/presumed to know about that period of history and the people who lived through it, as if she pointed her finger directly at me and other people who want to know her story, forcing us to answer why do we want to know her story? Human beings have this need to be able to explain why something is and then when ...more
Sep 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A very different Holocaust survival memoir than I am used to. Kluger purposefully wrote this memoir for a different purpose - this was not meant to show us what we already know about the Holocaust. This does not look at grotesque portraits of concentration camp conditions or satanic SS generals and Nazis. Kluger looks back at herself as a child during World War II with an objective mindset. It is as if Kluger is psychoanalyzing herself through her writing.

It is surprising in many ways - Kluger d
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust
"Instead of God I believe in ghosts"

This was a very different memoir than the others I've read. I think because the author is a writer and her story doesn't have the direct simplicity of someone just telling their story of survival. She is more abstract and more analytical. Her story has a sharper edge. That doesn't make it better or worse, but it gave me a different perspective.

Ruth Kluger grew up in Vienna and did not have an idyllic childhood. Her parents and relatives vacillated between pet
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nazi-germany, history
Ruth Klueger’s Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered is a powerful book that is difficult to describe. The work is divided into four sections and an epilogue. “Vienna” recounts Klueger’s early childhood in the city. “The Camps” discusses Klueger’s time spent as a twelve- and thirteen-year-old in Theresienstadt, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the labor camp at Gross-Rosen, and on a death march throughout Germany. “Germany” discusses time spent in the country after running away from the death march un ...more
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, kindle
Auf dieses Buch wurde ich durch eine frühe "Das literarische Quartett" Sendung aufmerksam. Schon lange wollte ich ENDLICH aufhören damit, historische- und autobiografische- Bücher über die Kriegs- und Nachkriegszeit zu lesen. Aber irgendwie werden immer wieder in den Büchern selbst Verweise zu anderen lesenswerte Bücher gemacht, so komme ich nie dazu was "erfreulicheres" zu lesen. Anna Segher wird wohl bald folgen. Mit der Shoah selbst kann und will ich mich nicht mehr befassen (in ihrer Schreck ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Este libro te hace comprender, a cada página, por qué existe la literatura. Ya no es sólo que sea buenísimo, es que es como si alguien hubiera destilado la esencia de literatura y la hubiera guardado entre portada y contraportada.
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ein außergewöhnliches Buch über die Erlebnisse eine auch außergewöhnlich denkenden Frau.
Ihre Kindheit gab es eigentlich nicht. Die verbrachte sie als verfolgte Jüdin im okkupierten Wien, in Theresienstadt, Auschwitz und Groß-Rosen. Überlebt hat sie nur, weil sie sich, als es an die Selektion ging, auf Rat einer anderen in der Reihe, als älter ausgab.
So kam sie als Zwangsarbeiterin von Auschwitz nach Christianstadt, einem Teil des KZs Groß-Rosen.

Die Autorin gehört so zu den jüngsten Überlebenden
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university
I had never heard of this memoir before being assigned it on a reading list for my university course. I am a relative newcomer to Holocaust memoirs, but found Kluger's writing style to be engaging and interesting.

She both presents facts we have come to accept as westerners learning about the Holocaust in school (the terrible conditions, the somewhat haphazard and luck-related survivals of the persecuted, and the absolute despair of the entire operation, for example) but also provides insight int
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I struggled with the rating on this book.

On the one hand, there are many elements of the book I would criticize. The author's writing, particularly in the first fifty pages, is loaded with metaphors, to the point that each line appears to be a witty soundbite; the style is therefore disjointed. The book is also replete with references that I'm not sure a non-academic would appreciate--authors and academics quoted with last names and throwaway mentions. And finally, the author herself has such a
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the years I have read a lot of 'holocaust' books, both fiction and non fiction, and thought this would be another typical book. I was wrong. It is a very honest book about the author's relationship with her mother during the holocaust period and it certainly does not try to shock the reader with any type of expose of the realities of the camps. In fact she deliberately refrains from doing that and tells the reader there are many other books to read which depict the atrocities if that is wha ...more
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A different holocaust experience than the ones more widely known and celebrated- Ruth Klüger is not afraid to show the raw emotions that go along with such a jarring experience as hers. There is sometimes bitterness, and raw anger- the anger of the child who had the bad luck (she refuses to attribute it to fate or God) to be born Jewish in Vienna in 1931. Seven years old at the Anschluss, she did not have the usual childhood experiences of learning to swim or ride a bike. She learned different l ...more
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was refreshing to read a Holocaust memoir that does more than recount the horrors that the author saw and experienced. Kluger addresses issues and concepts I've rarely seen addressed elsewhere. For example, the silence about the Holocaust even after the war (the term "Holocaust" didn't even come into use until the '70s), the point of memorializing concentration camps, whether the world really learned anything from what happened to the Jews, what it was like to grow up knowing that you were de ...more
S.B. Lerner
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kluger is a wonderful writer and her story is raw and powerful. It is as much about the life of a survivor as the story of her survival. A child during the Holocaust, she ultimately became a professor. Her description of the kinds of comments she had to endure after it was over, from people who had no idea what it was like, the lingering effects of the experience on her daily life, and her recollections of the luck of a single moment or the kindness of a stranger who acted unselfishly to save he ...more
Aug 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book shook me off my very foundation and took me to places I never thought I could mentally imagine or even endure.... I am still inspired by this book and the strength and fortitude of Ruth Kluger and her family... I wrote the author shortly after I read the book and she returned my e-mail with a thoughtful message. I always love that because sometimes books inspire you so much you need an ongoing conversation to process it... this book was one of those for me.

Bill Novak
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required for my 20th Century German Female Literature class. Macabre, witty, humorous, but overwhelmingly sad. One of the better books I've read; all due to chance. One really connects with the author, though tangentially (as one could never claim to really understand what she's been through). Touching, like Schubert's "Winterreise." Be prepared to feel a little depressed when you finish though.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly personal and deeply analytical, this is one of the most unique recollections of a life lived through the Holocaust and its aftermath that I have ever read. Some will be put off by Kluger's reluctance to remain likable, her lifelong feud with her mother and her propensity to condemn well-meaning platitudes, but every page of this book is dripping with the wisdom, honesty and reflection of a truly sage person.

An extraordinary book, illuminating throughout.
Caitlin O'Malley
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mankind
This is different than any other Holocaust memoirs I have ever read. I like the author a lot, she isn't afraid to be unsentimental and to challenge the reader. She doesn't glorify or exaggerate her life, which makes her novel unique. Very worth the read.
Elaina Vitale
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't feel this was typical in the least--Kluger gave a different spin to Shoah rememberence and preservation of concentration camps than I've ever read.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

An amazing story written from an entirely different perspective. Could not put it down!
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd add this to Night as a Holocaust memoir that should be required reading.
Eva Leger
While I can't honestly say that I think I'd like/have liked Ruth Kluger, I can honestly say her memoir is extremely thought-provoking. There were times when reading this that I disagreed with Kluger and even a time or two where I felt she'd gone too far with her words.
Kluger can write - there's no doubt about that. That's obvious from the reviews here on GR alone. She has a certain eloquence that not every author has. Maybe that's because she wrote poetry from an early age, I don't know, but the
Randy Garry
Not great. Although many think this is a great book, it didn't hit me as so.
Dealing with her life as a Jewish child during the holocaust in Germany, it was horrific. But the writer seemed to meander, bouncing from one thought to another and then back again. Oftentimes repetitive. Rather than a memoir, it seemed like a collection of stray thoughts. Yes, sometimes the writing was strong, but often it was lacking. I enjoyed mostly the ending, where some things were told in retrospect, and she spoke
I would describe this book as a memoir. Ms. Kluger wrote about her life from the time she was a little girl in Vienna through the horrors of WWII to life after the war. Situations were described with very little emotion, which is why it reminded me of a textbook. I appreciated her insights into the Holocust museums that exist today along with her thoughts about survival.

I did feel like she repeated herself a couple of times throughout the book. And there were times where the tangents seemed to o
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5. Sharp and disjointed, this was an uneasy, but compelling read. The author expresses many negative feelings within herself and her family, particularly her mother. I felt it necessary to stop reading at times to breathe and re-enter my more positive world. I’m glad I have heard her story, but relieved to be released from it.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed thoughts about this book. On the one hand, it's certainly an honest look at the thoughts and feelings of a survivor of the Holocaust. It is not a formulaic, rising-above-the-tragedy, triumph-of-the-human-spirit memoir. It is raw.

On the other hand, the writing style is unappealing. The author shifts time periods far too frequently, within the same paragraph, sometimes within the same sentence, making it difficult to follow what is going on and where the author is in her story. There
Sarah Schuelke
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-429

I just loved this book. The author was brilliant. It was not the sad book I thought it would be. Instead it made me laugh.
Angie Lisle
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was part of the required reading materials for a class. I ordered it off of Amazon, but the shipping was delayed so I just bought another copy from our school bookstore since the due date was the next day. I went to the library with the intention of getting halfway through the book, and ended up reading through all of it. I didn't want to put it down. The style is blatantly honest, and there is no pretense about the opinion the author holds. As a classmate pointed out, "you can practically ...more
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READ 96 Group 1 am : Journal 1 2 7 Oct 15, 2013 02:00PM  
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Ruth Klüger is Professor Emeritus of German at the University of California, Irvine and a Holocaust survivor. She is also the author of the bestseller weiter leben: Eine Jugend about her childhood in the Third Reich.

When she was only six years old, Hitler marched into Vienna. The annexation of Austria to the Third Reich deeply affected Klüger's life: Klüger, who then was only six years old, had t

“Sie nahmen mich wahr und ließen mich sein, wie ich war. (Bei denen bleib ich.)” 1 likes
“Freunde ergänzen einander, ergänzen heißt ganz machen, um das nötig zu haben, muß man beschädigt sein, aber wenn man es nötig hat, so kann man auch niemand brauchen, der auf dieselbe Art beschädigt ist, sondern jemand, der andere Schäden aufweist. Die Freunde füllen die Lücken, komplementär, sie holen auf, was einem fehlt, sie tun, was man versäumt hat, Verwandte tun das nicht, oder wenn, dann nur zufällig.” 1 likes
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