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Cilka's Journey

(The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  18,878 ratings  ·  2,670 reviews
In this follow-up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, the author tells the story, based on a true one, of a woman who survives Auschwitz, only to find herself locked away again.

Cilka Klein is 18 years old when Auschwitz-Birkenau is liberated by Soviet soldiers. But Cilka is one of the many women who is sentenced to a labor camp on charges of having helped the Nazis--with no
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 4.42  · 
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 ·  18,878 ratings  ·  2,670 reviews

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Angela M
I loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz. After I read the book I read that there were questions concerning the veracity of this book. I did not read this as a work of nonfiction, but rather a work of fiction based on real events. I certainly get that there may be inaccuracies, but the spirit of the novel worked for me. A message that must be conveyed - the importance of never forgetting the horrific things that happened. Things that we have to be reminded of because there are so few Holocaust ...more
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

An excellent read!!

I have had the author's previous novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz on my to be read list for quite some time. I would have liked to have read it before starting Cilka’s Journey, but as soon as I received this book, I started reading. This novel was fine as a stand-alone, although part of me wanted to know more about some of the characters mentioned by Cilka (especially Lale and Gita).

The author is
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Year is 1942 and Cilka is only sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. She was a beautiful girl. She was raped and sexually abused by two S.S. Officers. She does whatever she has to do, to stay alive and survive.
Then she is free from the concentration camps but then she is condemned. She is charged with sleeping with the enemy and is then sent to Siberian Prison Camp for 15 years. She faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is emotional, provoking, poignant, heartbreaking, touchy, amazing sequel of Tattoist of Auschwitz. Actually Cilka’s stories affected more… Because after the war, her compelling fight to stay alive and endure all tortures, humiliation, disgust, abuse didn’t end yet. Now she is sentenced to hard labor in Siberian camps. And it was time to sharpen her real survival skills for doing what it takes to stay alive and fight against new kind of human monsters who were determined to absorb ...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
5+ stars!

An engrossing, shocking and unsettling extension of this series. I read and loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz last year and was eagerly anticipating getting my hands on a copy of Cilka’s Journey. Although a very difficult novel to read due to the atrocities detailed within these pages, I found this book to be even more intriguing and informative than the first one. The writing is honest, brutal at times, but so important to read so we can honour those that lived through these devastating
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded down. This is a book of historical fiction. Cilka Klein was a real life person who was taken by Germans in WWII to Auschwitz and then Birkenau concentration camps when she was only 16.
The author confirmed that Cilka was a real person, but many events in the book are her own interpretation of Cilka's experiences.
The German camp commandant notices her beauty and takes for his personal sex slave in 1942. She survives because of this. The Soviet Army liberates the camp in 1945.
Kylie D
A wonderful book about one woman's amazing tale, Cilka's Journey is a book where you struggle to come to terms with man's inhumanity to man. I mean, how much can one woman go through in one lifetime? Based on the true story of Cecilia Klein, first incarcerated in Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, when the camp is finally freed by the allies she finds herself arrested for collaboration with the Nazis, and sent to a Soviet gulag above the Arctic Circle.

Cilka was obviously an extraordinary
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
"There have to be more ways to stay alive than to be witness to so much death."

Based upon a true story, Cilka's Journey tells that tale of Cilka who was sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. There she gained the attention of the Commandant, and is kept separate from the other women, she is allowed to have her hair long, to have "nice" things.... but nothing is free, everything has a cost. Wanting to survive she does what she can, all the while
Kylie D
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book about one woman's amazing tale, Cilka's Journey is a book where you struggle to come to terms with man's inhumanity to man. I mean, how much can one woman go through in one lifetime? Based on the true story of Cecilia Klein, first incarcerated in Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, when the camp is finally freed by the allies she finds herself arrested for collaboration with the Nazis, and sent to a Soviet gulag above the Arctic Circle.

Cilka was obviously an extraordinary

”Memories of her old life have faded, become blurred. At some point it became too painful to remember that life with her family, in Bardejov, existed.”

When faced with the choice between blind obedience to those in charge or death, Cilka chooses life, but never really fully commits to either choice, as physically, emotionally and mentally drained as she is. Still, there is something inside her that fights to live even when she seems to have nothing left to give.

”The rules
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2!!!***
Having survived being the enslaved mistress of a powerful Nazi leader at Auschwitz, the story begins with Cilka charged as a collaborator, loaded on a train with other women, and taken to the now-notorious Vorkuta Gulag in 1945. After arriving at the work camp, her and the other women in her “hut” battle for trust, hope, and forgiveness. She finds herself, yet again, in a position where survival trumps ethics. Cilka grasps for a greater purpose after leaving
Susanne  Strong
5 Incredible, Heart-Wrenching, Tear-filled Stars.

When I started “Cilka’s Journey” I didn't think it possible for me to like it as much as its predecessor, “The Tattooist of Auschwitz.” In truth, like doesn’t begin to describe my feelings for this book. I loved the story of Lale and Gita and yet, I adored “Cilka’s Journey” - such that I loved it with every cell in my body and every emotion I can possibly muster.
If I had to give you one reason why I loved this novel more than Lale and Gita’s, I
Elyse  Walters
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“There was such inhuman, unimaginable misery, such a terrible disaster, that it began to seem almost abstract, it would not fit with in the downs of consciousness”.

Cilka had two choices: death or do as she was told.

Cilka was convicted of working with the enemy, as a prostitute and additionally as a spy. She was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

There is no question of how well written, researched, captivating, brutal, devastating and emotionally GUT WRENCHING the history and storytelling is.
Holly  B
The sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

This is the story of Cilka, which is based on the real life of Cecília Kováčová. She was a 16 year old character from book #1 The Tattooist of Auschwitz . She was a forced sex slave of a Nazi SS commandant.

I read this one as a fictional story as I'm not sure which parts are factual. Either way, her story is gripping, compelling and utterly heartbreaking. I loved Cilka's strength and courage. Every day was a struggle with new obstacles and little hope,
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Q: History never gives up its secrets easily. (c)
Q: What could possibly happen to them, on such a soft spring day? (c)
Whoever thought of labour/death camps of all kinds - I hope they enjoy their stay in hell.

One of the better modern 2nd World War books of the modernity. It's propaganda fiction, of course. I wouldn't go as far as to compare Nazis and Soviets. Let me explain why:

It's one thing to start an international world war and start killing people off as Jewish, Romani, Slavic nationals.
Katie B
4.5 stars

I'm one of the few people who hasn't read the author's previous historical fiction book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. I will eventually go back and read that one because I thought the author did an incredible job with Cilka's Journey. While this book features a character from the other novel, this one can easily be read as a standalone.

Cilka was just sixteen years old when she was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. She does what she can to survive and in 1945 the camp is
Brenda -Traveling Sister
Cilka's Journey is a fictionalized story that is inspired by what Heather Morris discovered about real-life Cilka who is a character in The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Cilka survived Auschwitz and then was sent to a labour camp for collaborating and sleeping with the enemy. Heather Morris captures what it could have been like for Cilka and the other prisoners in the camp.

Cilka's bravery and strength shine through here as we see her care for prisoners and her friends. It is an inspiring, hopeful
"You are free."

Words that only can be dreamed about, longed for, and out of reach.

Heather Morris presents quite the story here that leaves an ache in the heart of the reader because it is based on a real individual and real situations that took place at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1942. To turn away is to sit on the edge of denial. To turn away never honors the memory of those who never returned.

Cilka Klein is a mere sixteen years old. She and her family have been rounded up and taken to
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The premise of this book is designed to shock. Cilka is sent to Birkenau in 1942. At sixteen years old, she is forced to become a sex slave of the Commandant. She also is put in charge of the barracks housing the women going to the gas chambers. When the Russians liberated the camp, she is charged as a collaborator for working with and sleeping with the enemy and sentenced to a labor camp in Siberia for fifteen years.

The story alternates between Cilka’s time in Siberia and her time back in
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Another Historical Fiction Novel that just sits on my likable 3 star shelf but not standing out from any of the other Historical Fiction books I have read this year.

A nice easy read and a book that many historical fiction readers will enjoy but wasn't anything special for me.
Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942,
When the war comes to an end and the camp is liberated, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris is a work of fiction based on the actual life of a woman who lived during and after the Holocaust. I hesitated to request this title due to its serious subject matter but I have not regretted a single word. Sixteen-year-old Cilka Klein and her family were transported in cattle cars to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps and she remained there for three years, fighting to stay alive by any means available. When the camps were liberated, Cilka, instead of ...more
5 gold stars for an extra-strong woman, and 5 sure stars for this extra-strong book!

Wow, this is some powerful historical fiction! It’s based on the real life of an unsung hero, Cilka, who went through the Holocaust and ended up in a Siberian labor camp. The book started out way too depressing—every single sentence was doom and gloom to the nth degree. The language seemed sort of dead and monotonous, and as the sentences and dread piled up, I could barely stand it. I thought, “Why am I reading
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
At only 16 years old, Cilka Klein was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, where she clung to life for three years. Cilka’s beauty and distinctive hair catch the eye of a senior officer, Commander Schwarzhuber. As a child, she becomes a pawn to powerful men and realizes her only chance of survival is to do as she’s told.

Upon Cilka’s release from the Nazis, she is charged with colluding with the enemy by her Russian liberators. After three years of watching her people, and even family,
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cilka was a character who inspired me in The Tattooist of Auschwitz. I knew she had a story to tell her of her own, and I’m so grateful Heather Morris wrote it.

Cilka is sixteen years old when she enters Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Schwartzhuber, the Commandant of Birkenau, immediately notices her long hair. He separates her from the other female prisoners. The power she receives from her position simply means survival for her.

Once the camp is liberated, Cilka is charged as a
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was pleased and delighted that the writing in this historical novel is so much better than The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Just sixteen years old when sent to Auschwitz- Birkenau, Cilka survived and was liberated only to be sentenced to fifteen years in a Siberian gulag for collaborating with the Nazis. In reality she was taken as a “mistress” by a Nazi officer and repeatedly raped. Cilka did what she needed to do in order to survive. In the gulag she is once again subjected to merciless ...more
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, has written another remarkable and important book titled Cilka’s Journey. While it is a follow-up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, it is a completely standalone novel. Once again, Ms. Morris has done an incredible amount of research to tell this amazing story of one young girl’s harrowing journey, which began in a concentration camp and continued in the Siberian Gulag, 50 miles from the Arctic Circle. Cilka’s Journey is an inspiring testament ...more

When I read The Tattooist of Auschwitz last year, I was blown away by Lale and Gita’s incredible story and the harrowing ordeal they endured during their 3 years at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. As I mentioned in my review of that book, stories about the Holocaust continue to be extremely important given the world we live in – whether through fictionalized or non-fiction accounts, these are stories that absolutely need to be told, no matter how difficult and
Nov 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
I do realize that what I wrote and feel is quite an outlier position to be in. However, it is my opinion only and for numerous positive reviews, you can certainly look to many who have read and loved this story. I wish I could have been within that group.

There are some topics that you know, when reading about them, you will become emotionally involved. You will feel the horrors, the troubles, the times in the depth of your heart and soul as you are transported in a world you hoped never had
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Auschwitz, 1942. Obersturmfuhrer Schwarzhuber supervised the selection. While others hoped to appear "invisible", Cilka Klein, head held high, looked directly at him.

Auschwitz-Birkenau, 1943. Cilka Klein, as Block Leader, bundled up in a warm coat, supervised the women of Block 25. "She exists within this world in order to stay alive...Her feelings have been taken away. It started when Schwarzhuber...began regular visits."

February, 1945. The camp was liberated but Cilka's fate was yet to be
Aga Durka
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cilka’s Journey is a follow up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. It is a heartbreaking story of survival, friendship, forgiveness and love during one of the most horrific times of our era. Cilka’s journey from a life among dead in Auschwitz concentration camp to becoming a prisoner in one of the Russian’s gulags is a captivating and tear-jerking story that will leave the reader emotional and amazed. Amazed at the strength, the bravery and the resilience of one woman while ...more
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I am a Native of New Zealand now resident in Australia, working in a large public hospital in Melbourne. For several years I studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an academy award winning Screenwriter in the U.S. In 2003, I was introduced to an elderly gentleman "who might just have a story worth telling". The day I met Lale Sokolov changed my life, as our friendship grew and ...more

Other books in the series

The Tattooist of Auschwitz (2 books)
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1)
“His eyes seem to see nothing. He is a man whose soul has died and whose body is waiting to catch up with it.” 6 likes
“Did I tell you about Cilka?" "No, Lale, you didn't. Who was Cilka?" "She was the bravest person I ever met. Not the bravest girl, the bravest person.” 2 likes
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