Christine Rebbert's Reviews > The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister
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's review
Apr 16, 2011

really liked it

It's always difficult to say something such as you "liked" or "enjoyed" a book about the Holocaust. I actually had read this a few years back and forgotten about it until a couple days ago, when I was on some other book website and saw the picture of the book -- and those haunting eyes brought the memory back...

The book is basically what its title suggests it is. Nonna and her mother are taken to the camps, and she manages to obtain little scraps of paper and pencil to keep a diary of her time there. The subtitle "The Untold Story..." refers to the fact that even after being liberated and moving to the U.S., getting married, having children, she never told anyone about her experiences during wartime. She slept with the diary every night of her life but wanted to put it all behind her. Finally, in later life, she did share the diary with her husband, who encouraged her to publish it. I can't imagine saving a secret from the person closest to me for fifty or so years. How can you really be "you" without sharing something that momentous? But it seems that's what many Holocaust survivors have done. I'm glad she finally had the courage to share it not only with her husband but with all of us.

I have read a lot of Holocaust literature, and sometimes feel "well, that's enough -- you probably don't need to read any more." But I keep on reading - it's like I continue to search in each new book for some "reason" or "answer" that will explain it all, but my mind still cannot grasp the immensity of this tragedy of world history. I guess all there is to say is, Never forget...
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