Auschwitz Lullaby

Auschwitz Lullaby

by Mario Escobar

Hardcover(Library Binding - Large Print)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643581576
Publisher: Center Point
Publication date: 04/01/2019
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 500
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

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Auschwitz Lullaby: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read many fictionalized and historical accounts of the Holocaust and the concentration camps. Helene Hannemann and her family were real people. This story, fictionalized, examines the plight of the Roma or Gypsies under Nazi brutality. So well written one can visualize the settings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an easy read, I couldn’t put it down, read it all in one sitting
savannahm More than 1 year ago
I was given a copy of the book in this review in order to provided my honest opinion. Some books are truly harder to read than others. For me that normally occurs when the book breaks my heart. Now I do want to start off by saying this book is historical fiction. It is based on a true story though. It is the story of Helene a mom who loved her family so much that when police, under the order of the SS, came to take her family she went with them. Helene choose to die with those she loved. In the book Helene over and over again doesn't all she can to protect the children. While at the camp Dr. Mengele ask her to organize a school for the Romani children. She does and provided as much of a safe Haven as possible for the children in her care. This story is not an easy read. It broke my heart several times over, BUT I do think it is a must read.
Anonymous 12 months ago
booklover6460 More than 1 year ago
What a moving and tragic story. Based on the life of Helene Hannemann, this book explores the plight of the Gypsies who were forced to endure the atrocities of Auschwitz. You are provided a painful view of life for those who were forced to endure life at Auschwitz. The strength of Helene and how she goes from being a nurse to being the director of a nursery school in the Gypsy camp...working directly with Dr. Mengele, will amaze you. She is dedicated to her family and willing to sacrifice everything for her children and fight for the children who are placed in her care. The author describes the horrors of Auschwitz...overwhelming your senses with the sights and smells that are brutal and honest. The author's words demonstrate the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity even when there is no hope left. The journey you experience throughout the pages is filled with the horrific evil intentions and practices of Dr. Mengele. However, Helene Hannemann allows you to see her remarkable strength and bravery...singing a beautiful lullaby to calm the children…even as she glimpses what the future holds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars The novel opens and closes with the thoughts of Mengele, his memories of Helene, but the bulk of it is Helene's tale to tell. And what a story this is! As this is based on a true story, many of the "characters" you'll get to know here were actually real, documented people experiencing this time in history. Escobar's writing is concise yet quietly powerful, unshakeable, and moving. Parents and non-parents alike, Escobar has his readers thinking on how much we do and would sacrifice for our loved ones, the ends of the earth we would gladly travel across if it meant we could lighten their load even a little bit. Escobar gives Helene just the right blend of motherly warmth and inner heartbreak to instantly endear her and her struggle to nearly any reader. Nurses or nursing students will also empathize with her professional struggles, the situations she is forced to stomach. Particularly heartbreaking is the 5 day rule: any patient in the hospital still sick or injured after 5 days was recommended to the "elimination" list. Helene describes a child she'd grown attached to who was sickly but on the mend... but her bedrest had extended this 5 day rule. Imagine having to stomach this kind of scene! This story is the quintessential lesson in familial loyalty, love and sacrifice. Helene's story as a whole burrowed into my mind long after I finished that last page. It's true what they say, not all heroes wear capes! This novel is a perfect candidate for potential book group picks. For those interested, a list of discussion questions is included in the back of the book. FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
This novel was a real eye-opener for me. I had heard of and read about the Holocaust of course and seen many horrific pictures but never knew about the prison camp that held gypsies. I had only heard about the Jewish camps. Although fiction, this book held lots of truth. Helene Hannemann was a real person that was held in Auschwitz-Birkenau with her five children. Her husband was separated from them and sent elsewhere. Many of the names of doctors, guards, and officials were real and portrayed as they truly were. I spent time looking them up and reading more about what they did and what happened to them. I was appalled at the inhumane treatment of these thousands of people that were thought of as less than animals. The hardest part was reading about some of the things that were done to the babies and the children. I cried many tears and had to stop reading at various points just to recuperate before continuing. And although it was hard to read, everyone should be required to read about these true events in history. Too many rumors have been circulated about the Holocaust never happening, but most assuredly it did. As the saying goes, those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. And please Lord Jesus, come back before something this horrific ever happens again! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Fiction Guild but was not required to write a review positive or otherwise.
SemmieWise More than 1 year ago
** “All human beings are irreplaceable, of infinite value, and nothing can substitute the life that is taken. That night we were celebrating life, the birth of the Christ child, yet many more children would have to die, sacrificed to the flames of hatred and evil. I bowed my head and thought about the message of the manger: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” ** Some books move you so profoundly that when you turn the final page, you must sit quietly, reflecting on the words you just read. Such is Mario Escobar’s painfully beautiful “Auschwitz Lullaby.” A World War II era novel, “Auschwitz Lullaby” tells the based-on-real-life story of Helene Hannemann, a German nurse who was married to a Gypsy man at a time when bigotry reigned and evil attempted to conquer good. When Helene’s husband & five children are rounded up to be taken to Auschwitz’s Birkenau camp for being Gypsies, she refuses to leave them even though she is of “pure Aryan stock” and could remain free. Although separated from her husband, she is able to remain with her children and fight for their very existence. Because she was a nurse and of German breed, she is asked to run a Gypsy nursery school by the cruel Dr. Mengele, also a real-life figure. Through her strength, courage and fortitude, Helene is able to run the school, supplying brief relief for the children for a year. As she repeatedly finds the strength to stand up to Dr. Mengele, she is able to bring glimmers of hope to Gypsy children and their parents, bringing some positivity to a dark and deadly world. “Auschwitz Lullaby” is terribly difficult to read on an emotional level, yet incredibly inspiring and moving. It is a story of man at its very lowest — the hatred exhibited by the Nazi party and the cruel conditions they forced those in the concentration camps to live in is so very difficult to absorb. Yet it also reveals man at its very best — the strength and self-sacrifice shown by Helene is amazing. Readers will find inspiration from Helene to seek out ways in their own lives to help one another — to truly make a difference. Helene took her role at Birkenau very seriously, considering it a “sacred mission” to save the Gypsy children. If she can make a difference in her circumstances, surely we can each make a difference in our own lives. Even through a difficult, almost panic-laced read, we can find inspiration from these characters. Helene reminds us that even in the horrific times she faced, the Nazis could never take their souls or steal their humanity, no matter how hard they tried. This story reminds us that no matter how difficult things get, we must always hold on to our dignity; and the necessity of loving our enemies lest we become monsters too. It also forces us to evaluate the true value of things. (“Sometimes we have to lose everything to find what is most important. When life robs us of what we thought we could not live without and leaves us standing naked before reality, the essential things that had always been invisible take on their true value.”) Lovers of historical fiction, especially World War II and Holocaust stories, will love “Auschwitz Lullaby.” And because it is based on real-life characters, it reads both like a fiction story and an autobiography. It will move you, forcing you to face humanity in all its glory and all its cruelty. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest review.
swimreadbreathe4JC More than 1 year ago
Okay, wow, guys–this book hit me hard. Fans of The Book Thief, The Zookeeper’s Wife, Night, and The Girl from the Train will love this book! It is translated from Spanish but the translator did such a wonderful job; it was poetic and there weren’t any parts that felt stilted or just not “quite right”. Escobar weaves together a fictional account of the hauntingly true story of Helene Hannemann, a German woman who follows her gypsy husband and children to Auschwitz rather than embracing the freedom she as a German is offered.  While there, she makes every effort to improve conditions of other inhabitants, even starting a kindergarten for the children and looking after the youngest people in the camp.  Her story is inspiring and thought-provoking, as I myself questioned what I would do in many of the situations she found herself in.  It is definitely a story I’d reserve for older audiences due to the horrors of the setting, but wow–it’s not one I’ll soon forget.  I highly recommend it to those who have the stomach for WWII and Holocaust literature. Thank you so much to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for providing me a copy of this book.  You all really do well putting out fantastic literature and I appreciate it! The links in this post are affiliate links to Amazon, which means that if you click through to purchase the book, I’ll get a small commission, but it won’t increase your price any. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
bookstoregal More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book is a bit depressing, because of being about a Nazi prison camp, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I did not know the story of Helene Hanneman before. It is written in a way that is not too gruesome, despite being set in a terrible, evil place. I have been to a couple of those camps before, in Germany and in France, though not to this one in the story. My thanks to the author for telling a story that needed to be told, and for not letting the memory of Helene and others in the camp die. Though this has a sad ending, it is a story that should be told, and not be forgotten. Thanks to the Ficiton Guild for giving me this book in exchange for and honest review. The opinions expressed here are all my own.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
I have a few suggestions before reading this book. You should find a quiet place, grab a blanket and something to drink. Get a pillow so you can use it to scream in. For me these were must necessities to get through this harrowing account of history that was deplorable. Helene Hannemann was a special woman who loved her family deeply. She was of Aryan German descent while her husband was a Gypsy. The story seems relatively tame until one day when everything seemed normal, walking up the stairs to their place were SS guards. Helene's worse fear was coming true. They were there to take her husband and children away. Oh how I cried as I pictured Helene clutching her children with all the strength she had. There was no way she was staying behind while her family were going to face an unbearable future. The author pulls no punches as the camp is described in deplorable condition. Men were separated from their family and the story focuses on Helene and her children. I have read many books about the concentration camps were Jews were sent. The book has now made me aware that other nationalities were targeted as well. The book is based on a true story and the author has done an admirable job of showing us what a mother will do to protect her children. I was sickened when Dr. Mengele was introduced into the story. He was such a heartless and ruthless person. This is where my pillow came into play. I stopped reading half way through the book, and screamed into the pillow as long as I could. The senselessness of this man's actions made anger take me over. How can anyone send innocent women, men and children to death while smiling the whole time? The author goes into vivid details of the torture, mistreatment and inhumane actions taken on these people. I will never understand how a person can declare himself king of the world and dismiss human life with a wave of a hand. This book is a hard one to read, but important because it gives us a glimpse inside a world where death was an odor that lingered in the air twenty-four hours a day. You could screams of agony from children who were starving and shivering from the cold. The women there with the children grew weary as one by one a life was taken . Helene was a mother who was willing to stand up for what was right, did not worry about her safety and never gave up hope. I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.
pianosue More than 1 year ago
A good book about a family during the Holocaust. In 1943 Helene Hannemann is preparing her 5 children for the day when the German police arrive at her home to demand her husband and children be taken to a concentration camp. She refuses to let them leave without her. They are transported to Auschwitz II. This is about their time in that camp. Read the story to see if Helene and her children are able to survive the travel to the camp and their life there. Will they come thru the camp alive or will they succomb to the gas chambers and many others have? A very compelling story.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild, I was not required to give a favorable review. This was a very intense book about a mother and her children that were gathered up during WWII. She was born German but her husband was a Romani heritage. At during the war there were taken to the camps as same as the Jews. She is a mother and doesn't want to be separated from her children so she went with them but there was things she would have to do to protect her children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar is a story of a mother's love and what she will sacrifice to protect her family. It is based on the life of Helene Hannemann, a German who married a Romani man. When the SS came to take her husband and five children away, she refused to be left behind and went with her family to Auschwitz. She was selected by Dr. Mengele to organize and run a school for the Romani children in the camp. Her courage, compassion and unselfishness inspire hope and dignity in a hopeless situation. This book is not a light read. It is based on historical facts and brings to life some of the tragic events that went on in Germany and Poland between 1943 and 1944.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Auschwitz Lullaby is a fabulous and at times heartbreaking read. I am giving it a well deserved five plus stars.
BookReviewerTG More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel I've read by Mario Escobar. I almost fife't read this story simply because I knew I would cry. But I couldn't resist reading the first page and then, well, I was hooked. Helene's story bought me and grabbed me and just wouldn't let go. Helene is the mother of five children and she is married to a Gypsy. Helene is safe in Germany but not her family simply because she married a Gypsy. I loved the way Mario wrote about gypsies. He gives a complete and accurate description of a family who have the blood of gypsies but the heart of a christian. Just because one is born into a certain blood line does not mean that they follow that pattern. However, this is not the story. The story lies with Helene. Oh, this is based on the true life of Helene. If there is one sentence that gripped my heart in this whole book it is what Helene said, I thought that someone would stand up to him (Hitler). I never thought it would be this horrible. ( a paraphrase) Oh, how my heart cried for Helene and all the terrible atrocities that Dr. Mengele and the horrible Nazis inflicted upon the people and children. Yes, this is tear jerker. Yes, the reader will try not to read this story but will be so taken in by Mr. Escobar's delivery of Helene's story that the reader will keep reading. And, yes, the reader may leave with a sense of justice for Helene and the children. **Never Forget!** *This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that hooks you from the beginning and doesn’t let you go. It is heartbreaking to read this and know that these were actually conditions these people had to live in. I was struck anew by the way the SS viewed anyone who was not German. But until reading this book I don’t think I realized to the extent of their disgust of anyone who was not German, not just the Jews. I wouldn’t say the writing itself was spectacular it was the story that sold this book for me. It was very memoir like in the way it read. If you enjoy books that give you an inside look into Auschwitz I am sure you will like this book. A copy of this book was given to me by All opinions are my own.
JennGrand More than 1 year ago
Based on a true story, Auschwitz Lullaby, is about Helene Hannemann, and her desperate love for her children. Although she's of German descent, when the SS come for her husband and children, she refuses to leave them. They all arrive at Auschwitz and from there, Helene embarks on a journey to protect her children at all cost.   This book will break your heart, and make you want to call your mom to say thank you all in one breath. It portrays the perfect love of mothers and the terrible situations many were forced into during the Holocaust. It's a must read for sure!
LauraMHartman More than 1 year ago
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Helene’s husband Johann was a member of the Berlin Philharmonic before the Nazi’s turned the world upside down. Because he is Romaini, or Gypsy he was no longer allowed to work even though he is a violin virtuoso. Helene can still work because she is a purebred German. The family of seven lives in their own apartment. Food is hard to obtain but they have enough to get by. Their last day of freedom was like any other. Helene readied the older four children for school. Johann and their youngest child slept up until minutes before their world exploded. As Helene and the children left for the day, Nazi soldiers stormed up the stairs. They had finally come for Johann and the children. Helene was free to stay, but she refused to be left behind. Thus begins the days of physical and mental anguish. The family is taken via cattle car to Auschwitz. They are hungry, thirsty and terrified. Once they arrive at the camp, Johann is separated from the rest of his family. The barracks are cold, dirty and survival is the only thing everyone cares about. Helene’s family loses the precious few pieces of warm clothes they have to thieves before they realize that their world has forever changed. Because Helene is a nurse, she is immediately of use to her captors. Life becomes incrementally better when she is moved to a different barracks with women she can trust with her children while she works. Her job in the camp brings her in close contact with one of the most horrific men in the Nazi party, Herr Doktor Mengele. Helene fears for her children, but is strong and stands up for herself. Mengele admires her and puts her in charge of the Zigeunerlager kindergarten in Auschwitz-Birkenau. While it seems wonderful in the beginning, offering more food and things for the children to do, it is probably just a show for the visiting Nazi leaders. And it is the perfect place for Mengele to find twins to try his experiments on. As the war nears the end, what will happen to Helene and her children as well as the rest of the prisoners? Escobar’s telling of Helene’s story is heartbreakingly beautiful. The strength of the prisoners, the brutality of the Nazis and the bits of love and happiness that were found in one of the most horrific places on earth all play out in on the pages. This book is based upon the true story of Helene Hannemann and her five children. He visited Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II, Holocaust museums and read scores of documents during his research for this poignant book. The result personalizes the countless atrocities experienced in the camps. Reading the story of Helene and her family was not always easy. It is evident Escobar put his heart and soul into Auschwitz Lullaby. I would not be surprised to see it becoming as influential as The Diary of A Young Girl (also known as The Diary of Anne Frank) and deservedly so. Escobar’s words will haunt you long after the last page. Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman
Mandy Elliott More than 1 year ago
A heartrending story of loyalty, courage and perseverance in the face of adversity. A MUST READ! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own. Auschwitz Lullaby is a truly remarkable tale based on a the true story of Helene Hannemann, a German nurse who chooses family over freedom when the Nazis force her Gypsy husband and five children into encampment during WWII. As they are delivered to Auschwitz-Birkenau II, her story unfolds when she’s is torn from her husband and must fight to keep her family alive in the very place where thousands upon thousands of people died from starvation, poor living conditions, Nazi cruelty and disease. The author, Mario Escobar, closely follows WWII history and portrays camp life vividly, and yet, heartbreakingly well. As he wove his fictitious tale of real courageous men and women, I was pulled into life in the Gypsy camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau II. This story was very carefully crafted with captivating characters and events that keep readers intrigued from page to page. I believe readers will want to celebrate the sense of loyalty and perseverance in the brave men, women and children of those perilous times when the Nazis sought to crush the very soul of humanity. As a true five star novel, I loved this book because it was rich in historical details, beautifully written and seemingly accurate. The author doesn’t sugarcoat camp life for his readers, but even in the harsh reality of circumstances, he maintains the dignity of his characters and offers bits of joy for his readers. This is a MUST READ for historical fiction readers and anyone with a particular interest in WWII or the Holocaust. It is my understanding that this book may be available in multiple languages as well for readers all over the world.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. The opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.” ~Ellie Wiesel Auschwitz Lullaby is a heartbreaking, fictionalized account of the true story of Helene Hannemann and her five children. It is nearly impossible to read this book without it evoking a million emotions out of you. I’ve read (and watched) countless books and movies dealing with the atrocities of WWII, yet my heart breaks more every time. Each story carries it’s own message and own spirit. Though this story is fictionalized, many of these things happened, and I’m able to place my self in their shoes and wonder if I’d have had the strength to walk in faith and persevere. It is so important not to forget. Reading books that take place during this time period illuminates not only the horrors of history, but the beauty and might of the human spirit in so many. The first person point of view is beautifully written and allows me to see things through the narrator’s eyes, bringing the story to life. Needless to say, this is not a light read, but a very important one. One that pierces the heart and will undoubtedly dwell there forever. I highly recommend this heartbreaking and purposeful story of hope. I was blessed to receive a complimentary copy from BookLook.
FHlady More than 1 year ago
Filled with pathos, horror, and fortitude, this is the fictionalized story of Helene Hanneman and her family. Helene was an Aryan German married to a Roma (gypsy) with 5 children the day the Nazis came to take her husband and 5 children to an internment camp. She refused to be separated from her family so is taken with them. They along with 20, 943 ethnic Gyspies they were interned at the worst prison camp of all, Auschwitz. And it only went from bad to worse when Dr. Joseph Mengele was assigned to the camp. Helene's role because she is German and a nurse was to become head of Mengele's "nursery school project." There she goes above and beyond what a single woman can do to try and save the children and help the Gypsy parents as much as she can during all of the horror of extermination and separation of families. This book is one that will break your heart at man's inhumane treatment of man; but at the same time, fill you with wonder at what mothers will do to protect their children at any cost. You will definitely need some kleenex by your side as you read it, but it will bring history to life and leave you praying that such depravity will never occur again. Definitely a 5 star read from this new-to-me author. ** I received a complimentary copy of this book from publisher Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review
Christianfictionandmore More than 1 year ago
Recently I watched an interview with a twin who was subjected to Dr. Josef Mengele's experiments at Auschwitz. Her voice rang in my head as I read Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar. The atrocities of which Mengele was guilty were great, and he was never brought to justice on this side of eternity. In this book Escobar tells the story of Helene Hannemann, largely adhering to the actual facts of her time at Auschwitz with her five children. Helene, an Aryan, voluntarily accompanied her Gypsy husband and their children when the soldiers came to take them away. Her determination to care for her children and those of other Gypsy families in the camp improved the circumstances for many during their imprisonment. Hannemann worked under the direction of Dr. Mengele, running a nursery and school for the Gypsy children, some who were then taken to be included in his experiments. Her goal remained the same throughout her time there, to protect and care for the children. Escobar's well-written, somewhat fictionalized account of her life allows Helene Hannemann to be an inspiration to another generation of parents, a generation that may be in need of a lesson in sacrifice. Helene could have spared her life, could have walked away from the filth, disease and death that was Auschwitz, but instead she sacrificed each hour, each minute, for the children. I highly recommend Auschwitz Lullaby not only for fans of historical fiction, but for all who have a heart for children, and those in this generation who may need to be reminded of the gift they are. Received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
NadineTimes10 More than 1 year ago
Every so often, I have to read something heavy like this novel, which is based on a true story. No, it's not at all a feel-good read. It's an account of unjust imprisonment. Deprivation. Sickness. Violence. Murder. It illustrates just how depraved, degenerate, and twisted people can become when they sell their souls for ideals based on hatred and fear. Yet, it also illustrates how people can choose not to give into others' depravity, how they can choose internal dignity and compassion. And the hope in a story like this finds its landing place in the reader: remember the past, learn from it, and don't let anything steal your humanity and humaneness. _________ BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.