Thursday, December 10, 2015

the heart of Auschwitz

It sits like a jewel in a museum showcase.

On December 12, 1944, Polish teenager Fania Landau turned 20 while imprisoned in Auschwitz. Fania had spent the past year in the concentration camp and didn't expect her birthday to be remembered. However, her friends risked everything to make her a gift.

This weekend I read the historical fiction novel, Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott. Written in verse, this beautiful novel  is based on the lives of Fania Landau and Zlatka Sznaiderhauz, and their story of survival.

In the midst of incredible horror, love and friendship become a weapon against oppression and hatred.

Here is one of my favorite parts:

The Birds

Spring brought the rains
And the mud.

But no birds.

They avoided the belching black smoke,
Billowing stench,
Impenetrable gray,
Incessant trains.

Much later,
People claimed,
We did not know.
I had no idea.
I didn't do it.

How could they not have known,
When the birds did?

This is an incredible book and should be put in the hands of all readers. This story will open the door to many conversations on current events regarding discrimination and labeling any group as other. Readers can ponder the power of humanity and the role of empathy in overcoming racism, hate, and indifference.

I highly recommend this beautiful book for everyone you know.

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