I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir of a Schindler's List Survivor

Laura Hillman, Author
Laura Hillman, Author . S&S/Atheneum $16.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-689-86980-8
Prebound-Sewn - 269 pages - 978-1-60686-772-3
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-595-25753-9
Hardcover - 160 pages - 978-0-595-65310-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 269 pages - 978-1-4169-5366-1
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4391-0802-4
Hardcover - 243 pages - 978-1-4169-1062-6
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In a straightforward first-person narrative, Hillman, who spent the last few months of WWII in Oskar Schindler's camp, recounts her harrowing experiences. While Laura is attending boarding school outside of Berlin, she receives a letter from her mother saying that Nazi soldiers have murdered her father. Soon after, she makes the first of many courageous moves by deciding to rejoin her mother and two younger brothers, who have received orders to be deported from Weimar, where they have been since the family was evacuated from Aurich, Germany. The family spends a brief period in a ghetto in Lublin, Poland, before they are forced to move to a labor camp, where they are separated. Among the horrors she experiences, Laura is violated and witnesses the death of one of her brothers. But in the camps she also meets Dick Hillman, the man she will one day marry. Clearly, it is Laura's memories of a saner, more tranquil world and her determination to begin a new life with Dick after the war ("One day, when this is over, I'll plant you a lilac bush," he promises) that motivate her to endure near starvation, physical abuse and mental torment even after she is transported to Auschwitz. Another ray of hope appears when Laura receives the news that both her name and Dick's have been placed on Schindler's list. Riveting from first page to last, this is a remarkable tale of survival. Ages 13-up. (Aug.)

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