Reviews for Surviving the Angel of Death : The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 May

Gr 6 Up--Kor relates memories of life in the village of Portz, Transylvania (Romania), where she was raised on a large farm, "never aware of the anti-Semitism [that pervaded the country] until 1940, when the Hungarian army came." Six-year-old Eva and her identical twin, Miriam, the only Jewish children in their small mixed-grade classroom, suddenly found themselves taunted and beaten by once-friendly classmates. At 10 years of age, the twins and their family were forced to live among seven thousand other Jews in a fenced-in field, protected from the elements only by tents made of their own blankets and sheets and by the clothes on their backs. They were soon taken on a four-day train ride to Auschwitz, standing all the way, with no food or drink. There the sisters were "selected" to be victims of Dr. Josef Mengele's medical "research." Eva's amazing fortitude and her desire to protect her sister helped her to survive a horrible disease brought on by an injection. Both twins endured a terrifying daylong separation during a forced march between camps; the remaining Auschwitz prisoners were liberated by Soviet soldiers, and the girls found a way to go home in search of family survivors. Kor's straightforward first-person narrative is unusual because it details life in the concentration camp through the eyes of a child who lived among children. In an eight-page epilogue, the author talks about her discovery, 50 years after liberation, of the importance of forgiveness ("a seed for peace"), and of what she has done to teach young people the positive lessons of life garnered from her horrific experiences.--Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

[Page 132]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2010 April
In this straightforward first-person narrative, Kor , with the help of coauthor Buccieri, recounts her harrowing experiences during the Holocaust. Kor and her twin Miriam were born in 1934 in Transylvania, Romania. Their parents owned a profitable farm and were able to survive in the Nazi anti-Semitic atmosphere until 1944 when the family was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. The twins were separated from their parents and sisters as soon as they arrived and sent to a special section of the concentration camp for twins. Josef Mengele, a renowned Nazi doctor, was conducting experiments using identical twins and other genetic irregularities to enhance medical breakthroughs and create the perfect German race. The narrative is painfully detailed as Kor recounts being tattooed for identification; the agonizing, sadistic medical experiments performed on her; and her constant battle to survive and keep her twin with her. The memoir, written from a child's perspective, also describes Kor's life after World War II, first in Europe, then in Israel, and finally in Indiana. Extensive use of historical photographs and visual documentation brings a greater depth to readers' understanding of the daily life endured by the Auschwitz children. They will be astonished at Kor's triumph and stubborn determination to overcome her horrific experience. Although events are explicit, the narrator's voice is young, making Kor's story seem more appropriate for middle school. This important book brings to light a relatively unfamiliar part of the Holocaust, but it lacks a bibliography or suggested further reading. Readers of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (David Fickling Books/Random House, 2006/VOYA December 2006). will discover a true account of children during this time period.--Eileen Kuhl Photos. 3Q 2P M Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.

VOYA Reviews 2009 December
Kor's story is one of survival and hope. Born in 1934, Eva and her identical twin, Miriam, were loved and doted over. They lived a comfortable and happy life on their family's farm in Transylvania until the summer of 1940, when their family was herded onto a train with the other Jews in their town and transported to Auschwitz supposedly for their "protection." They were soon separated from their family, and never saw them again. Being identical twins afforded Eva and Miriam special "privileges." They soon joined a large group of other twins who were under the care of Dr. Josef Mengele, otherwise known as the Angel of Death. These children were allowed to keep their own clothes and hair, but they were the subject of countless gruesome and tortuous medical experiments that many did not survive. Eva and Miriam did carry on and were able to make it until the Russian army invaded the camp and liberated them, but their lives were never the same. They had lost their family and suffered a physical ordeal that did irreversible damage. Eva's story will have the reader hooked until the very end. Although the narrative is somewhat unpolished, it does not detract from the impact of this harrowing and moving story. Readers of all ages will remember her narrative and will be inspired by it. This book is an essential purchase for libraries with a Holocaust collection, but it would also be a valuable addition to any library with young impressionable readers.--Victoria Vogel Photos. Maps. 4Q 2P J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.