Auschwitz Lullaby ~ Review

Auschwitz Lullaby
By Mario Escobar

Helene Hannemann's life was that of an ordinary German woman until the day came that her husband and children were taken because of their Romani (Gypsy) heritage. Not about to allow them to be taken from her Helene insists on accompanying them little realizing just what her love would cost.

In May 1943 the Romani population under Nazi control is taken away to "special" internment camps and when her husband, Johann and their children are included in this rounding up Helene goes with them, though her German heritage would exempt her from such a sentence. Auschwitz is a living hell that tries to steal away the humanity and dignity of all who enter its gates. Helene though separated from Johann is determined to do everything in her power to keep her children safe.

When Helene's skills, as a trained nurse, are discovered her life and that of her children becomes somewhat better. But operating a day nursery under Dr. Mengele's direction allows her to see the utter depths of depravity a human can sink to and all in the name research.

This book covers approximately 15 months in the life of a woman who was determined to protect the innocent. Though there is much referenced as occurring within the camp most of the graphic violence is not described. There is one scene in which the after-effects of one of Mengele's experiments is portrayed and it is quite horrific. The hate shown against those who are of differing heritage is a warning that all should take to heart.

This book is one that is hard to read just because of the subject matter. The presentation and writing style are excellent. Those who have read Irma Joubert or Corban Addison's work will likely appreciate this book which is based on the true story of Helene Hannemann. 

I was provided a complimentary of this book by the publisher Thomas Nelson with no expectations except that I offer my honest opinion. All opinions offer are my own.

About the Book:
Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save.
On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.
After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.
Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.
Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.

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