Hiding Edith a True Story by Kathy Kacer Elise Peterson I usually am reading a book that gushes over love or a creepy mystery novel, but this time I thought I would switch it up. I have always been really interested in World War two and the holocaust and that’s why I picked up the book Hiding Edith, a true story by Kathy Kacer. I can’t even come to image the fear that was planted in these children’s heads and would scar them for the rest of their life.
In 1933, the Nazi party, led by Adolf Hitler, came to power in Germany.
Hitler was a cruel man who believed that Germans were superior to all over races, but especially Jews. I won’t go into a huge detail about the Holocaust because I’m sure you’ve taken the class History! But anyways, the main character, Edith Schwalb was Jewish and was alive when Hitler slowly began to take over.
Edith is a young Jewish girl living with her Papa, Mutti, sister (Threse), and brother (Gaston) in the city of Vienna. Edith’s family is very close. Her Papa is a known soccer player and Edith and her sister both attend school while Mutti and her brother stay at home.
Unfortunately, Vienna was slowly being taken over. One night, Nazi soldiers came to the Schwalb household and took away Papa. The girls soon stopped attending school and ran away to another city. Mutti soon realized that the children were no longer safe snow that Concentration camps were being established.
The talk of the town among the Jews was that the town of Moissac had a “Boarding School” where Jewish families could take their kids for protection from the Nazi’s. The town of Moissac is actually a town of all Germans.
All the Germans know about the secret house and keep it a secret. The house is run by Shatta and Bouli Simon who are very kind. At the house, they are properly fed, taken care of, attend school, and go to church. Shatta and Bouli pretty much become the parents of all of the children living at the house. The reason why the house is so safe is since the whole town is German, the Nazi’s will contact the Mayor before they come and search for Jews so it gives the children time to hide. So Mutti decides to drop Edith and Gaston off at the house.
When they arrive Edith is 7 and Gaston is toddler. Threse and Mutti run off to another town to live in a farm house. Edith and Gaston come to love living in the house. Edith becomes good friends with a girl named Sarah. Over the years together Edith and Sarah practically become sisters. Every now and again Mutti will visit Edith and Gaston. After years of living there, Shatta and Bouli announce that they have to shut down the house. They both agree that the war will soon end since the Americans have joined the war. They send the kids to different secret homes to live.
Sarah and Edith are moved to a German Boarding school. This is kind of dangerous since no one there knows they are Jewish. They have to change their names. There at the boarding school, they are treated badly and rarely eat. They both end up getting lice and having to dig food out of the garbage. Again, Edith and Sarah are moved to another place. This time, a real home. They move to the house of the Merleau’s who treat Edith and Sarah kindly. She only stays there for a short while because the war ends! Edith is soon reunited with her brother, sister, and mother.
They find out that there father was killed in a concentration camp. The family lives together and they all get jobs. Edith realizes that she wants to make a difference. Her and Gaston end up going back to Moissac. They volunteer to be consolers for the orphaned Jewish children. I literally recommend this book to anyone! It’s a quick read and it really makes you see through the eyes of a child during World War Two. It makes you realize how lucky we are, here in America… and not to take things for granted because they can be taken away any moment.
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