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Publisher's Summary

This program features a prologue read by Dita Kraus.

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, The Librarian of Auschwitz is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust. Written with touching sensitivity by Antonio Iturbe, and translated by Lilit Thwaites, this audiobook provokes every emotional response and will not be forgotten.

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz. Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

This title has Common Core connections.

©2012, 2017 Text copyright Antonio Iturbe; translation copyright Lilit Žekulin Thwaites (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Librarian of Auschwitz

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The Librarian of Auschwitz

The only way to improve on this story would be if it were not based on the unbearable suffering of real people. Carefully told and beautifully read, the characters reveal strength and weaknesses in the worst circumstances. You hold your breath as Mengele passes by, you worry about discovery and betrayal and you hope against hope that all will survive, when you know they can't. Well researched, you are taken back in time to witness the horror for yourself and find the humanity and strength of character that seems impossible.

17 people found this helpful

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the most moving book about WWII

I loved how the book tied up all the loose ends and left no unanswered questions.

10 people found this helpful

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Beautiful life lessons

Auschwitz through the eyes of a young girl, wise beyond her years, makes this a thoughtful and inspiring book. The story, the narration and the heartbreak of this book, make this an important historical fiction read. I was so sad for it to end. These characters will stay with me. Great read!

9 people found this helpful

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Moving story

The story behind the book was amazing but the book did not read as a novel. There were times the author seemed to jump out of the story to relate historical facts. I would have enjoyed the book more if it was always told from the main characters point of view.

6 people found this helpful

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Keep reading, it gets better!

The overly dramatic and somewhat awkward narration at the beginning of the book made it difficult for me to get into the story, and I almost quit reading it. But I’m glad I didn’t! As time goes on the narration becomes more natural and the story starts to shine through. By the end I was entranced with the characters and their incredible journeys and didn’t want my time with them to come to a close. Even after a rough start I recommend it!

5 people found this helpful

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Heart wrenching and beautiful

This story is heart wrenching and promises to send you on a research binge to find out more about the actual people mentioned in this story. Dita is a true hero, I am so pleased to have read her story. Knowing that something as basic as books was seen as a treasure during this devastating time makes me feel so blessed that we have them readily available to us. Amazing read, great performance. Highly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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Great Narration and Story

Where does The Librarian of Auschwitz rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

High

Who was your favorite character and why?

Dita

Have you listened to any of Marisa Calin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

When it was time to die, one young girl decided it was time to learn instead

Any additional comments?

This is a great read for young and old

10 people found this helpful

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Dita Kraus. More than a girl who loves books!

The Librarian of Auschwitz is one of the most moving Holocaust books I've read. Rather than focusing solely on one protagonist, this novel includes a handful of characters who take center-stage at certain points in the story. While most stories about the Holocaust take place in Auschwitz, this is the first one that takes us into different parts of the camp and introduces us to the other people who were also imprisoned in this extermination camp.

Dita Kraus was nine years old when the war tore her world apart. At thirteen, she and her parents arrived at Auschwitz, where they lived in the camp BIIb. Dita, assigned to Block 31, is entrusted with the job of being the Block's librarian for the secret school that is run by Freddy Hirsch and takes place under the Nazi's noses. For the next two years, Dita, along with her companions and other acquaintances, will fight to survive in the worst concentration camps set up by the Nazis and pray that they will avert the gaze of the infamous Dr.Mengele.

This book is incredible! While written beautifully, the pain and torture millions of people suffered through are unimaginable! On Tuesday, I will be meeting Dita Kraus and am so excited to ask her questions about this book, her new memoir, A Delayed Life, and her late husband's book, The Children's Block. I recommend everyone interested in hearing the truth about the Holocaust and evil of the SS involved in this killing machine of a camp to read this book!!

3 people found this helpful

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Fiction or non-fiction?

This book suffered from the confusion of stories that aren't sure if they're supposed to be fiction or non-fiction. It wasn't historical enough or plausible enough to be non-fiction (it recounted many thoughts and feelings impossible for the author to know), but wasn't a good enough story to be historical fiction. At times the writing was poetic though.

The narrator was a poor choice. Her Germanic accents were distracting, and she didn't keep the characters' voices distinct enough.

7 people found this helpful

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This is the best book

Best book ever and I love how it’s about t holocaust if you like to know more about the Holocaust tho is the book for u

2 people found this helpful

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  • johnnykate
  • 02-27-18

Amazing!!

One of the best books I have ever read. A must read for any booklover. Engaging and well written the compelling story keeps the reader on the edge throughout the whole read. The address from "Dita Adler" in the opening was especially compelling. I loved it! Wish I could translate it into Icelandic, my native language.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Ruben
  • 08-19-18

The Librarian

Such a touching and an emotional book.
She will be in my thoughts and prayers forever never to be forgotten.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Khonsu
  • 07-05-18

The book that Tattooist of Auschwitz wishes it was

This is a fantastic piece of historical literature that neither pulls punches in regards what happened at Auschwitz-Birkenau nor spares the emotions of a teen girl and her observations of what happened to her and around her.

From the Prologue by Dita Kraus, our Librarian and now obviously an elderly lady, to the handling of the after math of the death camps this book flows with information and has a tidal wave of emotion to deal with.

If you have read/listened to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, you may feel, like I did, heartily disappointed in the gaps and quality of writing in the story or if indeed you may be holding the novel up high as a must read - either way, read / listen to The Librarian of Auschwitz and you will not be disappointed.

I wasn't sure about the narration at the start, very slow and methodical, within 15 minutes this is forgotten as Marisa pulls you into Dita's world and you don't want to leave her side until it is all over.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-15-19

very good

kept listening to it again and again and also found it very interesting would recommend it

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  • Customer in Hertfordshire
  • 10-03-19

Probably a better read than in this audio format

A fascinated exploration / story within the Holocaust literature genre however, the audio performance spoils the overall impact. Pseudo foreign accents of the different characters are irritating and alienate the absorption of the listener. Spoilt it for me.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-05-19

Fantastic

A beautiful profoundly moving story which had me crying with happiness and sadness. Dita is an amazing women.

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  • Pixie81
  • 09-07-18

So moving...

A truly heart wrenching story based on fact that everyone should hear about in their lifetime. Amazing listen.

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  • Letitia
  • 04-01-19

A great mix of fiction and non fiction.

Well written and takes the reader right to the Nazi extermination camps in Poland. The prolong at the start of the book from Dita herself is also truly moving. One last thing to mention is that this book has quite a bit of violence, swear words, nudity, executions and sex talk.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-17-21

Unforgettable story

Beautifully written and narrated story about the ugliest chapter of human history and how one girl lived through it. Dita is an unforgettable heroine.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-20

I couldn't stop listening

At times, overwhelmingly sickening, but so eloquently descriptive, ever drawing me in until the very end. I look at my own children differently now, thinking of all those tiny, sweet faces sent to their unnecessary deaths by a sick, sad ideology of truly messed up men.

A must listen. lest we forget.