Paid Partnership with Ebury Books
‘Little dancer’, Mengele says, ‘dance for me’
In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive.
The horrors of the Holocaust didn’t break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience.
The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.
Sometimes a book can touch your heart and leave a mark on your soul and change you as a person. This is what The Choice by Edith Eger does to me. I am thrilled to partner and be working with @eburybooks for this promotion and tell you more about this book that I have read and fallen completely in love with.
The Choice is Edith’s account of her horrifying experience in Auschwitz; how she struggled with PTSD after being liberated; and eventually overcame her fear and found freedom by helping others. I found it incredibly honest and moving. Edith lays bare the true horror and brutality of her experiences during the holocaust. There was no sugar-coating of the desperation and hopelessness amongst the prisoners. As a reader I found it extremely piercing and heart-wrenching.
I have read my fair share of historical fictions that are about the holocaust, but I still learn and feel something new every single time. There are so many passages and sentences in the book that have moved me to tears. I could not and will never be able to comprehend what Edith and many others went through in the holocaust. The magnitude of the injustice of what was done to them were unimaginable. Her parents and grandparents were sent to the gas chambers on the arrival of Auschwitz under the direct order of the infamous Josef Mengele. As a ballerina, she was then ordered to dance for him. However, what was most magnificent was how Edith, only 16 year old at the time, could still maintain such positivity and hope in such traumatic circumstances. Her courage is most admirable. It is truly the case that even in hell, hope can flower.
In The Choice, Edith also recounted how she suffered from the memories of Auschwitz and from post trauma depression after being liberated; and how with incredible determination she then later became a psychologist to help others who also suffered from trauma. There was a scene in this part of the book, where Edith finally overcame her fear and trauma, had me in uncontrollable tears. It is a scene I will never forget.
The Choice is extremely poignant and affecting. It is painful to read but at the same time it is also tremendously uplifting, inspirational and full of hope and love. Books shape our lives and change us through pages and words. Stories are being told and written every single day, but this is a story we should all read. It is not only a memoir about the survival of holocaust but also a reminder of what war can do to us, a reminder that we have come a long way and it is love and hope that would eventually propel us forward and through life.
The Choice is published by Ebury Books Ana is out now. It is a book I cannot recommend enough.