Holocaust Memoirs of a Bergen-Belsen Survivor & Classmate of Anne Frank


Non-Fiction - Memoir
170 Pages
Reviewed on 12/18/2018
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Author Biography

Nanette Blitz Konig was born on the 6th of April, 1929 in Amsterdam, Holland, daughter of Martijn Willem Blitz and Helene Victoria Davids. She and her family were Jewish and her father worked for the Amsterdamsche Bank.

Holland was occupied in May 1940 by the Nazis who began to persecute the Jews. In the beginning of 1941, Jewish students were obliged to go to Jewish schools and it was then that Nanette became a classmate of Anne Frank and remained so until the Franks went into hiding in 1942.

The Blitz Family was arrested and taken to the transition camp of Westerbork. February 15, 1944 they were deported to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. At the end of November, 1944 Nanette´s father died.

In the beginning of December Nanette´s brother and mother were deported from Bergen-Belsen and she remained alone. Her brother died in the concentration camp of Oranienburg and her mother was deported to Beendorf to a factory in a salt mine as a slave laborer and died in April, 1945 in a train that was on the way to Sweden.

In January 1945 Nanette was transferred to a different part of Bergen-Belsen known as the small women's camp. From there she saw Anne Frank in the large women's camp through the barbed wired fence. These two camps become one section and it was then that Nanette got together with Anne and her sister Margot. Nanette survived Bergen-Belsen and was rescued by a British Major, Leonard Berney.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Amy Raines for Readers' Favorite

Holocaust Memoirs of a Bergen-Belsen Survivor & Classmate of Anne Frank by Nanette Blitz Konig will give you a new view into the world at the time of the Holocaust as the Jews were targeted by the Germans. After being asked a question by her grandson, Konig decided that telling the truth of the horrors the Jews faced was better than lying to the young child. Konig recounts the experiences of her happy childhood that quickly turn to a life of fear and degradation as the Jews are taken to concentration camps, treated with utter contempt and not even considered to be human by the Nazis. After the Jews were liberated, the death toll of the lives lost still continued to climb as the survivors reclaimed the life that remained to them. Anne Frank’s death was among them, a victim in the concentration camp. Even as the survivors began picking up the pieces of their lives, the nightmares of the horrors they had faced never really stopped.

Holocaust Memoirs of a Bergen-Belsen Survivor & Classmate of Anne Frank by Nanette Blitz Konig belongs in a library next to all the other books that depict life during World War II. I loved this book but the story made me cry repeatedly as the author recounts the facts of her life in the concentration camp at the hands of the Nazis. The events and people described within the book from a first person perspective make it easy to get lost in the truth of what happened. The entire story of Konig’s Holocaust memoirs will have the most distant reader's heart breaking from the sheer indignity against humanity, then leap in utter joy as the Jews gained their liberty. I love how this story shares profound truths through the eyes of a survivor. It shows just how resilient the human spirit can be in the face of tragedy as Konig and the other survivors pull their lives back together with pride and dignity. I also want to add a huge bravo to Nanette Blitz Konig for the courage to share the real life tragedies so that future generations of the world can learn the harsh truth and not repeat the horrors of the past.

Sue

What was so disturbing about this book is that it was a memory about a very ordinary family. The dad worked at a bank, the kids went to school and they all led a very normal life....Until the disruption and horror brought to Holland by the Third Reich. Even then, the family thought that they would be safe until they were sent to a temporary camp where they started having their dignity gradually stripped away. Minimal food, poor hygiene and constant orders from the SS soldiers. The temporary camp was bad enough but when the family was moved to Bergen-Belsen, they lost all vestiges of their earlier life. Once they were there, it was a daily struggle to stay alive. The author presented the horror of the camp in such as way that it was even more horrific. I am so glad that the book continued to the author's years after her time in Bergen-Belsen and we were truly able to see what a strong determined woman she was. Thank you Nanette for sharing your story and continuing to share it with future generations so that this never happens again.

Music Melody

The most intriguing aspect of this book is Nanette (e.s. In Anne's diary) sharing her journey after liberation from Bergen Belsen. One could almost imagine that had Anne lived she would have made the same journey and gone on to live a life like Nanette. It was very sad when Nanette reveals the fate of her family, her struggle to live once again a normal life. I had mostly heard of Hanneli (Lies Goosen? in the book) but I understand that Nanette didn't share her story until 1999. So she wasn't part of Anne Frank remembered.

Thank you for sharing your story Nanette! It's nothing short of a miracle.

OHbeachlover

A powerful book that everyone must read. The atrocities that were committed during the holocaust are beyond comprehension. Nannette survived and went on to have a beautiful family.

God bless you Mrs. Konig and thank you for putting pen to paper and reliving the horror, so that future generations will know the true story.

R. Lee Markow

Nanette Blitz Konig went to school with Anne Frank but her own story , other than meeting up with her while imprisoned in Bergen-Belsen, has little to do with her famous classmate. Like Anne, Nanette had a mostly happy upbringing in Amsterdam until the Nazi Invasion and the subsequent restrictions put in place by them for the Jews living there.

From then on, life became even more of a struggle with Nanette being sent along with her family to Westerbork then Bergen Belson (described as being "Hell on Earth") & how she narrowly survived even though many others didn't . Told in a simple effective manner, Konig let's the facts speak for themselves & tells an inspiring story of the human spirit being able to endure even the most unimaginable cruelties.

Nanyamka Boyer

This is a very well written book about the Holocaust and it gives a lot of history information about the time. The author also speaks of how things were in Holland and their lives before their deportation to Westbrook, the transitional camp. And about the horrors, cruelty, torments and atrocities in the camp by the Nazis. She also speaks of her encounters with her classmate: Anne Frank and how Anne wanted to be a writer and use her diary to tell the world about the Holocaust, after the war.

This is a very good book and is also good for research and for information about what the beloved people of God went through during such a horrible time in history!

I enjoyed the pictures at the end of the book to put the faces behind the persons spoken in the book and testimony of the author, together.

Very well written! May we all learn from this history and never let it happen again, especially to the people of God, the Jewish people.

Dany Dorresteyn

I have family members who survived, I have family members who did not survive. Reading this book, I now understand why those family members didn't want to talk about it. But one thing they did say was "we must never forget".