Welcome All Book Lovers

Welcome All Book Lovers

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

An act of defiance. A statement of hope. A crime punishable by death.

Making a birthday card in Auschwitz was all of those things. But that is what Zlatka did, in 1944, for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all, for freedom.

Fania knew what that heart meant, for herself and all the other girls. And she kept it hidden, through the bitter days in the camp and through the death marches. She kept it always.

This novel is based on the true story of Fania and Zlatka, the story of the bond that helped them both to hope for the best in the face of the worst.@goodreads






This is based on the true story of Zlatka and Fania who were in Auschwitz together, they had lost their families, they had lost everything, but they found each other. And they survived! They had some friends named Giza, Guta and Bronia that survived with them. They all took care of each other the best they could in such a horrible place!


Mama's good girl
Followed the rules.
At home.
At school.
in synagogue.
Even when the Germans came.
With their signs that read:
Jews Forbidden.
I did as I was told.

But in a world
Where girls were tattooed
With numbers.
And bodies were tossed away
Like garbage.

There were no rules.

They watched as people were taken to the furnaces, who were beaten to death, who died of starvation, so many atrocities, but they pushed on.. they had each other.


Eyes lowered
hands clasped before her.
Eta spoke just above a whisper
in German
to a boy in uniform
who looked no older than she
who might have smiled at her
on a street in Berlin
just a year or two ago.

His anger was harder than the crust of bread
harder than the boulders
harder than his fists.

Eta collapsed.

Jackboots stomped.
Fists clobbered.
Riding crops whipped.
Rifle butts smashed.
Billy clubs crushed.
Then the dogs.

and you just had to keep going or the same would happen to you.

The author tells at the end of the book that she got all of her information through family interviews, documentaries, etc. She also gave a wonderful glossary so we would know each thing that was put into the book.


The girl replied,
They are no more monster
than you.

My brother
was selected
for the Sonderkommando
when we first arrived.
I used to meet him
here at the fence
so he could unburden
his soul.

he helped the Germans.
He led the people,
innocent people
to their deaths.

He whispered
assurances to them,
Calmed them
so their last moments
were not filled with terror.

He spread their ashes
with respect
due to humans,
He said Kaddish for them
mourned them.

His first assignment
fresh off the transport
was to gas
the Sonderkommando
he replaced.

His last assignment
just three months later
was to walk
with dignity
into the gas chamber
so the new Sonderkommando
could replace him.

The Sonderkommando
are not monsters.

There were so many other things, I can't even say, but a lot of you know already from reading different things. I think the strength of these women are remarkable.

Here is the birthday card Zlatka made for Fania. She went through whatever she had to make this for her friend. This picture below is a picture of Fania with the heart that is still on display at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.


The Heart

A treasure.

Cut into four hearts
Like four-leaf clovers.
Into one heart.
Like origami.
With pretty purple cloth.
With my initial.
Small enough
To fit in the palm of my hand.
Big enough
To restore my faith
Friends replacing
The family I'd lost.

A reason to take risks.
A reason to keep living.


Here is a link to the interview with Zlatka on making the heart.
http://www.mhmc.ca/en (Interview with Zlatka)  After clicking on the link and it takes you to the page click on the floating heart on the page at the top and it will take you to her interview.

I recommend this book to EVERYONE!

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