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Sabina: In the Eye of the Storm    by Bella Kuligowska Zucker order for
by Bella Kuligowska Zucker
Order:  USA  Can
GRA Press, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

It's never easy to read about what happened to Jewish people in Europe during World War II. The horrible treatment of fellow human beings by the Nazis is difficult for a civilized person to understand, especially the way children were abused and killed. This account of the survival of a girl, who was just fourteen when the atrocities began, is uplifting because of the happy ending for Bella. She did what she had to do without ever doing anything to endanger her family or the other hidden Jews she encountered during the last years of the war.

Bella was the only daughter in a large family living in a small town in Poland. She had three older brothers and two younger ones, and her parents, while not wealthy, were the hardworking owners of a bicycle business. She was pampered by her family and didn't realize that there were problems for the large Jewish contingent in her town even before things got bad. Her ability to find safety once her parents and brothers were taken away was partly due to her amazing resourcefulness, but also to sheer luck in finding people who helped her in spite of endangering themselves.

She explains in her memoir that her looks were those of many non-Jewish Poles, so when she managed to steal the birth certificate of a girl who was working on a farm where she, herself, had worked earlier in the war, she was able to pass as that girl until the war ended. On the way she experienced unpleasant times when she had no place to stay and little to eat, but even then she had some money that her parents had sewn into the hem of her clothes.

Sabina: In The Eye of the Storm tells about the Holocaust through the eyes of a young person in such a way that it becomes especially real and frightening. It was self-published by Bella's daughter as a paperback and e-book and has been used in schools as a teaching aid for young people. I believe that the book is just as educational for adults as it is for young people. Bella has written her story in a way that's gripping as well as informative.

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