Author: Sheina Sachar Gertner
ISBN: 1-58939-886-6 (softcover)
Unlike the stories of children who survived the war by hiding among the peasants, The Trees Stood Still reveals the experiences of a sensitive, insightful woman. Sheina Sachar-Gertner distills her thoughts and feelings in a compellingly personal, courageous and moving book. Its terse, compressed style evokes the sense of a confessional. What emerges, despite the pain, is an affirmation of mankind's humanity from an individual who is strongly committed to life at the same time that she is forever attached to the souls of the dead. At the end of the book, Sheina, finally granted her emigration papers by the Russians, and she is on the plane headed toward Israel. Clutching two-red-tulips in her hand, she thinks, "I cannot forget. All I can do is hope."
Though it was not written with this intent, The Trees Stood Still, because of its positive outlook and because it is sparing and understated in its description of violence, could serve as an introductory reading about the Holocaust for adolescents. Its delineations of the complexities and questions inherent in the afterlife of survivors is also most valuable in this regard.
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