Saturday, September 22, 2018

Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar

Escobar has given readers a fictionalized account based on a true story. Helene was a German woman who had married a Gypsy. When the Nazis came for her husband and children in May of 1943, she insisted on going along. She and the children went to Auschwitz while her husband was in another camp nearby.

Escobar has done a good job giving us a sense of what it was like in the camp. Helene was a nurse and worked with Dr. Mengele. He asked her to run a nursery and school for the Gypsy children. Upon that framework Escobar created a fictional account of Helene's experiences. Helen is portrayed as quite a forceful woman, asking for many supplies for the children. I couldn't help but wonder if that aspect of Helene was a bit of wishful thinking by Escobar. While Helene kept a journal in the book, none is mentioned in the historical note so I must assume the actions of Helene and Mengele are totally fiction. That Mengele was so accommodating to Helene just did not seem realistic from what I have read about him.

It was interesting to have a different slant on the period in that this novel concentrated on the Gypsy camp and how they were treated. Dr. Mengele's experiments were horrific as people were treated as less than human.

This novel will be appreciated by those wanting to learn more about Auschwitz, concentrating on the Romany.

You can read a sample here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Mario Escobar lives in Madrid, Spain. He has a degree in history and has written much on the Inquisition, the Reformation and religious groups.
The book was translated by Gretchen Abernathy, a freelance translator working in both Spanish and English.

Thomas Nelson, 304 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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