Clara's War by Clara Kramer

Clara's War

On September 1, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. Three years later, in the small town of Zolkiew, life for Jewish 15-year-old Clara Kramer was never to be the same again. While those around her were either slaughtered or transported, Clara and her family hid perilously in a hand-dug cellar. Living above and protecting them were the Becks.Mr. Beck was a womaniser, a drunkard and a self-professed anti-Semite, yet he risked his life throughout the wa...

Details Clara's War

TitleClara's War
Release DateApr 3rd, 2008
PublisherEbury Press
GenreNonfiction, World War II, Holocaust, History, War, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography

Reviews Clara's War

  • Chrissie
    I am listening to the audiobook narrated by Rula Lenska and her tone is perfect for the author who is 81 when she writes the book. It is based on a diary that the author wrote when she was in her teens,living hidden in a bunker, dug out underneath a house in Galicia, Poland, which is of course now in the Ukraine. Whose house was it, and who was hiding them? A German, and not any old German. He is in fact anti-semitic, a drunk and a womanizer. Rul...
  • Lisa Vegan
    I loved this book. It was an amazing account of this woman, her family, her community, and what happened during the Holocaust in her area.At the beginning of the book is a family free and a floor plan of the hiding place. Both were very helpful and I frequently referred to both of them. There were a few pages in a bunch more toward the back of the book than the front of black and white photos of Clara, and some of the people important in her life...
  • Cheryl
    ...It would never even have occurred to me to wonder about what war felt like. War was something in Tolstoy, not in my life. It wasn't just the heartrending drama that moved me. Or the horrific ordeal called the Holocaust. Not even the fact that this is a true story, told from the point of view of a Polish-Jewish teenager. No. What really moved me was the idea that an "avowed anti-Semite, misanthorpe, and despiser of all authority" was the man w...
  • Samantha
    Clara's War is the most unbelievably astonishing and remarkably heart wrenching book I have ever read in my life. Is there is one book everybody in the world should read, it is this one. Told with the grace and emotions of Clara's life during the Holocaust, this is a story that you will never forget. It stays with you long after you read it. As a teenage girl, I cannot even begin to imagine going through what Clara and her family and friends did....
  • Benjamin Stahl
    The best stories and movies about the holocaust - what was arguably the most tragic occurence ever to darken the history of mankind - are the ones that don't so much focus on the terror and suffering that the Jewish people went through, but instead seem to highlight the strength and courage that these dark days summoned up in so many people, as they stuck together and supported each other, never losing hope that things would eventually be alright...
  • Barbara
    It would be so easy to enter into this review of this sad, sad story with a discussion of belief in God. Time after time, war after war, centuries heaped upon each other, there have been senseless, horrifying murders of innocents (sometimes in the name of religion). Yet people who recount these events relate their moments of prayer, how their prayers have saved them and attribute their salvation to their faith. It is not that they have ignored th...
  • Dominique Kyle
    When you walk round Zhovkva, Clara's home town, the huge burned out synagogue is still there, its ruins completely untouched because no-one knows what to do about it. When we knocked on the door of the huge civic buildings to ask if they had any records to look at, he said no, they'd all been taken to L'viv, and were we Jewish? No we weren't - my father in law's family lived in Zhovkva and at the start of the war the Russians invaded and took my ...
  • Lara
    This book blew me away. It is the nonfiction account of a Polish-Jewish teenager who, along with seventeen other people, lived in a hidden bunker underneath a house during the Holocaust - and survived. Does that explain why the book blew me away? I find it difficult to write about my feelings toward anything Holocaust-related without sounding trite, which I think is part of the reason why I have procrastinated on writing this review for as long a...
  • Laurie Notaro
    A must-read for anyone interested in Holocust memoirs and diaries. 18 people spent 18 months in a four-foot high hand-dug bunker under one the hidden's houses; their maid and her notirously anti-Semetic husband cared for them, risking their lives as Nazis and SS moved in. Harrowing, compelling and miraculous. Simply, but perfectly written. Highly recc.
  • Doreen Petersen
    Just as moving and heartfelt as The Diary Of Anne Frank. We must never forget. I would recommend this one to all.
  • Jaksen
    What a book. What a memoir. What a read.The story of Clara Kramer, a Jewish girl who hid with her family for a year and half in a 'bunker' under a house during WWII. In blue-lined notebooks and with a single pencil, Clara kept a diary of what happened to her, her family and three other families hiding with them. No review can do this justice. It's like trying to describe the Diary of Anne Frank and walking away shaking your head, thinking - my li...
    For some reason I am somewhat addicted to WWII survival stories and loved this one. Clara Kramer, a young teen at the time, kept diaries during their time in "the bunker" and this memoir is based upon those diaries and her recollections. Clara, her family and eventually 3 other families spent more than 18 months living in a crawl space under the home of a "righteous Christian family." This righteous Christian man was also a self proclaimed anti-S...
  • Jonathan
    Any and every Holocaust memoir is an important book by definition. This book stood out for me for several reasons. The quality of the writing is certainly one such reason. Even compelling stories are not always well organized and well told. This one is. Clara is a keen observer of the people and events around her. And the book she and her co-writer have drawn from the raw material of her diary makes great use her talent.Clara's War also helps us ...
  • Jaksen
    This review appears elsewhere on Goodreads. There are at least two titles for this book. This review can also be found under Clara's War, Clara KramerWhat a book. What a memoir. What a read.The story of Clara Kramer, a Jewish girl who hid with her family for a year and half in a 'bunker' under a house during WWII. In blue-lined notebooks and with a single pencil, Clara kept a diary of what happened to her, her family and three other families hidi...
  • Susanne Behrens
    I was profoundly touched by this book. I could not put it down. I wonder if I could find the strength needed to survive under the conditions Clara and her family had to live. I do not know how her parents and the other parents could go on with the tremendous personal losses they suffered. I highly recommend this book.
  • Katia Silva
    "O privilégio de sobreviver traz consigo a responsabilidade de partilhar a história daqueles que não sobreviveram." p.11"«Quando esta guerra acabar, apenas as korhony, as valas comuns, testemunharão que em tempos houve aqui um povo.»" p.41"Enquanto os Nazis e as SS se vangloriavam da sua coragem, por detrás das metralhadoras que apontavam aos desarmados e aos indefesos, não faziam ideia da verdadeira coragem que se manifestava à sua volt...
  • Correen
    There were 5000 Jews in Zolkiew, Poland before WWII and just 50 survivors afterwards. Of those, all soon left because of pogroms and discrimination. Clara and her family were among 18 persons who spent up to 18 months in a small bunker under the home of a very brave German spy who worked for the local police and withstood unspeakable odds to keep his charges safe. Clara documented this experience in a diary, now in the U.S. Holocaust Museum. This...
  • Karen
    Like reading Diary of Anne Frank, except they survive. This is a page turning tale of stupefying cruelty and deadly indifference set in Poland, where first the Russians, then the Germans, and then the Russians again after the War, terrorized the Polish, Jews and non-Jews alike. It is unfathomable to me that 18 people lived in a dug out hole under a house for two years, surviving only because of the goodness of a drunk, wife-beating Polish man. Si...
  • Akari T
    After reading Anne Frank's diary and learning about the Holocaust from a few other sources, I thought I'd gotten the whole picture. Oh boy, was I wrong! Clara Kramer (previously Schwarz) opened my eyes to another world far more dismal than Anne's. But who am I to compare these situations? No one can accurately describe the pain Holocaust victims and survivors felt other than themselves. However, I can say that Ms. Kramer allowed me to experience ...
  • Heidi
    How do you rate a book which so profoundly affects you and touches the deepest, darkest and scariest corners of your heart? And yet leaves me with a sense of hope and respect for the strength of the human spirit.This narrative is an amazing story of survival against all odds. For 18 months, 16 year old Polish-Jewish born Clara Schwarz and 17 other Jews (including 2 young children) hid in a dug-out bunker underneath the house of a “Volksdeutsche...
  • Serena | TheBookUnicorns
    This was, as all holocaust stories are, a very sad book. So many lives cut short, and so much hatred and cold-blooded killing. The fact that this was real makes it so much harder.Clara's War follows the life of a Polish Jewish teenager, Clara Schwarz (now Kramer), during the Holocaust. She survives with her family because of the bravery and generosity of the Becks, a family who hid them during the course of the war in a bunker underneath their ho...
  • Amy
    This book was intense. It told of the horrors this Jewish family and their friends had to endure in Poland. Overall it has a good message, but Clara Kramer tells it how it was - and the truth is sickening. This book is not for everyone, but I am glad I read it. I'd love to go to the museum in DC and see her diary from that time.5 - Writing Style (Well done.)5 - Kept me Awake at Night Reading (Yes, but it was pretty intense. I found myself needing...
  • leslie hamod
    Historical/memoire. Remarkable story of one Jewish woman's experience in Poland during WWII. Excellently told, stirring and emotionally charged. Reminiscent of The Book Thief. Highly recommend!
  • Ann Riley
    A young girl and most of her family survive the war by living under a neighbor's home in an underground bunker with 18 others for 28 months. An unbelievable and unimaginable experience. What we take for granted...
  • Birgitte Bach
    Rystende beskrivelse af det helvede Clara måtte igennem for at overleve den intensive og brutale Holocaust nazisterne satte i gang. Det er en skrækkelig beretning, men det er så vigtig at historierne bliver fortalte, så vi aldrig glemmer!
  • Becki
    Really enjoyed this book. A different perspective than being in a concentration camp - but still being held prisoner. I have actually never read The Diary of Anne Frank but this diary was very good.
  • Ann
    This book was hard to put down ... one of those that you want to just read in one sitting but don't have time to do so. And yet, the content is incredibly disturbing ... a grim reminder of the depths of human depravity and the powerful resilience of the human spirit in the face of incredible suffering.
  • Digna Cassens
    A real life horror from a child’s experience This book was absorbing, sad and most horrible, true. Each character comes alive and the terrors suffered became real while reading it.
  • AnnMarie
  • Laura
    This is one of those books that I hesitate to rate. I mean, the author, is just telling what happened to her and her side of the Holocaust and WWII. I was thinking about doing a discussion post and even started writing one, but then I couldn't think of anything to say. I mean, all I could think of was 'the Holocaust was bad' and 'this book definitely portrays that'. Which isn't much of a discussion post at all. So I've resigned myself to a review...