Doris Bergen’s Adaptive Writing Style

The book begins with Marion Blumenthal, a young girl sleeping on her mother’s arm in a concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen, a town northwest of Berlin. Their fellow inmates are dying by the dozen. Marion vividly describes the horrors she experienced in the camp. Daily she found herself stepping over dead bodies that were just left strewn about. One of the worst torments was the daily roll call. They would stand in the below zero temperatures for hours on end with barely a layer of clothing to protect them from the frost.

There was one good part of her day however; Marion and her mom would spot her father and brother Albert, and for a few short moments they got to be a family. Albert and dad always brought “surprises”. They brought what “extra” food they had saved from the previous day. Marion would bring along her secret treasure; four perfect pebbles. Marion’s pebbles gave her a sense of purpose, and belief that it would keep her family together. The book flashes back Marion’s hometown, Hoya, Germany. Her family lived there along with her grandparents.

They owned a big house with three floors; the first floor housed their shoe and clothing shop, their grandparent’s home was on the second and theirs on the third. The Blumenthal family miserably watched as anti-Semitism escalated, and was forced to make hard decisions. They wished to somehow leave the country, but they couldn’t bear leaving their grandparents. The store was soon boycotted and shut down. The Germans stamped their papers with a ‘J’. Hatred and violence towards the Jews became unbearable as the Nazi party gained popularity. Soon, both their grandma and grandpa died and they began trying to make arrangements to flee to America.

The Blumenthal family had an affidavit in America, and was placed on a quota list, now they had to wait for their visa. While waiting for their visa to America, they escaped to Holland, with just a knapsack each. Once in Holland they got shifted from one refugee camp to another. The family was separated into separate bunks, leaving Marion terrified and crying all the time. One bright day in 1940 they got their visa to the United States. The Blumenthal family immediately booked the first available space in March. Marion turned five, and the family was adjusting in their small new home in Holland.

March came, and went; the ship was postponed to June. They waited and waited, until one terrible day, in late May, when the Germans invaded Holland. The Jews were herded to a concentration camp, where there would be daily transports taking people to Auschwitz. In fear of all that was going on, the Blumenthal family applied to go to Palestine as an “exchange Jew. ” In 1944 they got their papers and with great hope boarded the train to Celle. To the Blumenthal family’s great disappointment, instead of Palestine, the Germans brought them to Bergen-Belsen, an infamous death camp.

Cold, hungry, and completely degraded, the Blumenthal’s were stripped of all hope. They were living in terrible conditions. And all around them death was becoming a moment to moment occurrence. In 1945, they were marched onto a train headed to Germany. At this point Marion tells how people were dying from a typhus epidemic that was spreading rampantly. As they traveled, it became apparent that the war was coming to an end. Mr. Blumenthal passed away from Typhus just as the liberation was taking place. The Blumenthal’s used their long awaited visas and started a new life in America.

The Blumenthal family moved to Illinois, where Marion and Albert went to school, and where Marion later met her husband Nathaniel. One really touching episode in the book, was when a Nazi risked his life and gave Albert an apple. Despite Albert’s starvation and craving for a crunchy, juicy apple, he cut it up into pieces and distributed it to the other inmates. One freezing winter day Marion’s mother got some extra pieces of vegetables and a bit of water. Lying in bed with Marion, cold and hungry, she built a small fire and cooked up some soup with the pieces of extra vegetables and water.

To their surprise, an officer walked into the barracks, in haste they put out the fire and mistakenly the soup spilled on Marion’s leg. Marion just celebrated her tenth birthday, but did not utter a sound. She knew better than to cry out. That night Marion and her mom lost their soup but not their lives. The maturity and self discipline Marion was forced to exhibit truly struck me. The author writes how before life in the camps Marion’s dad was a proud and disciplined man, but during the days in Bergen-Belsen it must have hurt him terribly to watch his family suffer and to be unable to help them.

Once he has been a heroic defender of his country and a respected businessman, as well as a loving and caring husband and father. But the Nazi system had broken him down and robbed him of everything. I think this gives a glimpse of who the victim was before the war and what the Nazis have broken them to become. The physical, emotional and spiritual devastation is unfathomable, this gives an indication. The book’s conclusion, which tells of the Blumenthal family adapting to America, is uplifting.

It was humorous to read how Marion eats lots of chips dipped in mayonnaise, and gains a hundred pounds in a year, only to discover being heavy is really not so attractive. Marion begins to be more careful with the foods she eats and looses weight. Marion meets a really nice guy in synagogue and later marries him. The book begins with Marion Blumenthal, a young girl sleeping on her mother’s arm in a concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen, a town northwest of Berlin. Their fellow inmates are dying by the dozen. Marion vividly describes the horrors she experienced in the camp.

Daily she found herself stepping over dead bodies that were just left strewn about. One of the worst torments was the daily roll call. They would stand in the below zero temperatures for hours on end with barely a layer of clothing to protect them from the frost. There was one good part of her day however; Marion and her mom would spot her father and brother Albert, and for a few short moments they got to be a family. Albert and dad always brought “surprises”. They brought what “extra” food they had saved from the previous day. Marion would bring along her secret treasure; four perfect pebbles.

Marion’s pebbles gave her a sense of purpose, and belief that it would keep her family together. The book flashes back Marion’s hometown, Hoya, Germany. Her family lived there along with her grandparents. They owned a big house with three floors; the first floor housed their shoe and clothing shop, their grandparent’s home was on the second and theirs on the third. The Blumenthal family miserably watched as anti-Semitism escalated, and was forced to make hard decisions. They wished to somehow leave the country, but they couldn’t bear leaving their grandparents.

The store was soon boycotted and shut down. The Germans stamped their papers with a ‘J’. Hatred and violence towards the Jews became unbearable as the Nazi party gained popularity. Soon, both their grandma and grandpa died and they began trying to make arrangements to flee to America. The Blumenthal family had an affidavit in America, and was placed on a quota list, now they had to wait for their visa. While waiting for their visa to America, they escaped to Holland, with just a knapsack each. Once in Holland they got shifted from one refugee camp to another.

The family was separated into separate bunks, leaving Marion terrified and crying all the time. One bright day in 1940 they got their visa to the United States. The Blumenthal family immediately booked the first available space in March. Marion turned five, and the family was adjusting in their small new home in Holland. March came, and went; the ship was postponed to June. They waited and waited, until one terrible day, in late May, when the Germans invaded Holland. The Jews were herded to a concentration camp, where there would be daily transports taking people to Auschwitz.

In fear of all that was going on, the Blumenthal family applied to go to Palestine as an “exchange Jew. ” In 1944 they got their papers and with great hope boarded the train to Celle. To the Blumenthal family’s great disappointment, instead of Palestine, the Germans brought them to Bergen-Belsen, an infamous death camp. Cold, hungry, and completely degraded, the Blumenthal’s were stripped of all hope. They were living in terrible conditions. And all around them death was becoming a moment to moment occurrence. In 1945, they were marched onto a train headed to Germany.

At this point Marion tells how people were dying from a typhus epidemic that was spreading rampantly. As they traveled, it became apparent that the war was coming to an end. Mr. Blumenthal passed away from Typhus just as the liberation was taking place. The Blumenthal’s used their long awaited visas and started a new life in America. The Blumenthal family moved to Illinois, where Marion and Albert went to school, and where Marion later met her husband Nathaniel. One really touching episode in the book, was when a Nazi risked his life and gave Albert an apple.

Despite Albert’s starvation and craving for a crunchy, juicy apple, he cut it up into pieces and distributed it to the other inmates. One freezing winter day Marion’s mother got some extra pieces of vegetables and a bit of water. Lying in bed with Marion, cold and hungry, she built a small fire and cooked up some soup with the pieces of extra vegetables and water. To their surprise, an officer walked into the barracks, in haste they put out the fire and mistakenly the soup spilled on Marion’s leg. Marion just celebrated her tenth birthday, but did not utter a sound.

She knew better than to cry out. That night Marion and her mom lost their soup but not their lives. The maturity and self discipline Marion was forced to exhibit truly struck me. The author writes how before life in the camps Marion’s dad was a proud and disciplined man, but during the days in Bergen-Belsen it must have hurt him terribly to watch his family suffer and to be unable to help them. Once he has been a heroic defender of his country and a respected businessman, as well as a loving and caring husband and father. But the Nazi system had broken him down and robbed him of everything.

I think this gives a glimpse of who the victim was before the war and what the Nazis have broken them to become. The physical, emotional and spiritual devastation is unfathomable, this gives an indication. The book’s conclusion, which tells of the Blumenthal family adapting to America, is uplifting. It was humorous to read how Marion eats lots of chips dipped in mayonnaise, and gains a hundred pounds in a year, only to discover being heavy is really not so attractive. Marion begins to be more careful with the foods she eats and looses weight. Marion meets a really nice guy in synagogue and later marries him.