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Publisher's Summary

For half a century, a terrible secret lay hidden, locked in a trunk in an attic... photos, official documents, and scraps of a diary written by a young girl. "The time has come when I must share my life story... some facts from the past that could make a contribution, however small it may be, to the history of mankind." The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a haunting eyewitness account of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, a remarkable Russian-American woman who saw and survived unspeakable evils as a young girl.
For half a century, she kept her story secret while living a normal American life. She locked all her photos, documents, diaries, and dark memories from World War II in a trunk. Late in life, she unlocked the trunk, first for herself, then for her husband, and now for the rest of the world. Nonna's story is one of suffering, torture, and death - but also of incredible acts of kindness that show the ultimate triumph of faith and love over despair and evil.
The Secret Holocaust Diaries is in part a tragedy, yet it's also an unforgettable true story about forgiveness, courage, and hope.
©2009 Nonna Bannister (P)2009 Oasis
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Elizabeth on 01-29-17

Incredible story, beautiful narration

The first thing that grabbed me was the narrator's voice. So very pleasant that I just wanted to pull up a chair and listen. But she wasn't limited to "sweetness and light." When tragic things had to be communicated, she did so with real feeling. I would happily listen to her again.
True, she stumbled over a few of the foreign words and names, but I couldn't bring myself to take a star away from such an excellent performance.

As for the story: It is absolutely vital that it be told and retold. And don't fear that it will be a depressing book even though much of it is hard. Much of the story highlights the beauty of good and loving hearts which refused to give in to hate. This is an excellent narrative which should be widely heard.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Michelle on 04-11-12

Sad , true story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The book has a realism that is riveting. It is unfortunate the author kept it secret for so long. There is so much to be learned by her story and I am sure it's length would have filled volumes. Since I listed to the audio version, I wonder if a sample of the journals the author kept are included in the book.

What other book might you compare The Secret Holocaust Diaries to and why?

It is comparable to Anne Frank, but of two nationalities one more persecuted that the other. Both from the childs point of view.

Which character – as performed by Rebecca Gallagher – was your favorite?

Nona the child

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was saddened that intelligent people can treat one another in such a dispicable manner for perceived or real slights.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Helen on 06-28-12

Seen Through The Eyes of a Child

This one was difficult to listen to because of all the editors notes in between various sections throughout the book. I found it almost impossible to keep up with at first but once I got used to the style in which the book was put together and reminded myself that the entire text was put together from various bits of paper with scribbles on in five different languages compiled over several years mainly during Nona's childhood, it all came together and I was able to get through it. So glad I did as I learnt a great deal from this one.

Some parts of the book are quite graphic depicting first hand eye witness accounts of atrocities seen through the eyes of a child, a young Nona fighting to stay alive herself. So keep that in mind when listening through speakers if there are any young children within earshot.

Strength and courage, the will to survive, its all there in this one which leaves little to the imagination.

Three out of five stars because there are some very long winded descriptions of past pre-war family times together and the editors notes scattered throughout. Aside from those two issues, the book is well worth the listen, it gives a good insight into what it was like to be living in Russia during the invasion, the deportations of Jews and how Nona survived and went on to live the life she had in the end.

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