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The Librarian of Auschwitz

Narrated by: Marisa Calin
Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 13 & Up
4.5 out of 5 stars (164 ratings)

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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, read by Marisa Calin.

For listeners of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Choice: this is the story of the smallest library in the world - and the most dangerous.

'It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns....’

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. 

And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles as well as the ‘living books’ - prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor....

©2019 Lilit Zekulin Thwaites (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deeply moving.

This is not an enjoyable read but it will stay with you long after others have disappeared into the ether. Very glad to have found it.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I can’t listen

The narrators voice is so clipped and fast that I just can’t bring myself to listen to this. Such a shame but appalling choice in reader.

3 people found this helpful

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A Must Read For All

A powerful, well researched and authenticated book by Spanish author Antonio Iturbe, is written with integrity and without sensationalisation. 

A true story highlighting hatred, fear, disbelief, experiment, courage, stupidity, love and intelligence. 

A tale of how the primal need to survive, or, indeed, destroy, promotes desensitisation, numbness, indifference and betrayal and how deep rooted, irrational condemnation of people can be forced upon humanity because it is so easy to hide behind the crowd than stand up and say no.

The story of survivor Dita Kraus whose imprisonment began, with her parents, when she was 14 years old. She risked her life to save a few beloved books whilst imprisoned in Auschwitz. The unfolding stories are heart rending.

The matter of fact recollection of what she, and others, knew and saw, is beyond imagination. There were many times that I had to stop reading to compose myself and others when I had to let tears flow until they stopped.

The authors notes at the end are essential to read. 

The opening is spoken by Dita Kraus who, mercifully, is still alive. So the book truly gets you at 'hello'.

Beautifully narrated by Narissa Calin - she, as so many fine narrators can, brought this tear jerking story to life.

It rightly topped The Sunday Times best sellers list and is one for all to read. Deserving of more than 5 stars.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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moving story

such an insight into a horrible childhood and nightmare reality. Just wish things could been different.

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn't stop listening.

This book took over my life for days. Hated having to stop to sleep/work and do life haha...
But some parts had me in bits. So perhaps don't listen to this in a public place. Because people will thing you've had terrible news.

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A story not to be forgotten

Finishing this on VE day was symbolic. a harrowing story of survival, we must never forget.

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Truly amazing

No words for this incredible young woman. Truly harrowing but also truly amazing. I don’t mind the fictional parts as they are all one part of a truth. Well worth the read.

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A must read.

A moving story that everyone should read. The narrator was good in parts but struggled with some pronunciations.

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Touching, Revealing, Exceptional

A revealing and touching tale based on facts that have been well researched and have been enhanced by some very beautiful fictional writing.

This tale will make your eyes water, your heart will race, then it will break before you get to the final chapter.

A exceptional performance adds to the beauty of this audiobook - I can not recommend it highly enough

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Heart renching story told beautifully

I loved this audio book. I found it slightly difficult to remember all the characters but once I had listened for a while I felt like I knew each one inside and out. Dita is a wonderful woman and I truly also believe she is a hero.