Mak­ing Bombs For Hitler

Mar­sha Forchuk Skrypuch
  • Review
By – February 14, 2014

Lida and her sis­ter, Laris­sa, kid­napped from their Ukrain­ian vil­lage by the Nazis in 1943, are sep­a­rat­ed in the first chap­ter of this pow­er­ful wartime sto­ry and the book fol­lows old­er sis­ter Lida as she wor­ries about Laris­sa and tries to sur­vive the hor­rors of a slave labor camp. She is aware of the plight of the Jews; her moth­er had tried to save a Jew­ish girl and had been shot for it and one of her fel­low inmates is also Jew­ish, unbe­knownst to their cap­tors. Both girls know that that dis­cov­ery of this fact will lead to imme­di­ate death. The sit­u­a­tion of pris­on­ers like Lida was not, of course, the same as that of Jews in concentra­tion camps but it was harsh and ter­ri­fy­ing and this piece of his­to­ry is not wide­ly known. One of Lida’s main tasks was the assem­bling of bombs for the use of the Ger­man war effort and she makes an effort to sab­o­tage as many bombs as she can. Some­how Lida man­ages to sur­vive and is reunit­ed with her sis­ter whose sto­ry is told in a com­pan­ion vol­ume, Stolen Child. This book is grit­ty, raw and excel­lent­ly writ­ten and tells the sto­ry in a mem­o­rable way. It is rec­om­mend­ed for ages 9 – 14.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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