The Story of Blima, Holocaust Survivor a non-fiction book, by Shirley Russak Wachtel - Jimmy introduction. It is about a young woman who survives the holocaust during WWII. Blima was a strong person who did what she could to survive by having hope and great people to rely on, while dealing with the Nazi Germans cruelty. The people in Blima’s life helped and comforted her. Although the Nazi Germans treated her with hatred, these events comprised what Blima learned about herself. Blima always had someone to comfort her during stressful times. Blima’s mother helped Blima realize how important she was to her.
“And the truth is that you, of all my children, are most like me. In looks, perhaps. But more importantly, here she says, stroking the back of her hand across my forehead, and here, placing it now against my heart” (Page 23). Blima’s mother reminds her daughter that she is so much like herself. Blima is sent to a different camp, losing Gizella makes her think she will have no one there, she finds her sister-in-law Ruschia. Blima is happy to find her, and that some of her family is still alive. Blima almost faints from starving; Gizella gives her a piece of bread.
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“For the first time since my arrival at Grunberg I feel a fainting spell coming on. A chunk of thick rye bread floats before my eyes. Blima, she says, eat this bread now” (Page 71). Gizella was an important person that Blima relied on whom she also considered a mother. She helped Blima from starving and helped give her strength and the ability to survive. Blima’s strength and determination to survive the camp gave her hope that she would be set free. Blima is in the concentration camp for three years. “For three years I hang on surviving. But each day I feel will be the last before the door to freedom opens” (Page 78).
Blima is trying to stay strong and survive the camp, hoping she will be set free soon. Blima learned how to sew to stay alive. “Can you sew? I have no clue how to sew even a sock, but I tell her I can” (Page 67). Blima taught herself how to sew to avoid being killed. The Red Cross brings the Jews food. After three years in these camps, Blima is finally set free and the Red Cross brings everyone food and supplies to help them recover from the cruelty of the Nazis. The Nazi Germans cruelty and hatred for Jews, was shown when they starved, beat and killed the Jews.
They shaved the Jews heads, took their clothes, gave them wooden shoes, and tattooed numbers on them to be indentified. “The ribbon peel lies on the floor twisted in circles like a bright red rose. Then perhaps a dozen girls dive upon the floor pulling it apart” (Page 73). Due to being starved these girls went crazy for any food they seen. “Another female guard grabs my arm and tattoos a five digit number on it” (Page 58). Blima has a number tattooed on her to be indentified as a number, and is longer Blima. She has nothing left since they took their personal belongings.
“I dare not look at the fallen woman, but kept my eyes to the ground” (Page 54). The Nazis killed the Jews for complaining and trying to talk to them; they had no sympathy for the Jews and treated them like animals. The people in Blima’s life added to her strength to survive the Nazis. Blima always had someone to rely on, with that fact and her own inner strength, she was able to deal with the prejudice of the Jews and survive the holocaust. I admire Blima’s strength, at such a young age to be taken from your family and have to go through all of the turmoil. Reading her story, I cannot help but think there have been and will be more like her.