Clara’s War: One Girls’ Story of Survival, by Clara Kramer, is the riveting, heart-wrenching, triumphant, simply indescribable story of one young girl and her family during the hellish Holocaust years.
A Volksdeutsch (ethnically German family) living in Poland – Mr. Beck, his wife Julia and their daughter Ala – at great and constant risk to their own lives, hid – and cared for – 18 Jews in a bunker under their home. At various times during the war years, while the Jews hid below the home, up to 6 Nazis at a time occupied the ground level of the home.
Clara’s story is told in precise and terrifying, yet hopeful and inspiring, detail as she takes us underground with her. Of the 5,000 Jews living in Zolkiew, Poland before the war, sixty survived. This is the story of 18 Jews, who emerged alive at the war’s end, against every conceivable and imaginable odd.
Clara’s original diary – written by young Clara whenever there was enough light seeping into the bunker – is part of the permanent collection of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Note: The book contains minimal foul language, as well as references to relations between Mr. Beck (an alcoholic, womanizer and supposed anti-semite) and a number of women, but there are no descriptive scenes in the book whatsoever.