Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Auschwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks.
As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.
Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.
But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families—so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.
Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.
About The Author
This is a story of survival, and we put faces on some of these people,
first we meet Gretl a six year old on her way to Auschwitz, and Jakob
who was a freedom fighter. Jakob ends playing a major part in Gretl's
life, and we follow this young girl from Poland to South Africia.
I loved most of the people put in Greti's life, and how she survives.
This is a war story, a love story, and a survival story, and once you begin this book, you will not want to put it down.
Wish I could have continued on reading of Greti's life!