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Extended Audio Sample All but My Life, by Gerda Weissmann Klein Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (5,434 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gerda Weissmann Klein Narrator: Grace Conlin Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781455173358
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All but My Life is the basis for the Academy Award–winning documentary from HBO, One Survivor Remembers.

This is the unforgettable story of Gerda Weissmann Klein’s six-year ordeal as a victim of Nazi cruelty. From her comfortable home in Bielitz, Poland, to her miraculous survival and her liberation by American troops—including the man who was to become her husband—in Volary, Czechoslovakia, Gerda takes us on a terrifying journey.

Gerda’s serene and idyllic childhood is shattered when Nazis march into Poland on September 3, 1939. Although the Weissmanns were permitted to live for a while in the basement of their home, they were eventually separated and sent to German labor camps. Over the next few years, Gerda experienced the slow, inexorable stripping away of “all but her life.” By the end of the war she had lost her parents, brother, home, possessions, and community; even the dear friends she made in the labor camps, with whom she had shared so many hardships, were dead.

Despite her horrifying experiences, Klein conveys great strength of spirit and faith in humanity. In the darkness of the camps, Gerda and her young friends manage to create a community of friendship and love. Although stripped of the essence of life, they were able to survive the barbarity of their captors. Gerda’s beautifully written story gives an invaluable message to everyone. It introduces them to last century’s terrible history of devastation and prejudice yet offers them hope that the effects of hatred can be overcome.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Soul-searching and human…A moving personal testament to courage.”

    New York Times

  • “Gerda Weissmann Klein moves you, and not just because the story she can tell is so horrific. It is the passion with which she looked through the horror and found a heart-felt and basic goodness in humanity.”

    Boston Globe

  • “An unforgettable reading experience…All but My Life is one of the most beautifully written human documents I have ever read. In this respect it is as sensitive and ‘disturbing’ a story as is The Diary of Anne Frank.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon Huether | 1/19/2014

    " All But My Life:A Memoir By Gerda Weissmann Klein This story really moved me. The author as a teenage was sent to the labor camps during WWII. Decisions were hard to make, she made the right one, keeping her alive. She always had a happy spirit with encouraged the young girls around her. She made up skits,stories and plays for a diversion. She endured loss of family and all the girls she knew where she was in the labor camps. She fell in love with the American soldier that helped rescure her and other when liberation came. She came to America with her soldier husband, raised a family and helped other Jews. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neeka27 | 12/26/2013

    " This was such an excellent book. I loved her moving tributes to the people in her life. The only thing I felt was missing were photographs of her family. I so wanted to put a face to her family and Abek. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ღmrs. Jemmingsღ | 12/7/2013

    " This is the best book I have ever read. I think everyone should read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiffani Leadingham | 11/28/2013

    " All about being Jewish during the Holocaust and living to tell the tale. Read it for English, and it's probably the first book I've been told to read that I enjoyed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilisa Wynn | 10/8/2013

    " I met Gerda and listened to her speak at the highschool. She is a survivor of the Holocaust. Great story and history of the events that took place. She is a remarkable women who loves America and wishes for all who live here to contirbute to this great place. She is in her early eighties and is a wonderful person. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric Heff | 8/5/2013

    " Moving and heartfelt memoir by a holocaust survivor. While there is nothing new or different in this book when compared to other holocaust book, the writing is solid and the events that took place still seem almost unbelievable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 8/1/2013

    " I love this book. I need to go buy it now. This book is about the horrors of the Holocaust yes, but it also shows how even when it seems like no one has their humanity anymore there are,and always will be, people who have hearts and show compassion. Who are human. This book is filled with sadness yet also with hope. With loss but also with happiness. "Look to the helpers, in times of tragedies, you will always find people who are helping." (view spoiler)[ It amazes me, how Ilse and the other girls have practically nothing, yet they constantly give to Gerda. Like Ilse had that one raspberry she found, and instead of eating it she gave it to Gerda. Also, Frau Kugler. Amazing how much compassion and heart she had. (hide spoiler)] Seriously. It amazes and inspires me to see how much humanity people had during times of despair. I phrased my feelings horribly but I think if you read this book, then you'll understand "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 7/31/2013

    " This is an excellent book, and I highly it to everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allie Kaufman | 7/28/2013

    " This is a Holocaust memoir. Expect tears. No matter how many times I read it, it is still shocking to me what we are capable of as humans, for better and for worse. This is another put-your-life-into-perspective book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 7/15/2013

    " Haunting, heart felt, horrifying, hopeful, not only was Gerda Weissmann Klein able to tell her story, but also the story of others who are no longer able to tell their own. She was also able to give you the feeling of hope where no hope should have been found. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 7/13/2013

    " A moving story of optimism and hope amid tragic circumstances. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie Martin | 7/7/2013

    " I read this in 6th grade and got to meet the author. The best book about the Holocaust, hands down. The amount of detail is incredible. It's very easy to imagine going through the Holocaust yourself, which makes it all the more effective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steph | 6/23/2013

    " Another amazing story of the human spirit during the holocaust. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trudy | 5/16/2013

    " I first read this book in high school, but have read it several times since. A first hand account of the Holocaust written by Gerda Klein. This book tells of such courage, hope and strength of the human spirit. One of my all time favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robyn | 5/3/2013

    " The journey you go on! I was overwhelmed w/emotions! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendie Joy | 12/22/2012

    " This book is amazing- very honest and inspiring. It is a lovely story, with sad and happy irony. The author is a hero and a true storyteller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monica | 10/2/2012

    " Powerful book. I was truely an amazing story of what this woman went through at such a young age. She faced so many challenges and overcame them all. Fasinating! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pattie | 3/15/2012

    " Probably my favorite book like it. I rank it similar to 'Night' by Elie Wiesel "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tahgi Hood | 1/16/2012

    " awesome book.very touching,i recommend this book to everyone to read about what happened to the jews all those years ago. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew Allred | 1/11/2012

    " I personally love true stories and this book just hit me in my soul i loved the book yet wanted to cry at the same time it was a very gripping story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 9/29/2011

    " Such a good book- everyone should read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annaleise | 8/30/2011

    " This is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. Gerda tells here story with dignity and humanity. A slow start, but a true reflection of how the war played out and her part in it - it's stunning to believe these events happened at all, and even more so to realise that anyone survived. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tricia Mills | 7/10/2011

    " This was a fantastic book, very moving and hard to read at points, but so good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaelawhalea | 5/22/2011

    " This book is very sad. The fact that it is a memoir really increased the shock factor. Definitely recommend it to people who are curious about the Holocaust. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mcrare | 5/18/2011

    " Amazing book. Amazing person. Gerda spoke at my high school. She is incredible to witness "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 5/10/2011

    " I personally love true stories and this book just hit me in my soul i loved the book yet wanted to cry at the same time it was a very gripping story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 4/12/2011

    " How were they able to survive?....and how cruel people can be.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachelle | 4/5/2011

    " Through a series of miracles this teenage girl survives the death camps of WWII and lives to write a memoir about her experience. I am very thankful for the smallest of blessings. Amazing woman and a good author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara | 4/5/2011

    " read in english class. not really one of my favorite books. but I thought it was okay "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna | 3/28/2011

    " Heartwrenching but beatiful story about triumph over tragedy during the Holocaust. Brief love story involved as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 3/19/2011

    " A sad story but told with courage and hope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaelawhalea | 3/4/2011

    " This book is very sad. The fact that it is a memoir really increased the shock factor. Definitely recommend it to people who are curious about the Holocaust. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 2/21/2011

    " A great memoir. She did an excellent job writing this book. Another amazing story of the struggles they all went through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/21/2011

    " Gerda Weissmann survived Nazi Germany living in work camps and concentration camps. An incredible story of a woman who refused to die. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claudia | 2/17/2011

    " Incredible book; gives a lot more details than the documentary. The strength of this woman is amazing. She just received the Medal of Freedom from Pres. Obama. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 2/7/2011

    " Heartbreaking to read about losing her family but a classic example of how the worst of tragedies can bring out the best of humanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fern | 1/25/2011

    " I really liked the portrayal of the Holocaust in this story and the positive aspect to it. One of the better books about the Holocaust "

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