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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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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About the Author
Author Gerda Weissmann Klein

Gerda Weissmann Klein was born in Bielsko, Poland, in 1924, and now lives in Arizona. Her husband, Kurt Klein, as a US Army lieutenant liberated Weissmann on May 7, 1945. The author of five books, she has received many awards and honorary degrees and has lectured throughout the country for the past forty-five years. Kurt and Gerda are the authors of The Hours After: Letters of Love and Longing in War’s Aftermath. One Survivor Remembers, winner of an Emmy Award and the Academy Award for documentary short subject, was based on All but My Life.