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Download The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister Audiobook, by Nonna Bannister Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,807 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nonna Bannister, Denise George, Carolyn Tomlin Narrator: Rebecca Gallagher Publisher: Oasis Audio, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781608144716
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Nonna Bannister carried a secret almost to her Tennessee grave: the diaries she kept as a young girl experiencing the horrors of the Holocaust while learning compassion and love for her fellow human beings. Nonna’s writings tell the remarkable tale of how a Russian girl, born into a family that had known wealth and privileges, was exposed to the concentration camps and learned the value of human life and the importance of forgiveness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a book for the ages.”

    Dr. Edward J. Coyne, Sr., Samford University

  • “This diary presents a unique historical and cultural insight into Russian life before and after the Holocaust.”

    Neta B. McKnight, professor of radiography, Jackson State Community College

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 2/17/2014

    " This book had a lot of good quotes and thoughts in it that made me think. The storyline is really good, but it is a little scattered. I felt really connected to this little girl by the end of the book, and my heart hurt for all she had to see and experience. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to others. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laurie Esposito | 2/9/2014

    " I feel that while the author certainly has an interesting story to tell, she should have gotten help putting it into a format that was not painful to read. While I understand that some of the "charm" of this book is the notes the author makes to herself and that it is her own words, but I found it redundant and boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 2/4/2014

    " Incredible account preserved & kept hidden from everyone until the last 10 years of her life. Unique view into the Holocaust. Haunting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peggy | 1/25/2014

    " Nonna Bannister hid the true story of her past even from her husband and children until the 1980's, and asked that it only be shared after her passing. Although like all Holocaust stories there is horror and pain, over half of this book is her memories of her childhood as a granddaughter of a Cossack to the last Tzar, and a childhood rich in the old Russian traditions that still lingered in some areas for the privileged until WWII was well underway. She lost her entire family, but carried their memories and teachings in her heart until she was ready to share them with others. Not as easy read, but captivating and well worth it. Rest in Peace Nonna. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vincent Nizza | 1/22/2014

    " I liked the story from a non Jewish survivors experience "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kylene Nickerson | 1/16/2014

    " Interesting book. Obvioulsy not great writing. So sad what so many people had to go through at that time. This was not a gripping book nor was it one I will probably remember much detail on in the future. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mindy W | 1/16/2014

    " A MUST read if you are intrigued about the events of the Holocaust!!! Heart wrenching, honest and wonderfully written! Nonna's story is on the level of Anne Frank, which I believe every sixth grader in our country has had to read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karyl | 1/8/2014

    " What cruelty was unleashed in the world during World War II! Nonna Bannister, born into a wealthy family in Russia, tells of an idyllic childhood, with loving parents and a caring big brother. In the early chapters of the book, she focuses on the Christmas of 1932, an extremely happy time for her entire extended family, as stark contrast to the horrors she witnessed during the Holocaust. Her father had attempted to send his family West before the Germans invaded but was unsuccessful. After sending her brother to safety (or so they thought; he was never heard from once the war started), Nonna and her parents return to her grandmother's Great House. Her father was discovered in hiding and beaten, dying of his injuries not long afterward. Nonna and her mother eventually decide to head to Germany on trains carrying people destined for labor camps, thinking anything would be better than staying in Russia between advancing German troops and retreating Russian troops, but it turns out horrifically for them. Sent to labor camps, half-starved and ill-treated, witnessing horrors that should never been seen, Nonna somehow clings to her faith. As an aside, I was amazed to see that Nonna had known Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn as a child. I had picked up from a used bookstore and read just recently his One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, another book detailing the horrors that man can inflict on his own kind. I do agree with others who say this book could have benefited from more editing. I read an eBook version of it on my Nook, and it took me a few chapters to realize that the first paragraph was an introduction written by the editors; it was difficult to know this since it was in no way set apart from the rest of the text. I did appreciate the small-print notes that did give more information than Nonna did, but I found the chronology a bit difficult to follow, as it went back and forth between time periods without notice. This little book really should be read by all, for without knowledge of history, we are destined to repeat it. It also shows that while Jews were the main sufferers of the Holocaust, it also swallowed up other people, of all faiths. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 1/6/2014

    " History. I love it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanbarto | 1/2/2014

    " Recommended to my students to read as part of our Holocaust unit at school. It is amazing what one person can go through and it is our job to tell so that we can help remember and pray that no one has to go through this again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renie Zaccardo | 12/27/2013

    " Interesting perspective. Markedly different treatment of the non Jews. But also horrendous conditions and at times unthinkable actions by the German soldiers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin perez | 12/22/2013

    " Great story. it was interesting to learn about Russia before Stalin and after Stalin and what happened to the Russians who lived near the border where Germany invaded. It was a sad story, but very well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 12/8/2013

    " Phenomenal book. It took Nonna a lot of courage to write this remarkable autobiography. There are many painful memories that I'm sure she would rather forget. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 8/22/2012

    " This woman's life was so upsetting, but she is amazing. Some of her experiences are so tragic, however, she writes a little bit eotionally disconnected from them, so I could read them. Very sad, very eye opening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carly | 6/15/2012

    " True, very sad story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tallie | 1/10/2012

    " Interesting accounts of WWII "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Niki Beagle | 10/23/2011

    " This book is good you will cry and laugh your way through it. A memoir that not only tells the story of the past but tells it in a way that helps ou understand a young girls growth into womanhood and the love of a child and her family. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 9/19/2011

    " This is one of those books that you will carry with you for your lifetime. I couldn't put it down and shed many tears while reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tuzoanime | 5/21/2011

    " I enjoyed her fun memories at her grandmas house and not so fun memories at the concentration camp. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 5/20/2011

    " I went to a presentation by the author's son and husband. That personal connection made the story more interesting.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nimbs | 5/20/2011

    " Sometimes the execution lacked something but that couldn't detract too much from the truly shocking things that happened to the author and the true story of survival the book contained. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 5/17/2011

    " This woman's life was so upsetting, but she is amazing. Some of her experiences are so tragic, however, she writes a little bit eotionally disconnected from them, so I could read them. Very sad, very eye opening. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 5/16/2011

    " Inspiring life experiences blended with strength,faith and hope. Loved the historical info shared along side the horrific true tale of one of the worst times in world history. Amazing story and amazing woman,
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 5/16/2011

    " Interesting slant on the holocaust from a Russian's point of view. She spent more time on her family background and childhood memories than her experiences of being in labor camps. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 5/14/2011

    " "Now I can only imagine what could be-but is not. I am not free, and yet not held imprisoned." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nannette | 5/9/2011

    " I liked this book, some of it is hard to read just because of what she went through. But anyone who enjoys history and is fascinated by WWII should read this book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 5/8/2011

    " Although it was a very sad story, I loved this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bethany | 5/5/2011

    " Compelling story, could have been better written but that's kind of not the point. Plus the ever-attractive free-on-the-Kindle deal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi | 5/5/2011

    " Wow!! The horrors of the Nazis never cease to amaze me. Amazing story of this woman's young life. All I can say is WOW! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 5/4/2011

    " While I thought this memoir was interesting, based on the title of the book it was not at all what I expected. I thought there would be a greater focus on her experiences with the Gestapo, SS Guards, etc. instead of all the nostalgia about the privileged life-style she led prior to WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 4/30/2011

    " It was a very good book that definitely pulls at your heart because it is so sad. I would recommend anyone that is interested in these type of stories because it makes you think about those times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Raymond | 4/29/2011

    " A story of a surviver of the holocaust.
    A few years before her death in 2004, Nonna translated her girlhood diaries into the last language she learned-English. Leaving us with a tragic story of her family.
    It never seizes to amaze me what people are capable off. The good and the bad. "

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About the Author

Nonna Bannister (1927–2004) was the author of The Secret Holocaust Diaries. The book is a collection of diary entries and memoirs written before, during, and after her time in a World War II German labor camp. Born in Russia, she emigrated to the United States in 1950.

About the Narrator

Rebecca Gallagher is an acclaimed voice-over artist with experience in commercials and audiobook narration. She was nominated for an Audie Award in 2010.