A Holocaust Story


Roberta Kagan’s ‘A Holocaust Story’ series explores the harrowing experiences of Jews and their acquaintances during the rise of Nazi Germany, encapsulating themes of forbidden love, survival, and sacrifice. In Book 1, Eli Kaetzel, a Jewish man, forms a dangerous and forbidden friendship with Gretchen, an Aryan girl, amidst Adolf Hitler’s ascent to power. This bond tests familial expectations and societal norms against a backdrop of growing anti-Semitism.

Book 2, “The Darkest Canyon,” delves into Gretchen’s secret relationship with Eli, now hiding in her basement with his wife, Rebecca. The tension escalates as Gretchen’s friend Hilde, a guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp, poses a potential threat to uncovering this dangerous secret.

In Book 3, Benjamin Rabinowitz sends his wife and son away from the Lodz ghetto, uncertain of their fate, while Ilsa Guhr, yearning for power, exploits her allure in Nazi Germany, setting the stage for their unlikely crossing of paths.

Book 4 brings a heart-wrenching decision for Zelda, a mother in the Lodz Ghetto, as she attempts to save her children from deportation. Tragically unable to join them in their escape, her children, Solomon and Sarah, embark on a perilous journey through a world filled with hostility and danger, finding hope in acts of kindness.

Throughout the series, Kagan paints a vivid picture of individuals grappling with dire circumstances, showcasing the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity.