Author: Ellie Midwood
Book: The Violinist of Auschwitz
Publication Day: Nov 18 2020
Auschwitz, 1943: In the depths of hell, can hope rise? And can love triumph over hatred?
Based on the unforgettable true story of Alma Rosé, The Violinist of Auschwitz brings to life one of history’s most fearless, inspiring and courageous heroines. Alma’s bravery saved countless lives, bringing hope to those who had forgotten its meaning…
In Auschwitz, every day is a fight for survival. Alma is inmate 50381, the number tattooed on her skin in pale blue ink. She is cooped up with thousands of others, torn from loved ones, trapped in a maze of barbed wire. Every day people disappear, never to be seen again.
This tragic reality couldn’t be further from Alma’s previous life. An esteemed violinist, her performances left her audiences spellbound. But when the Nazis descend on Europe, none of that can save her…
When the head of the women’s camp appoints Alma as the conductor of the orchestra, performing for prisoners trudging to work as well as the highest-ranking Nazis, Alma refuses: “they can kill me but they won’t make me play”. Yet she soon realizes the power this position offers: she can provide starving girls with extra rations and save many from the clutches of death.
This is how Alma meets Miklos, a talented pianist. Surrounded by despair, they find happiness in joint rehearsals, secret notes, and concerts they give side by side––all the while praying that this will one day end. But in Auschwitz, the very air is tainted with loss, and tragedy is the only certainty… In such a hopeless place, can their love survive?
This devastatingly heartbreaking yet beautifully hopeful tale proves that even in the darkest of days, love can prevail––and give you something to live for. Fans of The Choice, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Orphan Train will lose their hearts to this magnificent tale.
Ellie Midwood’s The Violinist of Auschwitz is so powerful and so meaningful and has quickly become my top read of 2020.
Midwood’s beautiful and heartbreaking writing flows effortlessly and really captures a time in history that was filled with atrocities that are hard to imagine. Yet, prisoners of Auschwitz-Birkenau faced suffering and cruelty beyond measure.
This is a true story about Alma Rose, a gifted violinist from Vienna. She finds herself held prisoner in Auschwitz-Birkenau and is made the head of the orchestra in the women’s camp forced to perform for prisoners and members of the SS. Alma is a fighter and vows to ensure the safety of her girls in the orchestra, often standing up for those in need to prevent needless deaths and atrocities. Alma’s story is heartbreaking and emotional, but also shows her strength when faced with the horrifying injustice, needless killings, and horrendous conditions many Jews faced during WWII in concentration camps.
Midwood shows through her writing how Alma, with her violin, is a symbol of hope and how something as beautiful as music and suffering can coexist at the same time. I could see this through many passages in this story how music brought the prisoners together and gave them hope even if it was momentarily. Midwood has really done her research and it shows time and time again page by heartbreaking page. I have read a lot of WWII books and while I loved many of them, The Violinist of Auschwitz really made me stop and think about our history and the Holocaust and how important it is to hear the stories from survivors of one of the most devastating times in our lifetime. I don’t think anything in our history can ever compare to what Holocaust survivors went through. More and more survivors are dying each year and an article I recently read estimates that by the year 2030 only 50,000 survivors may still be alive. It hits you right in the gut just thinking about it.
In no way can I ever give this story the justice it so deserves. This is definitely a book meant for your keeper shelves.
Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, The Girl from Berlin.’ Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.
In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.
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