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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe, read by Marisa Calin.

For listeners of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Choice: this is the story of the smallest library in the world - and the most dangerous.

'It wasn’t an extensive library. In fact, it consisted of eight books and some of them were in poor condition. But they were books. In this incredibly dark place, they were a reminder of less sombre times, when words rang out more loudly than machine guns....’

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. 

And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles as well as the ‘living books’ - prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.

But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor....

©2019 Lilit Zekulin Thwaites (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Librarian of Auschwitz

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I can’t listen

The narrators voice is so clipped and fast that I just can’t bring myself to listen to this. Such a shame but appalling choice in reader.

5 people found this helpful

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Deeply moving.

This is not an enjoyable read but it will stay with you long after others have disappeared into the ether. Very glad to have found it.

4 people found this helpful

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A Must Read For All

A powerful, well researched and authenticated book by Spanish author Antonio Iturbe, is written with integrity and without sensationalisation. 

A true story highlighting hatred, fear, disbelief, experiment, courage, stupidity, love and intelligence. 

A tale of how the primal need to survive, or, indeed, destroy, promotes desensitisation, numbness, indifference and betrayal and how deep rooted, irrational condemnation of people can be forced upon humanity because it is so easy to hide behind the crowd than stand up and say no.

The story of survivor Dita Kraus whose imprisonment began, with her parents, when she was 14 years old. She risked her life to save a few beloved books whilst imprisoned in Auschwitz. The unfolding stories are heart rending.

The matter of fact recollection of what she, and others, knew and saw, is beyond imagination. There were many times that I had to stop reading to compose myself and others when I had to let tears flow until they stopped.

The authors notes at the end are essential to read. 

The opening is spoken by Dita Kraus who, mercifully, is still alive. So the book truly gets you at 'hello'.

Beautifully narrated by Narissa Calin - she, as so many fine narrators can, brought this tear jerking story to life.

It rightly topped The Sunday Times best sellers list and is one for all to read. Deserving of more than 5 stars.

3 people found this helpful

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  • DC
  • 12-05-19

moving story

such an insight into a horrible childhood and nightmare reality. Just wish things could been different.

3 people found this helpful

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Couldn't listen to narration anymore

The narrator totally over dramatises the reading and I couldn't listen anymore. My focus moved away from the story to the clipped delivery and dreadful accents. Bought the book and would recommend but NOT audible

1 person found this helpful

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the voice telling the story

the women reading this book sent me to sleep. it is ashame that a voice makes all the difference to the story telling. sorry

1 person found this helpful

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Oh my goodness !! What a journey this book is !!!

Oh wow … so glad I listened to this .. it’s July and the sunshine is flooding my garden and kitchen too … despite the weather I really didn’t want this book to end … the narrator’s voice is so clear and so soothing … I felt I was right there in the Camp … the history and empathy is second to none… you love those good, kind characters with all your heart .. I had tears in my eyes when I heard about what had happened to them all at the end …
I am so grateful to have experienced this book … if you didn’t believe in God or the Devil before reading this you will now !!!

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A must read

Brilliantly written. Brilliantly narrated.
We all heard about the atrocities of the concentration camps but this story shows the reality of humanity at its best and at its worst.
The bravery of some against the mad twisted cruel mind of others. It may be a fiction but it is based on a true story with real characters. Remarkable work. Very difficult read at times but we must remember. We must be aducated on the evil that can take over humans.

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A Must Read......

Unbelievable this is a book of History to be so proud of, so interesting hearing about these remarkable people! Great true story and well written.

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Reader made it almost unlistenable

The story was fascinating (aren’t they all?) but the reader made it almost unlistenable for me. The constant inflection on each sentence. The constant lilt, the breathy voice. Just no.