Parents desperate to protect their children, handed them over to strangers to be boarded on trains that would take them to safety. Zinser has written a heart-wrenching, epic story that follows lives of several children that survived as well as the fates of their families ; from the beginning occupation through the end of the war. Zinser takes readers from escape of occupied territories, into hiding, to safety, the concentration camps; and then back undercover behind enemy lines.
Here's the description from the publisher: In November on The Night of the Broken Glass, the Jewish people of Germany are terrified as Hitler's men shatter their store windows, steal and destroy their belongings, and arrest many Jewish fathers and brothers. Parents fear for their own lives but their focus is on protecting their children. When England arranges to take the children out of Germany by train, the Kindertransport is organized and parents scramble to get places on the trains for their young family members, worried about what the future will hold.
Soon, trains filled with Jewish children escaping the Nazis chug over the border into Holland, where they are ferried across the English Channel to England and to freedom. When the Coventry farm is bombed and Nazis have reached England, Peter feels he has nothing left. It's a story of fear, torture, loss, hope, freedom, survival and most important of all-- it's a story of heroism of epic proportions.
A freight car like those used to transport prisoners to the concentration camps. A freight car like those used to transport prisoners, per car, to the concentration camps. At Museum Stutthof. As someone that has had an ongoing interest in Holocaust studies and education, what I really like about The Children's Train is that this novel gives the reader an in depth look; both in varying viewpoints and through a broad scope of experiences, making it a perfect introductory-look into the history of the Holocaust. It is thoroughly engaging from start to finish.
After reading, you not only have a better picture of the many devastating situations endured by Holocaust victims and survivors; you also have a clearer understanding of Nazi and German not mutually inclusive people's positions and actions. Yes, some believed in Hitler's plan of hate. Others acted based on financial reasoning and many more out of fear. The subject matter may be a little heavy for young readers but I'd certainly recommend it for high school through adults. Zinser tells the story simply, without over-dramatizing or trying to be graphically-shocking.
By the very nature of the events, even through the author's delicate handling, it might be too overwhelming for younger children. The young lives of Peter, Eva and all the others will tug at your heart and inspire you. You'll discover hope in humanity though quiet, unassuming acts of courage and heroism; and mourn the lives of those that were lost.
Though 10, children may have been spared by the Kindertransport; 6 million Jews lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis -- many of them children. This is their unforgettable story. The Nazi monster, Adolph Hitler, had risen to power in Germany, and he didn't like Jews, not even the small ones. They were no longer allowed in the parks, then they were banned from the swimming pools. Their safe, secure world began to turn upside down. By measured, deliberate increments, the violence and exclusion continued. Peter's father was a WW I decorated hero. He had fought alongside Hitler and his Nazi thugs as patriots, brothers in arms, only a few years before.
Peter cannot understand why he is now considered less than human and hated, just for being Jewish. The confusion over the concept of hatred turns to dread. Synagogues and books are burned. Leaving Germany now requires permission, paperwork and money. Any control over their lives begins to slip away along with all human rights.
Children are called "rats" as they are rudely escorted out of school and told not to come back. The Night of the Broken Glass destroys shops, businesses and the means of making a living. The targeting escalates. Homes are destroyed or commandeered by non-Jewish Germans. Being Jewish is now approximates a death sentence. Devastation morphs into unspeakable, unrelenting horror. Jews are beaten, arrested and killed. Or they just disappear in the night. Unknown to the Jewish population, it has only just begun.
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After The Night of Broken Glass, England organized a a program offering safe haven to Jewish children up to the age of The children traveled by train to Holland and were then ferried to England. Ten thousand children were saved. Kindertransport continued until Holland was invaded and Germany closed its border. This is a story of the parental heartbreak of sending terrified children away to save them and also the story of the children who did not get a seat on a train. The concentration camps received the children who missed the train.
Peter was eleven, his sister Becca was six, when they arrived in England. Their father was dead by this time and their mother could not bear to part with baby Lily. She kept Lily with her in Germany. All was not good for the children who survived the Nazi reign of terror. After arriving in England, Peter and Becca were separated.
Peter was selected by a cruel farmer and his wife as a free farmhand. He was worked to the point of exhaustion daily. Becca was selected by a family that treated her well. Most of the rescued children never saw their parents again and were subjected to the numerous Blitz bombings in England. The story follows Peter as he eventually joins the Jewish resistance to wreak havoc with the Nazi war effort.
I highly recommend this novel, it should be required reading for middle and high school students so this history can never be repeated. ARC courtesy of the author and publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. My first time in Amsterdam, I tried to go to the Anne Frank museum. In college I wrote a paper about the different ways people escaped, including this, and I went to a play about it a couple of years ago. The only problem I had with the plotting was the occurrence of too many coincidences, especially Peter when he infiltrates Germany and Poland and runs into so many people he knew before he left.
Then you would have died alone. Although this is a novel and the individuals are not real, the author was able to paint a picture of these times and places in a way that made them come alive in a heart-wrenching way. The story jumps between the viewpoints of several of the children and the families they left beh "Where there is life, there is hope. The story jumps between the viewpoints of several of the children and the families they left behind as well as the lives of children unable to escape, showing the wide variations in lives led based on what boils down to the luck of the draw.
This would be a good novel for late elementary to maybe early high school as a companion to talking about WWII and the Holocaust. A picture and story from Humans of New York a few years back really stuck with me and came to mind several times during the story. The woman said: "I lived in Poland, so we were persecuted from the first day of the war.
First they took us from our home, then they put us in a ghetto, then they made us march, then they sent us to the camps. I was separated from everyone, but my brother later told me that my father froze to death. But I have children now, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren-- a great big family, all of them educated. Look at everything that came from just one person who escaped.
Just goes to show that you can never kill a people with hate. There will always be someone left to carry on. Full disclosure - I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Aug 29, MaryAnn rated it it was amazing. This is definitely a book that I'd recommend for older elementary school kids, maybe 5th or 6th grade and up. Our daughters visited concentration camps while on a field trip with their school while in Germany and I wish everyone had a chance to do so.
No one would doubt the Holocaust if they experienced such a trip. That said, this book showed a side of the war that not everyone has heard of, that of the Kindertransport that took some of the Jewish children to safety in England. The book starts o This is definitely a book that I'd recommend for older elementary school kids, maybe 5th or 6th grade and up.
The book starts out with some of the milder interactions between some of the Nazis and the Jewish people, but those interactions quickly escalate and get very ugly, very quickly, most likely this happened similarly in real life. The book can be hard to read, especially for people that just can't understand how people could be so cruel to other human beings. I think it's something important for people to remember though, especially children today, because I think the history of Hitler and the Third Reich isn't taught as much as it should be. I'd definitely recommend this.
Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It was read with the expectation of an honest review and in no way did that affect the way I reviewed this book. Unfortunately, there was a true part to this story and a reason why this book could be written with this background. A sad, tragic background. I found this book to be very interesting and actually very intense.
I found myself holding my breath through quite a lot of it. It seemed as though someone was always close to danger. I think the writer did a great job with the story and while it is a tragic one, I found it to be very entertaining and I did not want to put the book down. I was defi 5 stars!
I was definitely cheering for the these children. I was also thinking how hard it would be to just hand off my child to a stranger in order to assure they would live. That would have to be one of the hardest things to do. Letting that little baby go would have killed me. And then living with the consequences of that father who pulled his son off. And that horrible mother who let her arrogant criminal son go instead of her young innocent daughter?
That was the worst tragedy. I can't believe the daughter still loved her mother and cared for her. But then one could go on and on discussing the pros and cons of why a parent should have or should not have done what they did. That parent has to live with what they did.
And, it is only just a story. But I'm sure some of those things did happen. I liked seeing the children's version of what was going on around them. I've read several books regarding WWII, but this is the first one from the the children's point of view and I definitely enjoyed reading it. It was insightful, poignant and really worth reading. I highly recommend doing so. Aug 25, Fiona Mccormick rated it it was amazing. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The main character is Peter, an 11 year old talented violin player who is separated from his family when evacuated to England.
As he grows up, he becomes an underground resistance fighter and on occasion, uses his violin to help 'free the Jewish people' as he had been I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. As he grows up, he becomes an underground resistance fighter and on occasion, uses his violin to help 'free the Jewish people' as he had been predicted to do. We follow his life and those of his friends and family from the beginning of the persecution of the Jews in Germany through till the end of the war.
The book is heartrending and at times difficult to read due to the subject matter, but I believe this type of book must be written and read to keep the memories of the evil that happened during the Holocaust alive, and to help prevent it ever happening again. It is a work of fiction but the situations depicted are ones that happened again and again to real life families all over Europe before and during the war.
It is very well written, realistic and sometimes quite stark, never flinching from the truth of the situation. I would definitely recommend this book. Dec 04, Jes rated it liked it. To me this book covered too many topics and characters without enough depth into any of them. I wished the author had focused more on the Kindertransport and its background, but the focus was mo 2. I wished the author had focused more on the Kindertransport and its background, but the focus was more on the experience of one character, Peter, who ultimately joined the resistance.
While heartwarming and hopeful, much of that story line seemed contrived and unbelievable without more detail a 15 year old dressed in a random Nazi uniform can cross easily back into Germany and steal important files from Nazi offices without question? I think this must be geared toward a younger audience. Still, the story is fast moving and interesting, if lacking in depth, and made me think hard about the heroic and tragic decision of so many parents to put their children on train to England to save their lives, likely never to see them again.
Jan 04, Gary rated it it was ok. The book started out fairly well, became fanciful, and then deteriorated into the ridiculous. Most annoying was the constant coincidences that were just too much. It did grab at me, at times, when the story detailed some of the cruelty, and the story of the children, on the trains, was emotional but, unfortunately, the rest didn't hold up. I just do not believe that the author had much real knowledge of WWII, making some silly mistakes or assumptions view spoiler [ e.
Policemen ran concentration camps? I don't think so. Being able to just seemingly walk into occupied Poland with no problems? Returning, at will, to England? And the rescue of Peter's two friends, in Berlin, was so over the top it was laughable.
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Sorry, this didn't have the authenticity that it needed. I was very grateful to be able to download and read this book for free by Netgalley. I realise that this book is a work of fiction but the 'kindertransport', organised to rescue children from Nazi Germany was real. Jana Zinser brings us such realistic characters that it is easy to see them as true victims.
There are times that the book makes difficult reading, mainly because it is beyond our comprehension that these events took place but there is also a positive feel, as we are reminded of the w I was very grateful to be able to download and read this book for free by Netgalley.
There are times that the book makes difficult reading, mainly because it is beyond our comprehension that these events took place but there is also a positive feel, as we are reminded of the wonderful people who organised and funded the 'kindertransport'. A great historical fiction novel.
Feb 05, Franny Burd rated it really liked it. A well-written and sensitive account of the trains that attempted to take the Jewish children to safety during WWII. Are there sections that are ugly and disturbing? Yes, because you can't write an accurate story of Nazi atrocities without it being ugly and disturbing. Sep 11, Julia rated it it was amazing. It is written from the point of view of the Jewish people. The novel zooms in on a small group of individuals. They are a microcosm for what affected millions and not just in Germany.
We follow the plight of several families from their homes and lives where liberties are eroded to the kindertransport to the ghetto to the gas chambers. The reader witnesses the full horror of what life was like when you were Jewish in Nazi Germany. There is both bravery and desperation of parents relinquishing their children on a train to a better life in England.
As lives are extinguished so hope is extinguished too. It feels like the world has abandoned the Jewish people to their fate. Some possess a fighting spirit, for others it is just too much. A particularly moving scene for me involved Eddie and Otto towards the end of the war. I shall say no more but let you read it yourselves. The literary device of pathetic fallacy was used as the weather mirrored the mood. We must never forget the evil done to the innocents — the six million who perished and the others who survived. Aug 16, Shirley rated it really liked it Shelves: books , historical-fiction.
I had heard about The Children's Train before and was glad to have the opportunity to read this novel. Knowing this is based on real events in our history made it more compelling. I can hardly believe that people could treat other people with such disdain and such terrible treatment and torture. I know the story was to celebrate all those children who were ultimately saved by being taken from their families to new homes in England, but yet there was so much of the story telling about those left I had heard about The Children's Train before and was glad to have the opportunity to read this novel.
I know the story was to celebrate all those children who were ultimately saved by being taken from their families to new homes in England, but yet there was so much of the story telling about those left behind. Heart wrenching, appalling and so very sad. It is written in a very simple style which makes it a quick read. Or maybe it was a quick read for me because I was so caught up in it! The contrast between the life in England that some of the children had next to the treatment of their families back in Germany really painted a black and white picture.
I know the atrocities were the same for the Jewish people and I have read other books from this horrible time in history that told of similar treatment.
But there were a couple of events that sounded just like The Storyteller by Jodie Picoult. So riveting. So chilling. So suspenseful. Zinser used so many characters that I felt like I knew this neighborhood. It's one thing to have read a few pages in a history about the horrors experienced by Jews, and quite another to experience it through the eyes of the characters. Since it's based on true accounts that occurred during the Holocaust, it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me that many of the characters died tragically.
And yet it did and I felt the fear, anguish, bewilderment and an So riveting. And yet it did and I felt the fear, anguish, bewilderment and anger as I turned each page. But finally, the war ends. And who is left? Read this amazing book to find out. I'm sure you'll realize how important stories, both true and based-on-fact fiction, are historically. We must never forget. Mar 29, Gail Mchugh rated it it was amazing. What can any person say about a book like this?
You certainly cannot say I loved it or I enjoyed reading it wanting to vomit every chapter or what a great read. This book was a horror story. It was absolutely heart wrenching and sickening. We read books like this and cannot believe any human could be so vicious, cruel and without conscience. We have learned nothing from the Hitler nightmare. It still goes on and on and on, perhaps not with the single-mindedness of the Nazi regime but genocide What can any person say about a book like this?
It still goes on and on and on, perhaps not with the single-mindedness of the Nazi regime but genocide is genocide. Armenia, Rwanda, Bosnia, all genocide has left a stain on humankind. Humans are the worst creatures on this beautiful planet. We kill for joy! This book has left a hole in my heart. Heart wrenching story of the plight of the Jewish children in Hitler's Germany Always a fan of historical fiction from the WWII era, this book does not disappoint. It is well written and the fictional characters were very believable.
The only reason I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because the author depicted some scenarios that just weren't very plausible. For example, when Peter the young Jewish rebel snatched the gun from the German policeman with his yo-yo? That was a little much. But a Heart wrenching story of the plight of the Jewish children in Hitler's Germany Always a fan of historical fiction from the WWII era, this book does not disappoint. But all in all, still a great read that I recommend to all interested in this facet of the war and the stories of broken Jewish families under Nazi oppression.
A Step Back into Despair and then the Return to Hope The history not learned from is revisited through the eyes and hearts of those who suffered unimaginable loss and torture. Out of the stories of those times, a picture of how hate fueled the atrocities. Artfully woven together making that time in history come to life through the perspectives of the believable characters. And in the midst of it all, my compassion for this people, my heart felt their pain. And yet, we have forgotten.
Well written. Simply but well written this book definitely evokes an emotional response to the story. The characters are fictional but the horrific treatment of the Jews is historically accurate. The story is told mainly from the point of view of the children and should therefore appeal to young people interested in learning about this period in time.
It would definitely help them to understand the true horror of the holocaust. This book managed to do this without being overly graphic. Feb 22, Ann rated it really liked it.
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This book would make a good YA read. It is written quite simply, and doesn't dwell on the atrocities perpetuated in the camps. It touches on the horrors and struggles faced by the Jews, without being too graphic. Some of Peter's exploits seemed a little far fetched, but that is a minor criticism.
The ending is optimistic although tinged with much sadness, and the reunion between Stephen and his mother giv This book would make a good YA read. The ending is optimistic although tinged with much sadness, and the reunion between Stephen and his mother gives an inkling of how difficult reconnecting will be. Jun 24, Vickie rated it really liked it. I really liked this book, but I have read many books about the "Night of Breaking Glass" and other events leading up to incarceration in the concentration camps, and life inside the camps. What I hadn't read much about was the Kindertransport.
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