... a compelling and seamless portrait of a young woman who managed to survive and save others through cunning bravery and compassionate leadership ... offers dreadful insights into the workings of Auschwitz-Birkenau, but at its heart, it remains an extraordinary portrait of one young woman who fought for others in the midst of unimaginable horror.
Magda’s unusual perspective is fascinating not only for its insight about how the SS ran the camps, but in how she occasionally glimpsed the unofficial side of monstrous Germans ... Readers of this compelling memoir will join those who marvel at the scope of Magda Hellinger’s bravery.
... heartbreakingly sad but also somehow hopeful ... Hellinger has written an important perspective of the Holocaust, of a kind that we rarely see. A standout memoir that will draw the interest of readers of World War II history and women’s memoirs or biographies.
In this harrowing personal narrative, Magda’s experience as a block leader is shared in heartbreaking detail ... Magda’s own words, completed by her daughter’s copious research, create an unputdownable account of resilience and the power of compassion.
Written in part to clarify Hellinger’s true relationship to her captors, this book offers a much-needed perspective on the roles many so-called collaborators played in helping fellow concentration camp inmates survive the Holocaust ... A poignantly illuminating Holocaust memoir.