Livia Bitton-Jackson was born in 1931, in Czechoslovakia. At the age of 13 she was taken to a concentration camp in Auschwitz, and was liberated in 1945. She studied at the New York University and is a Doctor of Philosophy in Hebrew Culture and Jewish History. For thirty-seven years, Bitton was a professor of history at City University of New York. One of her books, “Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust”, received numerous awards, such as the Christopher Award, the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award and the Jewish Heritage Award. Some of her other books include: “I Have Lived a Thousand Years” and “My Bridges of Hope”. In her books, Bitton describes events she took part in, such as her life in Auschwitz. In her books, the author describes her own experiences, which makes her a credible author.
Throughout the book, apart from describing her experiences of living in Auschwitz, Livia Bitton-Jackson focuses ...view middle of the document...
There is life in movement. Hope.” The author shows that without hope there is little that can be done, but through hope, one can achieve the nearly impossible, like surviving a concentration camp.
Another idea emphasized throughout the book is the idea of taking risks. Ellie is portrayed as a very brave character and the author puts a lot of emphasis on Ellie’s risky, or dangerous actions. For instance, when Ellie’s mother is in the infirmary, Ellie finds out that Mommy will be sent to the gas. Even though Ellie is not allowed to go into the infirmary, she makes her decision quite fast. “I have no alternative. Mommy has to be snuggled out,” she thinks (p130). The author emphasizes how determined Ellie is, she constantly reminds the reader of how many risks Ellie took to make sure they survive. Another great risk that Ellie takes is when an SS officer beats Mommy. “I jump at the tall, husky woman and shove her against the wall” (p140). The author does this to show the reader that everyone needs to take risks in order to survive, and in order to achieve more.
The last idea presented to the reader is the idea of growing up. Even though at the start of the book, Ellie is only 13 years old, throughout the book the reader can follow Ellie’s process of growing up. At the beginning, the reader finds out how childish she is. The author exposes her problems, which are very similar to the problems of most teenagers. Ellie thinks about boys, whether a boy likes her, or not. When she finds out about having to wear a yellow star, she is stubborn, devastated and overreacts. However, later on the author shows how Ellie becomes more responsible for herself, her family and friends. When her friend, Lily is injured during the shooting, Ellie immediately reacts and tries to help. “‘Hold it!’ I scream at Lily and wait for her to place her two hands on the bloody limb before taking mine away. ‘Hold it!’” (p188). Ellie feels responsible for the good of the people around her, and the author emphasizes how mature and grown up Ellie was forced to become through her experience.