BOOK: THE KOMMANDANT'S GIRL
AUTHOR: Pam Jenoff
PUBLISHER: Mira Books
FROM the very beginning of this story, I was captivated.
Author Pam Jenoff met an elderly couple on a train who were both Holocaust survivors.
They served as the catalyst for this extraordinary tale of the Krakow resistance to German occupation in Poland during the Second World War.
Using true facts and history as a foundation, Jenoff weaves a sombre tale of 18-year-old Emma, who at the outbreak of war, like thousands of other Jews, is obliged to take part in forced labour for their oppressors.
Poverty, disease, starvation and homelessness ensue as a result of the formation of a ghetto where 15,000 Jews are incarcerated in an area previously inhabited by 3000.
Assuming a new identity, Emma (now Anna) is asked by the German Kommandant to work for him at Nazi headquarters, at the same time ferreting whatever information she can glean for the Polish underground resistance movement.
Told by Anna herself, the story plot develops to its riveting conclusion.
The Diplomat's Wife, a sequel, is a welcome inclusion in this generous publication.