Book Review: “999: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz” by Heather Dune Macadam

Hello!

For the past three years, I’ve always ended my reading challenges with a book about the Holocaust. Of course, they were mostly fictionized, but they echo the stories of fellow inmates and survivors of the most infamous camp, Auschwitz. This time I managed to find a book that was on my Goodreads TBR (to be read) and it was free with Kindle Unlimited.

I knew what was getting myself into before I did the one click thingy, but I am never prepared to what would be in front of me with every page. I am always drawn to read about these awful years towards the end of each of my reading challenges. I doubt I’ll ever understand it, but here we are anyways.

WARNING: There are spoilers down below, so you might want to ignore this review today!


b36522a5f74645cb41c3fb240d1342f7

A PEN America Literary Award Finalist
A Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee
An Amazon Best of the Year Selection

The untold story of some of WW2’s most hidden figures and the heartbreaking tragedy that unites them all. Readers of Born Survivors and A Train Near Magdeburg will devour the tragic tale of the first 999 women in Auschwitz concentration camp. This is the hauntingly resonant true story that everyone should know.


On March 25, 1942, nearly a thousand young, unmarried Jewish women, many of them teenagers, boarded a train in Poprad, Slovakia. Believing they were going to work in a factory for a few months, they were eager to report for government service and left their parents’ homes wearing their best clothes and confidently waving good-bye. Instead, the young women were sent to Auschwitz. Only a few would survive. Now acclaimed author Heather Dune Macadam reveals their stories, drawing on extensive interviews with survivors, and consulting with historians, witnesses, and relatives of those first deportees to create an important addition to Holocaust literature and women’s history.

taken from Goodreads.


Despite the evil of it all, this book was really interesting!

“We were nice girls from good families trying to learn how to steal from other nice girls from good families. This was not human. They dehumanized us.”

The author Heather Dune Macadam focuses on the original girls who were taken to Auschwitz in 1942. There are a lot of names and numbers to remember throughout the entire book, but I find it important that you mostly hear these heartbreaking stories from these lovely ladies. These were innocent girls expecting to work for the government (even though it was them who took practically their jobs and everything else before whole families were rounded up!) and end up in hell on Earth in a form of a new camp for anyone and everybody who was an enemy to the Nazis.

The conditions at the camps were downright awful! Each girl and woman was forced to strip their Sunday best, shave their heads, and get tattoos on their arms of their numbers the officers gave them. However, as you go on and learn about the jobs the prisoners vied for on a daily basis, and it wasn’t just the Nazi officers giving orders, it was fellow inmates too. They were offered a series of jobs in Auschwitz, none of them were ideal, some were downright dangerous like dig ditches and lakes in all seasons and temperatures! The women were being fed little unkosher meals, like soup made out of horsemeat and a piece of beard no bigger than a fist. And if that wasn’t enough, they also had to deal with diseases like typhus and sleep in places that were covered in fleas and lice!

And yet, we have survivors….

“Genocide does not simply go away. Just as it can continue to haunt the survivors, it shapes the lives of those who live with and love those survivors.”

As I see what is going on with the world nowadays, seeing Israel and what they are doing to their Palestine communities is another example of the Holocaust, as the Jewish were also kicked out of their homes and made to live in a one room with other families in the ghettos. Israel is an unique country with three main religions: Christians, Judaism and Islam. I used to think this was amazing until I saw what they don’t put on the mainstream news. I wonder how many Jewish people who were in these cocreation camps would support this violence. I think it would be a very low number. And then, we have what is going on with Russia and Ukraine, and you have the same exact story. History is just going to continue to repeat itself over and over again until we find out how to respect each other in our differences, and as much as I’d like to see that happen someday, I doubt it’ll happen in my lifetime and that’s the sad truth to it.

Have you read Heather’s “999: The Extraordinary Young Women in the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz” yet? Do you find yourself interested in books like this one? How do you deal with the sadness they tend to bring us readers?

snowflake

Tune Tuesday | Poland ’17

17458228_1429332513797741_9033715370994344036_n

Hello!

We are talking about Poland this week! I’m always happy for myself whenever I find musicians from Poland on my own! My friend Ania, who is a native of Poland, has been helping me find music to share on these posts since the start in 2014, so the fact that I’ve started discovering music that she hasn’t heard of is somewhat weird but special for us too!

I found this band while I was looking for different symphonic metal music on Spotify last year, once I heard it I was really confused because I have never heard anything like it before. The band is called Kingdom Waves. They’re a mixture of symphonic and power metal which makes it very interesting I think! I think power metal is like that heavy, but almost the ideal genre to be this creative with, because I feel like there’s only a limited ways to do with symphonic metal but I don’t mean that in a mean way at all. They each have their own topics that makes them shine!

Have you heard of Kingdom Waves? Are there any other Polish acts that you think I should keep an eye out for? Let me know!

snowflake

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Bloglovin

Tune Tuesday | Poland 2016

tunetues2016

Hi,

We’re back for another week!

This time we’re in Poland, this country along with a couple of others are slowly becoming favorites. Mostly because I’m not relying on my friends to help me find music acts from their homelands. Although, I’m pretty sure my friend Ania doesn’t mind at all! She’s given me a good selection in the past so I should never have to worry about running out for a while!

Like I said before though, I didn’t need to ask her for this year’s because I found both musicians all by myself!

First up is Magda, who is an EDM artist. I was looking for more female DJs one afternoon and I stumbled upon her in the process. I actually found out about her like a month after I finished with last year’s Tune Tuesday cycle. I mentally wrote her name out to remember for this year. Somehow like a few other acts, I manage to remember for all this time. She doesn’t seem to have a YouTube channel of her songs. So I’ve had to settle with a mix she’s done either in the past or recently!

Lastly, I found this band back in April, which was cutting it a little close! I’ve had to add last minute acts before thank god, but still it was good timing! The band is called Kingdom Waves, and they seem to be more of a progressive symphonic metal group. They have incorporated a pirate theme into their music! They’re very interesting! Ania had never heard of them before and had to look them and help me make sure that what I was seeing on their Facebook page was indeed Polish! In the songs that I’ve listened have been in English, which is good, but hopefully one day more bands do more music in their native tongue as that’s what I really like about this whole thing!

Tune Tuesday | Poland

ttworldwide15

We are talking about Poland this week!!

Poland is one of those countries that I think I’ll always need some help with discovering music from there, so thank god for friends like Ania! And of course, she gave me another massive list to choose from! I need to start writing them out so I can stop asking here the month before I start this theme! So let’s get to it!

I love listening to music that I don’t know what they’re saying! I’m pretty sure I’ve said that a few times on past blog posts but it’s true! I really do. I think at times, I’d prefer it in some ways too! I would like to learn Polish one day though! Ania gave me some more female singers. We had some good luck last year with Agnieszka Chylinska. The first person she gave me was “Brodka” so immediately i thought it was a male singer, found out it is a female singer only going by her last name. Monika Brodka is her name and she’s got a very pretty voice! She seems to be a pop singer. It surprises me whenever Ania gives me these more poppy singers from her home country. I wonder sometimes how much pop music she really listens to. She’s my rocker sister so this is a bit of a surprise everytime! Brodka is good, I’ll probably add some of her music to a playlist on my Spotify!

And then I found a pop/rocker! Ewelina Flinta. Which was another suggestion by Ania! One of the last ones she included actually, not bad! Lastly, there’s Lzy that I thought be more rocker but I’d keep her in the same category as the last two! She’s pretty good too! The song that I’ve included came out in May! Sometimes you wish Spotify understood your love worldwide sounds and kept you in the loop more!

 Znam Cie Na Pamiec – Brodka

Zaluje – Ewelina Flinta

Jesteś Powietrzem – Lzy

Tune Tuesday: Poland

tunetuesday

So we’re in Poland and even though I had one band that I wanted to include into this post, I knew I wanted to have a couple more artists and bands from Poland as well. Thankfully, I have a friend – she’s more like my best friend! Ania lives in Poland and a few months ago, when I asked her if she could give me some artists and groups, she didn’t just give me a couple, she sent me two whole messages on Facebook of different acts. I was impressed! One of the things that I like about listening to international music is that whenever they sing in their native language and you can’t understand a single word they’re saying, it’s better! I’m serious! I love paying more attention to the sound of the beat. I’ve even had times were I’ve listened to a song and ended up humming it and try to learn how to say the words. Anyways, Ania sent me a LOT of music. Gooral was the first that she sent me and it’s a dance track. Which is always fun to get first considering she is a pretty big rock and roll fan. I might have to extend my limit amount of Polish acts considering she’s sent me a lot more that I didn’t think I’d end up liking majority of them. If I start to learn how to speak Polish and by the way, I do hope that one day I get the chance to learn the language, she might get really happy! The band I know from Poland, I found one day while I was looking for music on Spotify. I am a lover of female fronted bands and the band UnSun is very good! It also makes me very happy that the singer speaks English in the songs! So of course I’ve learned most of their songs on their album, Clinic For Dolls. I’ll put them last and put her suggestions first! For those who don’t speak or understand Polish, I’d still listen to these tracks. They’re still good songs despite not knowing the translation.

Karczmareczka – GOORAL

Zanim pójdę by Happysad

High Life by Doda

Ostatni by Edyta Bartosiewicz

Angelene by Hey ft. Agnieszka Chylińska (English)

Nie Moge Cie Zapomniec by Agnieszka Chylinska 

Kiedy Przyjdziesz Do Minie by Agnieszka Chylińska 

Why by UnSun (English)