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We Must Not Think of Ourselves - a moving and heartbreaking account of life in the Warsaw ghetto inspired by historical archives.

Adam Paskow was a Jewish English teacher living in Warsaw mourning the death of his young Polish wife who died tragically. Once the Nazis invaded, he had to leave his home behind and move into the gated ghetto where all Jewish residents were forced to live. Adam is living in a small apartment with other families. After his shift working at the Aid Society, a soup kitchen that doles out available food, he conducts an English class for any of the children that show up. Adam is asked to help the organization Oneg Shabbat by interviewing as many people in the ghetto so that their experiences can be preserved for the future. The stories he compiles tell each person's history and their struggles in the ghetto. They are tragic and often hopeful.

Author Lauren Grodstein has taken the actual writings from Oneg Shabbat as the inspiration for the fictional We Must Not Think of Ourselves. Through the eyes of Adam Paskow, a moving and heartbreaking story is presented that brings the reader into this horrible, unimaginable existence. While the cruelty was ever-present, I was struck by the incredible resourcefulness of the children who found ways to survive. The ultimate fates of most of the people from the Warsaw Ghetto (1940-1943) have been well documented but their stories need to be told and re-told again.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Historical Fiction.

Publication Date: November 28, 2023

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