Horrific tale of survival






Always Remember Your Name: The children of Auschwitz By Andra and Tatiana Bucci, translated by Ann Goldstein, Allen & Unwin, $32.99 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. What happened to the children who ended up in Auschwitz in Word War II? Most died, either on the way there, or in the horrific conditions inside, or when used for experiments. Many youngsters pretended they were 18 as small children were generally murdered as soon as they arrived. Ann Goldstein has taken a book written by two Italian sisters and translated their ghastly story into English. Their mother's family were Russian Jews who fled a pogrom to what is now Croatia. It's extraordinary to think these girls, aged six and four, survived their ordeal and returned to their parents aged only nine and seven. They had assumed their parents were dead. But when they were reunited there was an unspoken agreement that they would not talk about their experience. They were told to remember their names so they could be found if they survived. The now-adult women are matter-of-fact about their experiences, but it is their plain speaking that makes their story more horrific. As war rages in Ukraine and we hear the brutal stories happening today, it's clear another generation of European children are being subjected to the vulgarities of war. ā€” Linda Thompson The Leonard Girls By Deborah Challinor, Harper-collins, $36.99 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Few New Zealand female authors know as much about the Vietnam War as the men who served. Deborah Challinor is the exception. She's extensively researched the 1960s into the 1970s conflict for earlier non-fiction works. With The Leonard Girls she's melded fact with fiction. Much of the story line is based on fact, in particular engagements with the Viet Cong and the conditions the Anzacs fought in. Challinor has created a plot that emphasises the divide the war caused New Zealanders of the era. Rowie, one of the Leonard sisters of the title, is pro war. A nurse, she serves a tour of duty in the Australian field hospital at Vung Tau. Jo Leonard is anti-war. She sings folk and protest songs and belongs to her university's arm