For decades, Russian-born Bannister hid her holocaust diaries in her Tennessee home---until sharing them with her husband, Henry, before her death. Published for the first time, her journals reveal the trauma the 14-year-old suffered when the Nazis murdered her parents---and lessons she learned about forgiveness amid the brutality of a concentration camp. 304 pages, softcover from Tyndale.
Average Customer Rating:
(20 Reviews) 20
Rating Snapshot(20 reviews)
9 out of 9100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
I cannot say I "enjoyed" reading this book as it covers such a horrific time in our history. However, the writing was good, the story well and honestly told, and the leading character an endearing young girl. Nona managed to weave beautiful childhood memories in amongst the dreadful conditions and treatment they were forced to endure during the Holocaust. Her husband must have been a very special man as he respected his wife's privacy and trusted she would tell him what she kept in the attic when she was ready! I was strongly impacted by the true commitment and faithfulness he showed Nona throughout their lives together. I love my husband more than anyone, but I know I could never wait until he was ready to tell me. The Lord's still working on my patience! This book is definitely worth reading.
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Review 2 for Secret Holocaust Diaries
Gripping reality that also happens to be uplifting
Date:December 15, 2012
Should be compulsory reading or listening for every high school student.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So amazing what these people went through. You can not imagine it at all. Reading the book in a short time is easy but the time they suffered was much longer and you have to think about that as well
We loved using this ebook along with our other curricula while we studied WW2. It really helped my children to understand the atrocity of the holocaust, and about extending forgiveness in a situation that seems unforgivable.
It is hard to put in words how this account of the holocaust touch my heart. Seeing how it impacted this young girls life and how it shaped her future and all those around her. This book will touch your very soul.
Once I started this book I could not put it down. My heart breaks for her and her family. To read about her experiences in such a plain and simple way made it hit home even harder. Very nicely done. I only wish they would have included a photo of Nonna.
I loved the book and how it really went into detail and gave good descriptions of how things went on during those times. I loved feeling like I was right there reading her diary. I cried and laughed during the book. It was a great story! Very moving and I like that it was a true story as well.
Growing up one of my favorite books was The Diary of Anne Frank. I still have a copy of that book, on my girls book shelf. That time in history is so sad and I still can't wrap my head around the atrocities that happened over there to those innocent people, it is unspeakable. I'm glad that we have books to remind us of the evil that happened, so it will never be forgotten. The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a book that should be read. I really think it should be added to school history classes as a must read. Nonna's story is a story that should be heard all around the world. Please if you have some time pick up this book and read it. Everyone must read this book!thank you tyndale for giving me this review copy to read and write my review
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Review 11 for Secret Holocaust Diaries
Date:April 17, 2010
Before reading this book, I was aware of the atrocities committed during World War II, and I was very aware of what happened to the Jews. What I wasn't so aware of was what happened to other populations, like the Polish, Ukrainians and Russians. Nonna Lisowskaja had the distinct privilege or misfortune depending on the point of view, of falling into all three of these categories. Because of this distinction she was subjected to many of the German atrocities that the Jewish people suffered. In this book, through her diaries, letters and other memories we relive the horrors through her eyewitness accounts. It is a haunting, terrifying, yet courageous and uplifting story, that anyone with an interest in that time period should read.Even people who aren't fascinated by the history of the time should read it for the light and hope it holds. For throughout the book we see Nonna's courage, forgiveness and hope repeated time and time again even in the face of unbelievable horrors.
I often times hesitate to review non-fiction books because they take me a lot longer to read than fiction books do, they just tend to slow down the rapid rate at which I zip through books. Until now. This may be one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. This is the gripping true story of Nonna Bannister and her survival of the Holocaust during WWII as a Russian (though there are strong suspicions that her father had Jewish blood). Her family lost everything and she and her mom ended up in a cattle car on their way to Germany to be slave labor in factories. Nonna ends up in America after the war and gets married and has a family. She never tells her husband what really happened to her all those years ago, and he doesn't pry. One day, years after they were married and the kids are grown, she takes her husband to the attic and finally shows him the locked trunk with all the diaries she kept through the war. All the photos that she was able to keep with her, all the postcards and mementos that survived thanks to her. She tells her husband that she knows her story needs to be told but she doesn't want it told until after she is gone. Her husband and kids were the only ones to hear her story from her. Now it is time for the rest of us. I could not put this book down. The Diary of Anne Frank is a beloved book, but it only tells the story to a certain point. The Secret Diaries of Nonna Bannister are able to take and drive the story farther and from a different viewpoint. I can not wait for my kids to read this book - a great historical tool and a gift to all of us here in the present.
This is an amazing story of the courage and faith of a thirteen year old girl living through horrific times. In the first part Nonna talks how she enjoyed her family and what it was like being a kid back then. Her family had many grain mills and was pretty well off...until the war hit and the government took over every single one of their mills. The government allowed them the big family house which they stayed in when the government strongly suggested they evacuate. They stayed to protect what little they had left. This book is written through Nonnas tender eyes and how she made sense of things at thirteen. After their Christmas celebration, the war started and rumors spread. No one was sure how close the enemy was. Nonna writes in her diary, I was confused, angry and sad about what the Germans had done. Also, I was trying to figure out what the Jews had done to be treated this way. There was no reason that I could think of. She soon found out that no one was safe from the Germans. Because Nonna's family refused to evacuate, they would be treated as traitors and possibly killed. So, Nonna writes, when the Germans offered us transportation to Germany, we had no choice but to take them up on their offer. The Germans needed some laborers in their factories. We heard later that those who stayed behind and did not leave Konstantinowka were thrown on trains and sent to Siberia or killed. An adult Nonna writes this, I believe forgiveness is important. It is to forgive, as God teaches us, but never forgetrather, to apply the truth to our lives in such a way that we do not repeat our sins over and over again. This is one powerful story told through innocent eyes, trying to make sense of the world around her. Its a miracle she has survived to tell this courageous eye witness account. You won't want to miss this one.
Growing up one of my favorite books was The Diary of Anne Frank. I still have a copy of that book, on my girls book shelf. That time in history is so sad and I still can't wrap my head around the atrocities that happened over their, it is unspeakable. I'm glad that we have books to remind us of the evil, so it will never be forgotten. The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a book that should be read. I really think it should be added to school history classes as a must read along with Anne Frank. Nonna's story is a story that should be heard all around the world. Please if you have some time pick up this book and read it. thank you Tyndale for giving me this review copy to read and write my review
The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister with Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin is an important record of a tragic era in human history. Nonna Lisowskaja was born into a prominent Russian family who thrived on their history as well as the arts. Her parents doted on both her and elder brother Anatoly, but she was born at a dangerous time. Russia had recently come under control of Joseph Stalin and families like hers were being rooted out and killed as dissidents. Nonna began a diary at the age of nine that takes her from Communist Russia into the German occupation, the dissolution of her entire family, and eventually separated from her mother who was placed in a concentration camp. She survived the war and came to the United States determined to leave her tragic past far behind her. She married Henry Bannister, and even he never knew the secrets of her life until she finally revealed it to him and her children through her translations of her childhood diaries. Nonna has a warm and engaging writing voice that pulls the reader into every scene from a forbidden Christmas celebration with her grandmother at their dacha to the brutal murder of a Jewish infant entrusted to her care. You can't help but admire Nonna's strength that takes her through circumstances that would destroy many others, and it's obvious that the faith her grandmother imparted to her carried her through the worst of times. This is one of those rare stories that truly earns the label amazing and deserves all of the accolades it has earned.
I bought this book and though i wish to say it were good and that i loved it i cannot. It was very slow and i fell asleep on it 3 times, which i have never (and i repeat NEVER) done while reading a book before. I forced myself to finish it though and in the end i felt releived. I do not recommend it unless you are trying to go to sleep...
It is hard to call a book such as this wonderful, because of all the horror that is described. And yet, The Secret Holocaust Diaries is also full of the beautiful, happy memories of a young girl.I read The Secret Holocaust Diaries in two evenings. It was wonderful. It was painful. I closed the book, glad that Nonnas story had been told, and yet saddened to think that she had borne such a heavy emotional burden for so many years before telling her family.Living today where finding "long-lost" family and friends is relatively easy, I continue to wonder if Nonna's story will help find any of hers, if still living, if still searching for Nonna themselves.Both sad and wonderful, but mostly fascinating, I hope that you will read Nonna's very personal story.
Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin presented Nonna Bannister's story with insight in the comments necessary for understanding the brutality of Nonna's experiences.Nonna's ability to move past her hurts and her desire for a peaceful life with her husband and children clearly make her a survivor with a compelling, encouraging story. This book takes you back to a history lesson we must not forget, but it is full of heart, whichmay be its best quality.
I bought The Secret Holocaust Diaries a few weeks ago and started reading it. What an amazing book! Nonna Bannister was a gifted young Russian girl from a loving, warm, and wealthy family. Caught up in the horror of World War II, she watched everything and everyone she knew and loved disintegrate before her eyes. Yet Nonna miraculously survived, with her faith intact and her secret diaries hidden away, known only to her until recently. What is most astonishing to me was Nonna's lack of bitterness and hatred for the perpetrators of the savagery she witnessed--possible only with divine forgiveness, I'm sure, but still difficult to fathom.Reading The Secret Holocaust Diaries is like sitting down to tea with Nonna, as she unveils the secrets carefully packed away in her locked green trunk in the attic. Even her husband didn't learn about her past until their twilight years, when she decided it was finally time to tell him. I'm so glad she decided to share. Nonna's voice is powerful; after I read a passage and close the book, her lovely and heartwrenching prose stays with me. This is the type of book you don't want to read too fast; I'm savoring it, page by page.
Breath-taking joy and heart-crushing anguish so poignantly recounted with a purpose.Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin have meticulously sorted and ordered the beautiful life and writing on Nonna Bannister while leaving intact and even illuminating its magical force.