During World War II, eleven-year-old Alice, whose life has been sheltered and comfortable, discovers some important things about herself and the people she meets when she and her grandfather board a train and begin an increasingly intolerable journey to an unknown destination.
The author describes her experiences as a survivor of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz during World War II.
In the spring of 1942 Hannelore received a letter from Mama at her school in Berlin, Germany–Papa had been arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Six weeks later he was sent home; ashes in an urn. Soon another letter arrived. “The Gestapo has notified your brothers and me that we are to be deported to the East–whatever that means.” Hannelore knew: labor camps, starvation, beatings. How could Mama and her two younger brothers bear that? She made a decision: She would go home and be deported with her family. Despite the horrors she faced in eight labor and concentration camps, Hannelore met and fell in love with a Polish POW named Dick Hillman. Oskar Schindler was their one hope to survive. Schindler had a plan to take eleven hundred Jews to the safety of his new factory in Czechoslovakia. Incredibly both she and Dick were added to his list. But survival was not that simple. Weeks later Hannelore found herself, alone, outside the gates of Auschwitz, pushed toward the smoking crematoria.
A young German girl watches as the streets of her town fill with soldiers and tanks. Then, one day, she follows a truck into the woods and discovers a secret.