Hetty s family was torn apart following theGerman Invasion of the Netherlands and rounded up by the Nazis and then separated from their parents, Hetty and her brothers were sent to the Children s House in Belsen Concentration Camp As one of the eldest Hetty became the Little Mother helping to care not only for her siblings but the other children as well In a direct and powerful style, Hetty recalls one of the remarkable largely untold story of the Holocaust the extraordinary struggle and survival of this group ofchildren through those terrible years Someone gave me her copy of this and said that she wanted me to read it not perhaps knowing that I have spent a good part of the past three years reading books about the Holocaust Obviously incredibly horrific details of abuses beyond imagination are a major part of this book yet so many noble acts of bravery, compassion and heroism are also described After surviving Belsen,the author made her home in Australia It is written in a very simple yet powerful way and it is not surprising that it w Someone gave me her copy of this and said that she wanted me to read it not perhaps knowing that I have spent a good part of the past three years reading books about the Holocaust Obviously incredibly horrific details of abuses beyond imagination are a major part of this book yet so many noble acts of bravery, compassion and heroism are also described After surviving Belsen,the author made her home in Australia It is written in a very simple yet powerful way and it is not surprising that it won the Christina Stead award in 2000 The children s house at Belsen was not like the other blocks If the children didn t die of disease or malnutrition then they didn t die at all They weren t there to be executed, experimented on or used as slaves and worked to death They were just there.The quality of their care depended on who was in charge of the house When Hetty was there it was a veritable angel sent from heaven if you believe in that sort of thing it s hard to believe in that sort of thing and the Holocaust at the same The children s house at Belsen was not like the other blocks If the children didn t die of disease or malnutrition then they didn t die at all They weren t there to be executed, experimented on or used as slaves and worked to death They were just there.The quality of their care depended on who was in charge of the house When Hetty was there it was a veritable angel sent from heaven if you believe in that sort of thing it s hard to believe in that sort of thing and the Holocaust at the same time Otherwise, Sister Luba was just an extraordinary woman nicknamed the Angel of Belsen The author was a little mother in the children s house and was preoccupied as all in the camps were with getting enough food, stealing it, begging it, however she could for herself, her family and the other children But she never explains why they were there rather than having been murdered, sent to the gas chambers, as most children in the death factories that these camps were Nothing I write will be adequate to describe the emotional power of the book which is also a cool, objective account of life in the camps with all its horrors of starving people, corpses lying piled up in stinking heaps dead eyes agape and staring at the children, the brutality of the Nazi guards and the mental conundrum of forever wondering what made Jews so different that they should be eliminated from the face of the Earth as in fact, most of their parents, grandparents and older siblings had been.It s a ten star book, brilliantly written, a window on another world of a dystopia so perverted that it s a wonder those who emerged from it, which was most of the children from the children s house at Belsen didn t become insane But they didn t and some were very successful.After the war the orphaned, teenage Hetty went to Australia and started off as a bus conductress She did many jobs rising to a property developer of shopping malls And then she retired and visited many countries and schools, telling the children how it really was in a concentration camp, at the heart of the Nazi industry of death She hoped, as we all do, but futilely, that the knowledge would stop anything like it ever happening again Wish that it would So fact this is the book I ve had the longest on my owned TBR I went to a talk by the author of this book, who is a Holocaust survivor, once and was incredibly moved by it, and bought her memoir, but I didn t read it for years because word war two stories are really, really sadThis definitely was really, really sad but it was really good too I don t know what else to say about it really The strength and resilience of the people in this story is astounding but what happened to them is horrifi So fact this is the book I ve had the longest on my owned TBR I went to a talk by the author of this book, who is a Holocaust survivor, once and was incredibly moved by it, and bought her memoir, but I didn t read it for years because word war two stories are really, really sadThis definitely was really, really sad but it was really good too I don t know what else to say about it really The strength and resilience of the people in this story is astounding but what happened to them is horrific Today I had the amazing opportunity to meet Hetty at school today She is the most lovely old lady you could know, and despite all she had been through she still has such a positive out look on life Being able to listen to her tell her story was an experience I will never forget I am now totally determined to read the book and discover the rest if her story.