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We Never Lost Hope: A Holocaust Memoir and Love Story

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We Never Lost Hope by Naomi Litvin is a powerful and haunting memoir and love story about her family's lives before, during, and after the Holocaust. Told in five indelible voices, the book gives a you-are-there punch and a moving immediacy. Litvin recreates her parents' incredible love story of a Holocaust survivor and an American Jewish GI who landed at Normandy. This bo We Never Lost Hope by Naomi Litvin is a powerful and haunting memoir and love story about her family's lives before, during, and after the Holocaust. Told in five indelible voices, the book gives a you-are-there punch and a moving immediacy. Litvin recreates her parents' incredible love story of a Holocaust survivor and an American Jewish GI who landed at Normandy. This book reminds readers that genocide can happen anywhere but that the strength of hope endures, even in the most horrific conditions. "Naomi Litvin leaves all students of the Holocaust in her debt...every memoir adds to our knowledge, both of what happened, and of the emotions and feelings of that terrible era, and this memoir is no exception: it calls out to be read." -Sir Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill's official biographer, and author of eighty-one books. Naomi Litvin is a freelance writer and lives in Northern California.


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We Never Lost Hope by Naomi Litvin is a powerful and haunting memoir and love story about her family's lives before, during, and after the Holocaust. Told in five indelible voices, the book gives a you-are-there punch and a moving immediacy. Litvin recreates her parents' incredible love story of a Holocaust survivor and an American Jewish GI who landed at Normandy. This bo We Never Lost Hope by Naomi Litvin is a powerful and haunting memoir and love story about her family's lives before, during, and after the Holocaust. Told in five indelible voices, the book gives a you-are-there punch and a moving immediacy. Litvin recreates her parents' incredible love story of a Holocaust survivor and an American Jewish GI who landed at Normandy. This book reminds readers that genocide can happen anywhere but that the strength of hope endures, even in the most horrific conditions. "Naomi Litvin leaves all students of the Holocaust in her debt...every memoir adds to our knowledge, both of what happened, and of the emotions and feelings of that terrible era, and this memoir is no exception: it calls out to be read." -Sir Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill's official biographer, and author of eighty-one books. Naomi Litvin is a freelance writer and lives in Northern California.

30 review for We Never Lost Hope: A Holocaust Memoir and Love Story

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Dandreaux

    This era in history has always been of interest to me. I really enjoy reading all of the personal stories that people have printed (as well as books completed by researchers/historians). This book was "written" by the daughter of a holocaust survivor. The book tells the story of her mother, her uncles and aunts personal stories. It also recounts the story of how her parents met and became married. Overall, it contained many interesting stories. However, the interviews were conducted separately a This era in history has always been of interest to me. I really enjoy reading all of the personal stories that people have printed (as well as books completed by researchers/historians). This book was "written" by the daughter of a holocaust survivor. The book tells the story of her mother, her uncles and aunts personal stories. It also recounts the story of how her parents met and became married. Overall, it contained many interesting stories. However, the interviews were conducted separately across many years and from old letters etc. The interviews are pieced together sequentially in big and small interview blurbs. This led to the story being related in a very choppy style. I think that if the story had been weaved together instead of as direct quotes it would have made a more compelling book. This was the first memoir that I read that included a love story between a holocaust survivor and a Jewish American soldier. I really enjoyed reading about the period after the way because so many books end at the moment of salvation (often by American soldiers). It was nice to hear the stories about what happened to survivors: the struggles to find family, how they were placed in apartments and found jobs, and how they struggled to immigrate to many other countries. Each one of these stories are unique and from each I learn new things. To me they are always stories of perseverance of people. They are all heroes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anon

    Firstly, being that the Holocaust is one of the most important historical events in history and is a tragic chapter of Jewish history, I spend copious amounts of time researching the subject. The scope of the crimes of the Holocaust are astronomical. For us to absorb the lessons of history, it is very important those who are trying to document it, do a good job. Unfortuntly, this "memoir" does not measure up, as it was one of the most boring things and ill-constructed things I've ever tried to r Firstly, being that the Holocaust is one of the most important historical events in history and is a tragic chapter of Jewish history, I spend copious amounts of time researching the subject. The scope of the crimes of the Holocaust are astronomical. For us to absorb the lessons of history, it is very important those who are trying to document it, do a good job. Unfortuntly, this "memoir" does not measure up, as it was one of the most boring things and ill-constructed things I've ever tried to read. It had no flow. Can it be considered a Holocaust story or memoir? I don't think so. It is more of a transcription of family members telling their stories than anyting else. I am not sure why Sir Martin Gilbert would attach his good name to this clumsy effort. Because of its poor construction, I question its historical accuracy. It seemed the author sat with family members ,recorded their stories, and later transcribed them onto paper.I could not get through it. From what I was able read, it did not seem to correlate with what actually happened at the time and in the places described, when compared to actual scholarly works and narratives on the subject matter at hand. Secondly, I understand sales are bad, so now that the author now tries to give this away for free. I had been receiving a lot of spam telling me to download a free Kindle copy. Unfortunately, I already had bought it (along with many other, but better, materials). If you get spammed as many other are, and the opportunity to download free copy, I do not suggest you take the advantage of it. As some have said, "you get what you pay for." From the other reviews I've read, it seems the Kindle version is even WORSE and more unorganized and scattered than what I tried to get through in the first places. In conclusion, there's many mmore important narratives as well as scholarrly works about this time period. This sloppy transcript is not worth your time or effort. Tragically, I'm afraid such poorly constructed "memoirs" like this, which do not seem correlate with the facts of the time and places described, might even help to fuel Holocaust denial. That could possibly be the worst thing about this, that it is so disjointed and terribly done that some might think it's pure fiction. While I hope the author had good intentions, they seem misguided, as this effort itself is an injustice! I do not understand how someone wanting to document such an important part of history and even their own familiy history could be so careless in the formatting and construction of such an important event in history!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I got this as a free kindle download.I will first review the story itself, then the kindle version, then give some suggestions for how this book could have been better. I like historical accounts that tell stories, such as The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, and so thought this book would be a good read as well. I was disappointed. While the story was good: family overcoming horrible circumstances during the Holocaust and one sister finding true love at the end, the actual story telling in this I got this as a free kindle download.I will first review the story itself, then the kindle version, then give some suggestions for how this book could have been better. I like historical accounts that tell stories, such as The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, and so thought this book would be a good read as well. I was disappointed. While the story was good: family overcoming horrible circumstances during the Holocaust and one sister finding true love at the end, the actual story telling in this book did not have good flow. It felt like a person rambling without a plot line. The book jumped from one viewpoint to another. The introductions to each section were well written and told some background information that was not in the interview portions of the book. Overall, this book read like it was pieced together from different family members with nothing edited. As the reader I did not get caught up in the story of the book. Another disappointing thing about specifically the kindle version is that sections of the book were out of order. One is reading and then all of the sudden a sentence stops without being finished and a completely new idea starts. A few pages later the section that was missing appears in the middle of another story. It made this book very hard to read. I wish publishers would copy edit their ebooks more carefully. I think this account would have been better served if the author took all the memoirs that she so lovingly collected and wrote the story from Edith's point of view, or as a third person narrator so that the story would have come more alive. It would be very interesting to see this book turned into a multi-media scrapbook using the surviving photos, telegrams, and movie reels to tell about Edith and Nate's life using the newest e-publishing technology; make it an interactive ebook.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    Wow. This book needed a better editor.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    A book that is both heartbreaking and uplifting. It makes you marvel at the resiliency of the human spirit. The story is told in a straight forward way, which in some ways is surprising considering it is set during the Holocaust. It served to make the story even more horrific that such horrible experiences were a part of everyday life.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ina Tuscano

    Beautifully written Certainly could tell that the writer was emotionally involved in the writing of this book. Definitely felt that the story was factual. Build up great affection for the characters. Will enjoy reading again in a few weeks.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    True story The charm of the story is its ability to tell of a horrible time and keep a hopeful attitude. The love story is sweet.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Trammell

    Good book Very unteresting story of a very strong women who found much happiness in the end who had survived a pit of sorrow. I will recommend this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Harriet Brown

    We Never Lost Hope We Never Lost Hope by Naomi Litvin is a beautiful book. It is a holocaust story with a happy ending. I highly recommend this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Not really a holocaust book, but rather a book about holocaust survivors. While that sentence might not make sense, to me a book about the holocaust relates experiences of people during the war spending time in concentration camps. This book spent very little time talking about the war and how these survivors spent time in, getting into and getting out of the camps. It's a story of a very large Romanian family of Jews. The book is told through the voices of five family members. They tell a lot a Not really a holocaust book, but rather a book about holocaust survivors. While that sentence might not make sense, to me a book about the holocaust relates experiences of people during the war spending time in concentration camps. This book spent very little time talking about the war and how these survivors spent time in, getting into and getting out of the camps. It's a story of a very large Romanian family of Jews. The book is told through the voices of five family members. They tell a lot about the family living in Transylvania before the war starts. Some family members move to Indonesia while others live in Poland. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of life in the 1930s and 40s. Too much detail went into the explanation of two of the sisters living the high-life in post-war Munich, and dating American GIs. It ends with one of the sisters getting engaged to a GI and his journey to get his bride and some of her family back to the US. I think the book need to be edited better. I thought it was a little disjointed and almost like an interview with each person. The flow left a lot to be desired with little mention of what happened to the rest of the family. It was ok... not great!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Arielle

    First of all, this isn't even really a Holocaust book. It's a rambly, unorganized account of a few people's lives that happens to also span the Holocaust era and glosses over, far too quickly in my opinion, the individuals' time in Nazi concentration camps. If something is marketed as a Holocaust book, I want to read about the actual Holocaust, not about the drawn out process of one woman trying to get to the United States afterwards. I would have loved to hear more about the war and less about First of all, this isn't even really a Holocaust book. It's a rambly, unorganized account of a few people's lives that happens to also span the Holocaust era and glosses over, far too quickly in my opinion, the individuals' time in Nazi concentration camps. If something is marketed as a Holocaust book, I want to read about the actual Holocaust, not about the drawn out process of one woman trying to get to the United States afterwards. I would have loved to hear more about the war and less about every man that the "main" woman kissed in her life. This book is sadly neither "powerful" nor "haunting" as the description says. It's choppy and very clunkily goes back and forth between the perspectives of the people in it. As someone who is a descendant of Holocaust survivors and feels strongly about documenting survivors' stories while we still can, I was disappointed in this book because I don't think it does the topic justice, nor is it representative of the truly powerful Holocaust literature that IS out there.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Noel

    While the subject matter was somewhat interesting and the group who narrated their thoughts seemed to be interesting people, this book seemed to be a simple transcription in chrono order of some conversations that the author had with a family of holocaust survivors. There was no editing, questions posed to clarify positions or expand on ideas. And when put together it just falls far short of a well thought book. It would serve a better purpose inside a family photo album with grandmother's memor While the subject matter was somewhat interesting and the group who narrated their thoughts seemed to be interesting people, this book seemed to be a simple transcription in chrono order of some conversations that the author had with a family of holocaust survivors. There was no editing, questions posed to clarify positions or expand on ideas. And when put together it just falls far short of a well thought book. It would serve a better purpose inside a family photo album with grandmother's memories and thoughts of that time period. Very valid, but too disjointed and incomplete to really be called a memoir.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This account of the Holocaust is so different from many you may read. It is told through the voices of several people from the same family. The simple, matter-of-fact voices focus on the basic parts of life and make even the concentration camps seem so plain with statements like, "The conditions were horrible. The food is bad." You wonder where are the graphic illustrations of the death and destruction, which shows you how these ones survived: by desensitizing themselves to the reality and think This account of the Holocaust is so different from many you may read. It is told through the voices of several people from the same family. The simple, matter-of-fact voices focus on the basic parts of life and make even the concentration camps seem so plain with statements like, "The conditions were horrible. The food is bad." You wonder where are the graphic illustrations of the death and destruction, which shows you how these ones survived: by desensitizing themselves to the reality and thinking only of the simple way life should be. An interesting read, but do not expect a great work of prose.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I don't typically mind reading memoirs, but I would have to say that this one was trudging. We meet a Jewish family in the Transylvania area who is apparently wealthy. We learn a bit of their life pre-ghetto and then we make a very awkward trasition to ghetto and another awkward transition to concentration camp. I think that the main memories in this book center around one (who seems to be the center) character's flirting with all the GI's. I don't want to undervalue the suffering the entire fam I don't typically mind reading memoirs, but I would have to say that this one was trudging. We meet a Jewish family in the Transylvania area who is apparently wealthy. We learn a bit of their life pre-ghetto and then we make a very awkward trasition to ghetto and another awkward transition to concentration camp. I think that the main memories in this book center around one (who seems to be the center) character's flirting with all the GI's. I don't want to undervalue the suffering the entire family endured, nor do I wish to disparage all that this family lost. I simply feel that the portrayal of these memories was not done in a way to show the spirit behind the survivors.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Monica Akinyi Odhiambo

    I know people had issues about this book,but I loved how she focused on life after the holocaust.After surviving all that cruelty,hopelessness and hopelessness,am happy that Edith and Hilda just embraced life.After surviving surely nothing else can scare you.Worked,ate,kissed lots of guys,fell in love with many guys.This was a beautiful story,I know it was somehow all over but it was a good read.And the pictures of Edith,and Hilda and the Festingers,they were so beautiful.Plus the letters from N I know people had issues about this book,but I loved how she focused on life after the holocaust.After surviving all that cruelty,hopelessness and hopelessness,am happy that Edith and Hilda just embraced life.After surviving surely nothing else can scare you.Worked,ate,kissed lots of guys,fell in love with many guys.This was a beautiful story,I know it was somehow all over but it was a good read.And the pictures of Edith,and Hilda and the Festingers,they were so beautiful.Plus the letters from Nately to Edith,vice versa were so sweet.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This wasn't really a book about the Holocaust itself, in fact over half of the book was more a memoir of their time after WWII had ended. This was a free Kindle book so I am not going to complain overly about what some might consider "false title advertizing". But the book just wan't all that well written. And there were major digital formatting issues with it. I found that there were paragraphs that would start in the middle of a sentence and would be obviously from a different section of the b This wasn't really a book about the Holocaust itself, in fact over half of the book was more a memoir of their time after WWII had ended. This was a free Kindle book so I am not going to complain overly about what some might consider "false title advertizing". But the book just wan't all that well written. And there were major digital formatting issues with it. I found that there were paragraphs that would start in the middle of a sentence and would be obviously from a different section of the book. SO very confusing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deb Wilson

    While I don't want to be like some reviewers and day this book was awful because it wasn't dark enough, I still can't give it more than three stars. I think it had promise, and most of the stories told were interesting, but the author's voice failed to transport me into their stories. Still worth reading but don't expect too much from it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    A memoir of a family of Romanian holocaust survivors told in first person accounts by each of them and compiled by the daughter of one woman.Interesting to read about non-German or -Polish Jews who were also victimized. Also interesting in that some family members were victims of Japanese persecution in Indonesia.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Florence Primrose

    Edith and Hilda Festinger, sisters from Transylvania, were Holocaust survivors. Edith was the first GI war bride to come to the U.S. after WWII. Edith's daughter, Naomi, had heard the stories and had her parents documents. This is her story of the years from 1942-1947 of her mother's lfe.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This touching true story revolves around Naomi Litvin's parents, a holocaust survivor and an American Jewish GI who loved and married. Told in the voices of 5 separate people, I admired the faith and love of the people who survived the horrors of the Holocaust and lived to tell about it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    I never tire of memoirs about the Holocaust. This one was no exception.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    as always I enjoy reading peoples remembrances of the holocaust & how they survived. as always I enjoy reading peoples remembrances of the holocaust & how they survived.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maryellen

    This was a good story about survival from the concentration camps.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nanette Fandino-Diaz

    There are some issued with the pagination and sectioning of the kindle version of the book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    J.M.

    A good story but would've benefited from an editor who could've pulled everything together in a better linear fashion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kynthia

    Sweet love story...from horrible truths.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Billie

    The author interviewed her mother and other relatives to get their story of their experiences during the Holacaust...mostly a first hand narrative

  28. 4 out of 5

    Corissa

    Interesting but at times slow moving.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    Told not just in first person, but sounds like a transcription of interviews. Inspiring story, but did not enjoy the presentation.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linda Verdoorn

    Another interesting Holocaust story.

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