Sunday 29 August 2021

We Share the Same Sky by Rachael Cerrotti

 Rachael Cerrotti here tells her grandmother’s story. Hana Dubová kept a diary for much of her life.  She also used to tell her grandchildren about her earlier life and her survival of the Holocaust. She lived for a while in Denmark.  There was little anti-Semitism there at the time and even when the Third Reich took hold, Jews living in Denmark did not have to wear a yellow star.  Whilst they were away in the camps, neighbours looked after their homes and gardens and even watered the house plants. Of course, many did not come back.

Dubová’s life takes her away from her native Czechoslovakia to Denmark, Sweden and eventually the USA. She had two less than perfect marriages and lives with survivor guilt.

Cerrotti usually contrasts what her grandmother experienced with what is happening today in the world.  She reminds us that there are actually now more displaced persons than there were at the end of World War II. Her grandmother survives the prejudice only to encounter another  sort of prejudice amongst other survivors against another race. The same problems exist in another form.

Although this is aimed at an adult readership it is a text that could easily be used in school – Key Stage 4 and above. At the end of the book is a useful section of questions for reading groups.   

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