Book Review: The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz by Sara Leibovits & Eti Elboim

Poland, 1944 The train slowed and halted with a squeal of the brakes. It felt like we waited in the carriage for an eternity, but eventually, the heavy doors opened, directly into the chaos outside. Sara Leibovits, a 16-year-old Jewish girl, was a passenger on the train, together with her family. Within minutes, their horrific fate was sealed…

Goodreads blurb for The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz

Title: The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz: A remarkable and compelling memoir of love, loss and hope during World War II
Authors: Sara Leibovits & Eti Alboim
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir, Biography, History, World War II, Holocaust, Judaism
Pages: 336 (Paperback)
Publish Date: September 19th, 2023

My Rating: ★★★★★
Read: 8/27/2023 – 9/10/2023


I’ve read a number of Holocaust memoirs over the years. While they are all unique and heart-wrenching in their own right, The Girl Who Survived Auschwitz is a standout. Not only do we get to read Sara Leibovits’ story of Auschwitz, but we also get to hear her daughter, Eti Elboim’s, perspective on what it’s like to be a second-generation Holocaust survivor. 

The book mainly discusses Sara Leibovits’ year spent in Auschwitz and her means of survival. We also get an introduction to her family and glimpses of her childhood. Scattered throughout are her daughter’s recollections of growing up in Israel, trying to figure out her parents’ pasts. 

What I appreciated most about this book is how deeply the Jewish faith was observed before, during, and after the Holocaust. I thought I was fairly well-versed on various traditions but there was a lot I ended up learning. Sara’s attitude toward life is admirable. While there are many parts that are difficult to read, the book as a whole left me feeling uplifted and inspired. 

A huge thanks to Harper360 for sending me an ARC of the book to read and review!

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The hopeful tone of the book.
  • Having a mother/daughter perspective.
  • Includes a glossary of Yiddish and other words.

What I didn’t like:

  • I wish the footnotes were at the bottom of the page, however, this might be because I was reading an advanced copy.


Thanks again to Harper360 for sending me this book! This is one that is going to stick with me.

Where to buy the book:

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