The librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

I wanted to read The librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe after I saw Dita at BBC Breakfast. The book is about her, a fourteen-year-old child that is living in the concentration camp at Auschwitz. She is designated as the secret librarian by Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch. Thus she became responsible for safekeeping the few books they had, that were used to teach small children in the children’s block. This was dangerous, as having books was prohibited and it would have carried a death sentence.

It is an interesting book and it made me think of how life was different for people in Auschwitz, in different parts of the camp. Don’t miss my other reviews on books about the Holocaust.

The librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Besides the paper books, the teachers were “living books”, where they would recount books as stories for the children. These living books could be borrowed just as the paper ones.

The story is a bit boring at the start and Iturbe tells more stories, not only of Dita Kraus, but of other people involved in the children’s block, Block 31 of Auschwitz. It is an easy read, but the flow is not as good, maybe because it was written in Spanish and translated to English. Either way, it is an interesting book.

The librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Ebury Press
Year it was published: 2019 (in English)
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): Fiction. Holocaust.
Pages: 423

About the author: Antonio González Iturbe is a Spanish journalist, writer, and professor. He studied Journalism at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona. In 2004 he published his first novel, Rectos torcidos. He continued to publish children’s books, Los casos del inspector Cito, about a police officer.
The Spanish version of the Librarian of Auschwitz was published in 2012, winning the Troa Prize in 2013 with it. After that he continued with children’s book, La Isla de Susu, about a girl living on an island, and he published the novel A cielo abierto.
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1 thought on “The librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe”

  • It sounds like a very interesting book, even if it does perhaps lose a little bit in the translation.

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