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I am A Star


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About the Author

Inge Auerbacher was born in Kippenheim, Germany. In 1942, at the age of seven, she was imprisoned in the Terezin concentration camp in what is now known as the Czech Republic. In 1946, she emigrated to the United States of American and has live in New York City ever since.
Inge graduated from Queens College with a B.S. degree in chemistry, and continued with post-graduate work in biochemistry. She worked for over thirty-eight years as a chemist with prominent scientists in research and clinical work.
In addition to being a chemist, world traveler, travel writer, and avid photographer, Inge is also a writer. More than fifty of her poems and numerous articles have been published. She wrote the lyrics "We Shall Never Forget," the only original song presented at the first World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Jerusalem (1981).
Since 1981, Inge has been lecturing on the Holocaust, and has spoken to thousands of people all over the world. She has also appeared on many radio and television programs, and her story is the subject of the award-winning documentary film The Olympic Doll, directed by Gloria Gerzon.
Inge Auerbacher is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award.

Find out more about Inge Auerbacher at


Gr 4-6 Of the 15,000 children imprisoned in the Terezin concentration camp, only about 100 survived. Auerbacher was one of them, and she tells of her experiences in this brief memoir. Auerbacher's poems, incorporated into the text, are reminiscent of the writings in I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children's Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp 1942-1944 (Schocken, 1977). Both books give a child's perspective on the horrendous conditions in Theresienstadt without bitterness or pessimism. It isn't clear, though, whether Auerbacher's poems were written as a child or as an adult, and they are often awkwardly placed, interrupting the narrative. Bold roughly lined charcoal drawings and numerous black-and-white photographs are included. Bernbaum's drawings are neither as complex nor as symbolic as his oil paintings in My Brother's Keeper: the Holocaust Through the Eyes of an Artist (Putnam, 1985) but they do communicate the incidents described in the text and the poetry with emotional expression. In general, the illustrative material is not well reproduced. In spite of its flaws, this is a readable account that could be useful to children who have read Abells' The Children We Remember (Greenwillow, 1986), which is written on an easier level. Lorraine Douglas, Winnipeg Public Library, Manitoba, Canada

This account of one girl's Holocaust experience is rich for its interweaving of autobiography and historical data. At age six, Auerbacher was forced to wear the yellow star that set her apart. Then she was sent to the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Fifteen thousand children entered that camp, but only a hundred exited alive. And of more than 1000 people who arrived with Auerbacher, only 15 survived. It's a moving story supported by well-preserved wartime photographs and Bernbaum's harsh, spare drawings. The author's ability to survive is linked to her later capacity to translate hardship and tragedy into poetry of hope and perseverance. Her perspective, while chilling, pierces the heart with memorable imagery, such as envying the birds, which are free to fly away from the camp. Ages 11-up. (April)

Praise for Inge Auerbacher and I Am a Star

"Inge Auerbacher's second narrative--about the miraculous rebirth of hope in the heart of Jewish children--is as absorbing and as moving as her first testimony [I Am a Star].--Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize Winning author of Night on Beyond the Yellow Star to America

"Deeply moving and true . . . I cannot think of any book on this topic which I could recommend for this age group as I do this book."--Bruno Bettelheim, celebrated child psychologist and author "This account of one girl's Holocaust experience is rich for its interweaving of autobiography and historical data . . . A moving story . . . [The author's] perspective, while chilling, pierces the heart with memorable imagery."--Publishers Weekly on I Am a Star

"While the author's story is personal, there is recognition of the Nazi toll on non-Jews as well as non-Jewish resistance to the ongoing horrors . . . This account will be a revelation of manageable proportions to middle-grade readers, especially those who already know Anne Frank's story."--Booklist on I Am a Star

"Auerbacher's poems, incorporated into the text . . . give a child's perspective on the horrendous conditions in Theresienstadt without bitterness or pessimism."--School Library Journal on I Am a Star

"A small treasure."--The Jewish Week on I Am a Star

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