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The Secret Holocaust Diaries
Cover of The Secret Holocaust Diaries
The Secret Holocaust Diaries
The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister
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Nonna Bannister carried a secret almost to her Tennessee grave: the diaries she had kept as a young girl experiencing the horrors of the Holocaust. This book reveals that story. Nonna's childhood...
Nonna Bannister carried a secret almost to her Tennessee grave: the diaries she had kept as a young girl experiencing the horrors of the Holocaust. This book reveals that story. Nonna's childhood...
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  • Nonna Bannister carried a secret almost to her Tennessee grave: the diaries she had kept as a young girl experiencing the horrors of the Holocaust. This book reveals that story. Nonna's childhood writings, revisited in her late adulthood, tell the remarkable tale of how a Russian girl from a family that had known wealth and privilege, then exposed to German labor camps, learned the value of human life and the importance of forgiveness. This story of loss, of love, and of forgiveness is one you will not forget.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 31, 2009
    Russian refugee Bannister (1927–2004) rarely spoke about her brutal experiences under the regimes of Stalin and Hitler, not even to the American she married after the war. In this memoir, she reveals how a privileged childhood in the 1920s and '30s gave way to horror and loss in the 1940s. Although the sound quality of this production is poor (lots of rustling papers), Rebecca Gallagher does reasonably well with the multiple languages and wisely avoids attempting to replicate European accents. What is irritating, however, is the constant interruption in the form of unnecessary editor's notes, which make the narrative choppy and disjointed. More helpful is the seventh disc, which contains an interview with Bannister's husband and son, a precious audio reminiscence from Nonna herself, recorded in 1993, and abundant PDF materials, including maps, photographs and genealogical data. A Tyndale hardcover.

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2009
    How this story came to be written is a big part of the drama. The only World War II survivor of her wealthy Russian, devout Christian family, Nonna Lisowskaya came to the U.S. in 1950, married Henry Bannister, and never spoke about her Holocaust experienceuntil a few years before her death in 2004, when she revealed her diaries, originally written in six languages on paper scraps that she had kept in a pillow strapped to her body throughout the war. Now those diaries, in her English translation, tell her story of fleeing Stalinist Russia, not knowing what was waiting in Hitlers Germany, where she saw her mother murdered in the camps, escaped a massacre of Jews shot into a pit, was nursed by Catholic nuns, and much more. The editors commentary in different type constantly interrupts the memoir, but the notes are helpful in explaining history and context. The added-on heavy messages celebrating Nonnas Christian forgiveness seem intrusive and unnecessary, no matter how heartfelt.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

  • Calvin Miller, Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School You have only to dip into this astounding memoir to see that the suffering that marked Nonna's early years was the very thing that God used to shape this remarkable woman. Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin have managed to give Nonna Bannister the same feeling of literary and historical importance that John and Elizabeth Sherrill brough to Corrie ten Boom in The Hiding Place. Read it and weep or read it and rejoice, but above all, read it.
  • David S. Dockery, President, Union University What a marvelous service has been provided by Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin in bringing to light the untold story of Nonna Bannister! This inspiring volume provides a window into the personal and painful reflections of one of the darkest periods in humna history. Yet readers will be strengthened by reading this most moving and hopeful account of courage, faith, and forgiveness.
  • Lyle W. Dorset, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelicalism, Beeson Divinity School This book is absolutely captivating. It is an extraordinary glimpse inside the oppressive nature of Russian Communism and the viciously evil heart of Nazi Germany. But, the revelations of human depravity manifested in horrific acts of brutality and murder notwithstanding, rays of God's Light appear in the form of a Russian Orthodox grandmother, a frail Jewish boy, and a group of Christlike German Catholic nuns and priests. These diaries are at once heartbreaking, hopeful, and unforgettable.

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