Nov 262013
Review: The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna BannisterThe Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister by Nonna Bannister
Published by Tyndale House Publishers on Apr 1, 2009
Genres: Memoir, Non-fiction
Format: eBook from Free Download
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Nonna Bannister carried a secret almost to her Tennessee grave: the diaries she kept as a young girl experiencing the horrors of the Holocaust while learning compassion and love for her fellow human beings. Nonna’s writings tell the remarkable tale of how a Russian girl, born into a family that had known wealth and privileges, was exposed to the concentration camps and learned the value of human life and the importance of forgiveness.

This was a remarkable story about a young Russian girl who lived through WWII and the Holocaust. There are obvious ties to Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, but since it’s told from a completely different nationality, and from someone who survived, it makes for a uniquely different story.

Something that really struck me was how many happy memories Nonna included in her tale. This isn’t just a stark look at the horrors she survived, but there are as many joyful memories from her past, both before the war and during the early years. It was heartening to know that Nonna wasn’t broken by her experiences, but instead, chose to remember good times that were important to her as well as the bad times.

The narration of the story was a bit choppy in parts, and there was a slight distance between the narration and reader. This was likely due to the fact that the story was Nonna’s interpretation of her notes and diary entries, not the entries themselves. The narration jumped around quite a bit, especially in the beginning, but was fairly easy to follow.

Overall, this is an important historical narrative that should be suggested reading along with Anne Frank’s story. The events that Nonna suffered were heartbreaking, and yet there is a positivity to the book that makes it feel like a more approachable read than most war memoirs.

  One Response to “Review: The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister”

  1. I read this book a few years ago and felt very much as you do. I thought it was a unique perspective on the Holocaust as Nonna is Russian instead of Jewish. It is similar to Anne Frank’s diary but I think that may be part of what appealed to me about Nonna’s story. Anne Frank’s story is so popular and I’ve read it so many times that it was easy for me to fall into the diary of Nonna’s. I think this is a great book and definitely one I also recommend.

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