Eva lives with her Papa and her sister, Rachel in the ghetto of Bedzin, after being forced there by the Nazis. When Rachel is suddenly taken from them in a raid, Eva’s Papa does everything he can to find out where she is. When he finds out that Rachel is in a camp working at a factory, he sends Eva there, hoping to keep her safe. Eva beings a two year stay at Parschnitz Internment Camp, working every day at a uniform factory in Trutnov. She has been very blessed, but she and Rachel still face many trials. Throughout the hardships, Eva’s faith in God carries her through. Will He come to their rescue?
- Eva and Rachel got into a slight disagreement about Rachel going outside (because she had been sick), and Rachel left.
- Eva ran to catch up with her sister to give her her sweater, but didn’t go with Rachel.
- Instead, Eva went for a walk herself, when suddenly, truck horns blared in the street.
- Soldiers began to jump off trucks and grab people. They grabbed Rachel before she could get away and took her away.
- For the next three weeks, Eva looked for Rachel, and Papa tried to find out where she was.
- Papa told her that she found out Rachel was a life and was working in a factory making cloth for German army blankets and uniforms.
- He tells her that it is not safe for her in the ghetto, and he is going to send her to where Rachel is. Eva doesn’t want to leave her father.
- She left the next morning on a train that took a lot of Jews to a lot of different camps.
- Eva got off the train after three days and asked to be put in the barrack with her sister, and the let her go there.
- She finds Rachel, and Eva notices that Rachel is sick.
- The first night, Eva meets Rachel’s friends, Kayla, Dora, and Rosie. The five of them become good friends.
- The next morning, the girls have to get up at 5:15 to get rations and make their way to Trutnov to work in the factory all day. They take the train to the city and then walk 5K to get to the factory.
- Eva had to go to the office to get placed. Herr Schmidt took her and brought her up to the fourth floor – the flax spinning floor.
- Herr Schmidt gave her a machine, and he had Hannah, another girl, show her what to do.
- Eva finds out that Herr Schmidt is a devout Christian, and he treats the girls very well but makes sure that the Nazis don’t find out.
- After lunch, Eva gets her own machine, and she is put next to a Czech woman, and they are not allowed to talk. When the Czech woman leaves an hour before the Jews, she leaves an apple and some cheese on Eva’s stool.
- Kayla tells Eva about a project that some in shipping are doing where they treat bolts of fabric with chemicals before their loaded on the trains, which will weaken the fabric so they will fall apart after a couple of weeks. She asks Eva to join, but Eva refuses.
- Rachel and Eva wash their hair at the factory one day so they can use warm water. Later that day, Rachel gets very sick. Once they get back to the camp, they take her to the infirmary and find out she was allergic to the thread that was soaking in the water they used.
- Frau Hawlik calls Eva, and Eva thinks she is in trouble for washing her hair at the factory. Instead, Frau Hawlik wants her to make candy for her.
- As winter came, Eva was knitting for all of the ladies in return for extra rations. They struggled to stay alive during the long walks in the freezing weather with little food.
- Eva hears from the Czech women a rumor that Bedzin has been wiped out. Eva goes into shock, but doesn’t tell her sister for fear that her colds will get worse.
- Herr Schmidt let her off the rest of the afternoon so she could rest and cry.
- Eva had been there a year, and Yom Kippur came. Herr Schmidt declared it a “cleaning day” so they had to look like they were cleaning when the guards came through.
- Eva decides to fast and pray that day, even though many of the women decide not to. She began reading her father’s prayer book, which restored her faith in God.
- They find out that day that five of the Jewish workers disappeared, and Kayla was one of those.
- Since the Germans were losing the war, they began to cut back on rations and supplies. Soon, they said that everyone had to walk the whole way instead of taking the train.
- Eva was so tired from the long walk, that she was carless after washing her hair, and didn’t tie it all back into her handkerchief. She was falling a sleep at the spinning wheel, fell forward, and her hair got caught in the machine.
- She blacked out until the next day, and she was in a ton of pain because a lot of her hair had been ripped out. She couldn’t stand up win the inspectors came, but Frau Hawlik saved them. Eva believed God was still watching out for them.
- A crowd of ladies and children from another camp were marching through the camp, and they had to stay outside for a day or two in the winter before moving on.
- In the middle of March, the factory closed because there was no money and no soldiers in need of uniforms. The girls stayed in the camp all day. Herr Schmidt kept them updated on the advance of the Allies.
- Rosie died.
- Eva volunteers to dig ditches to get extra rations, and someone steals her rations, but the guards are nice to her.
- They began to hear gunfire in the distance. The guards had abandoned the camp, and they turned off the water. Even Frau Hawlik left.
- Rachel was very sick and needed water, but since there wasn’t one, they couldn’t do anything for her.
- Eva went out in the middle of the night to find water somewhere, and she did.
- Three days later, some trucks came and the people told them they were free. They began to give the prisoners food and attention. They got medical help for those who needed it, and the girls were able to wander wherever they wanted to go.
- Rachel began the process of recovery, and she got better after a while. Soon, Rachel and Eva went home on a train, hoping to find their father. When they arrived, they found out that everyone in the Ghetto, including their father, had been lined up and killed.
This book reminded me how I need to be sure to place my complete faith in God, even in the midst of hard times. Girls all around Eva were telling her to give up her faith in God – He had abandoned them. But Eva would not give up. She was still confident God was protecting her. I need to be the same way – to place my faith in God, even though I do not know what He is doing or why I might be going through a hard time.
Use in Classroom
I think this book would be a very good book to use in the classroom – especially while studying WWII. This book not only tells a detailed, real-life story of two girls in an internment camp, but also portrays a great picture of God that I would not be able to share in a public school. I think that the students would realize that God was there and He was working. I can see this being the topic of some very deep conversations. I would definitely want to use this book for those purposes. - AB