Burned Child Seeks the Fire: A Memoir

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Beacon Press, 1997 - History - 105 pages
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The year was 1943, and a fourteen-year-old girl named Cordelia was summoned to Gestapo headquarters in Berlin. Her mother was to be charged with treason for trying to arrange for her part-Jewish daughter to leave Germany. But Cordelia was given a choice: if she agreed to acknowledge her secret Jewish heritage and take the consequences, her mother would go free.
Burned Child Seeks the Fire is the powerful story of a young girl, raised as a Catholic in prewar Berlin, who descends into the underworld of Auschwitz while her mother remains behind. Surviving by chance and by her wits, at one point forced to work as an assistant to Mengele himself, the young Cordelia emerges at last at the war's end, alive but deeply changed.
Cordelia Edvardson tells the story of her childhood and adolescence in a series of brief, lyrical episodes. Her memoir is composed of small moments: a piece of bread shared secretly in a latrine; a mother speaking softly to her toddler as she walks with him to the gas chambers; Cordelia's discovery, in a list of dead prisoners, of the name of the woman who previously wore her own prisoner number.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A woman who survived Auschwitz as an adolescent thrusts her harrowing story on a public soothed by Anne Frank's gentle and forgiving paradigm. Edvardson is in many ways the anti-Frank. The normal ... Read full review


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About the author (1997)

Cordelia Edvardson is the Middle East correspondent for Svenska Dagbladet.

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