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I will Plant You a Lilac Tree by Laura Hillman

a memoir of a Schindler's list survivor

Kelsey Wright

on 29 November 2012

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Transcript of I will Plant You a Lilac Tree by Laura Hillman

In the year of 1942, Jew Hannelore Wolff, like most 15 year olds, wanted to live a normal life; hang out with her friends, go to school, etc. But that all changed when she gets a letter saying that her father, Martin Wolff, has been murdered in one of the many concentration camps. Then she gets news that her two brothers, Wolfgang and Selly, and her mother, Karoline Wolff, have been called for deportation. Knowing her familie's fate, she writes a letter to the Gestapo, asking to be deported along side her mother and brothers. I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree, By Laura Hillman; a memoir of a Schindler's list survivor During her arrival to her familie's home in Aurich, Germany, Hannelore, Wolfgang, Selly, and their mother hurry to grab any valuables they can stuff in a suitcase before being shipped out to the ghetto in Lublin. When they are then assigned jobs, Hannelore gets lucky when she lands a job as a caretaker for a Nazi official's children. Soon after their arrival, Hannelore befriended a young POV officer, who had escorted her to the Official's home. There she got well fed and the work wasn't too hard, in fact she enjoyed the company of the children, but soon the Official's wife fired her for 'brainwashing' her children, so Hannelore had to go work in the oil factory, making oil lamps for Nazi houses. During the night one night, a Nazi come's to Hannelore's apartment door, asking for Wolfgang. She and her mother knew what that meant, and soon after, they never heard from Wolfgang again. Not long after Wolfgang was taken away, Eugen, the POV officer that Hannelore befriended, warned her about a liquidation that was going to happen, meaning all Jews will be disposed or rid of in the Ghetto in Lublin. Panicked, Hannelore rushes to tell her family, and they soon are being led by Eugen to a secret hiding place, so they wont be shipped off to a concentration camp. It doesn't work to well. Hannelore gets captured and thrown onto a train to Belzyce, a concentration camp, not knowing what happened to Selly or her mother. Hannelore shows so much courage in this biography because she risks her life to be with her family when she writes to the Gestapo to be deported at her own free will, she risks the chances of being beaten to save her friends, and she makes it through the holocaust alive. I would rate this book 5 stars because it shows you how some people show real acts of courage in tough situations, and the author really teaches you that anything is possible. When the train finally stops after days of restless travel, Hannelore and many other Jewish prisoners arrive at Belzyce, the first of many concentration camps Hannelore will encounter. Where and When:
Hannelore has been;
Important dates;
Spring of 1942- when she found out her father was murdered and her family was called to be deportated.
1942 to 1945- time in which Hannelore has been deportated to each concentration camp.
October 22, 1945- Hannelore Wolff and Dick Hillman wed. Who and Why:
Dick Hillman- a Polish POW whom she fell in love with, helped Hannelore survive by bringing her fresh clothes and food.
Selly and Wolfgang Wolff- brothers that died during the holocaust.
Karoline Wolff- mother of Hannelore, Selly, and Wolfgang, wife to Martin Wolff; never heard from after separation from Hannelore.
Martin Wolff- Father of Hannelore and her brothers; murdered at concentration camp after being arrested. After who knows how long of being in Belzyce, Hannelore meets Dick Hillman, a Polish POW prisoner of war, whom she falls in love with. They end up meeting behind the kitchen of the camp almost every night, where Dick brings her warm clothing and fresh food, which ultimately keeps her alive. Within months of traveling to different camps, where Hannelore had witnessed shootings, shoveled the dead into large pits, faced sickness and almost death, she gets a message from her friend Eva that she, including over 200 other women and men in the camps, are on Oscar Schindler's list to go to his camp. Oscar Schindler is a wealthy German who takes Jews away from the concentration camps and tries to save them. Already he's saved over 1,300 Jews in the beginning of 1942. One day, while Hannelore is on her bunk in the barracks on the women's side of the camp, she, and the other Schindler women, get sent onto a train, thinking they're finally being saved, but they end up being sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most deadly and largest death camp in Germany. When Hannelore arrives, the first thing she see's are alot of brick houses with smoke coming through the chimney; smoke going through the chimney with the scent of buring flesh. When months and months went by with no hope left, a miracle happens. While sleeping, Hannelore hears a loud woman list the names of all the Schindler women to get on the train. As happy as can be, but almost unable to walk from her sickness, Hannelore boards the train. At Oscar Schindler's camp, Hannelore is met by Dick, who she parted with when she got deported to Auschwitz. During the few weeks at Schindler's camp, she is brought back to health with little work to do. And when they thought nothing could go better, they get news that the Russians have made Germany surrender, meaning the war was over, and all the captured Jews were free. Hannelore and Dick Hillman end up marrying soon after, and besides Dick's sisters, neither Hannelore nor Dick heard from any of their families again.
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