Cover image for I am a star : child of the Holocaust
I am a star : child of the Holocaust
Auerbacher, Inge, 1934-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Puffin Books, 1993.

Physical Description:
87 pages : illustrations, maps ; 20 cm
The author's reminiscences about her childhood in Germany, years of which were spent in a Nazi concentration camp. Includes several of her original poems.
General Note:
"Ages 8-12"--Cover.
Reading Level:
950 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.6 2.0 67274.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.4 5 Quiz: 40349 Guided reading level: W.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D810.J4 A94 1986C Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



Inge Auerbacher's childhood was as happy and peaceful as that of any other German child--until 1942. By then, the Nazis were in power, and because Inge's family was Jewish, she and her parents with sent to a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The Auerbachers defied death for three years, and were finally freed in 1945. In her own words, Inge Auerbacher tells her family's harrowing story--and how they carried with them ever after the strength and courage of will that allowed them to survive.

"A moving story . . . [The author's] perspective, while chilling, pierces the heart with memorable imagery." -- Publishers Weekly

Author Notes

Inge Auerbacher was born in Kippenheim, Germany. In 1942, at the age of seven, she was imprisoned in the Terezin concentration camp in what is now known as the Czech Republic. In 1946, she emigrated to the United States of American and has live in New York City ever since.
Inge graduated from Queens College with a B.S. degree in chemistry, and continued with post-graduate work in biochemistry. She worked for over thirty-eight years as a chemist with prominent scientists in research and clinical work.
In addition to being a chemist, world traveler, travel writer, and avid photographer, Inge is also a writer. More than fifty of her poems and numerous articles have been published. She wrote the lyrics "We Shall Never Forget," the only original song presented at the first World Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors in Jerusalem (1981).
Since 1981, Inge has been lecturing on the Holocaust, and has spoken to thousands of people all over the world. She has also appeared on many radio and television programs, and her story is the subject of the award-winning documentary film The Olympic Doll , directed by Gloria Gerzon.
Inge Auerbacher is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Louis E. Yavner Citizen Award.

Find out more about Inge Auerbacher at

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-7. The author is one of about 100 children who survived Czechoslovakia's Terezin concentration camp. Her memoir of survival begins with a recollection of her family and the life they led before the Nazis came to power. This recollection becomes a history lesson as the author describes anti-Semitism throughout the ages and tells how in Germany it reached unimaginable heights; life became even more difficult as the Nazis systematically removed the rights of Jews and war engulfed society. Auerbacher's family went to Terezin in 1942 when she was seven. Luck was seemingly the chief factor in their survival; selection of victims to be shipped to the Auschwitz gas chambers was dependent upon SS whims. Then, as the war drew to a close, gas chambers were constructed at Terezin itself; it was only Allied liberation that spared the lives of the Auerbacher family. While the author's story is personal, there is recognition of the Nazi toll on non-Jews as well as of non-Jewish resistance to the ongoing horrors. The account is profusely illustrated with photographs of the people and places and with Bernbaum's haunting drawings. Also interspersed throughout are Auerbacher's poems about camp experiences. These, unfortunately, are not up to the standard of the prose. They insist on rhyme, and though the subject matter is sobering, the impact of the words is undercut by the poems' poor technique. Verses aside, this account will be a revelation of manageable proportions to middle-grade readers, especially those who already know Anne Frank's story. DMW. 940.53'15 Auerbacher, Inge / Jews Germany Biography / Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) Germany (West) Kippenheim Personal narratives / Terezin (Czechoslovakia: Concentration camp) / Concentration camps (Czechoslovakia) [CIP] 86-16410

Publisher's Weekly Review

This account of one girl's Holocaust experience is rich for its interweaving of autobiography and historical data. At age six, Auerbacher was forced to wear the yellow star that set her apart. Then she was sent to the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. Fifteen thousand children entered that camp, but only a hundred exited alive. And of more than 1000 people who arrived with Auerbacher, only 15 survived. It's a moving story supported by well-preserved wartime photographs and Bernbaum's harsh, spare drawings. The author's ability to survive is linked to her later capacity to translate hardship and tragedy into poetry of hope and perseverance. Her perspective, while chilling, pierces the heart with memorable imagery, such as envying the birds, which are free to fly away from the camp. Ages 11-up. (April) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This brief personal account of Inge Auerbacher's experiences as a child in the Terezin concentration camp (Prentice-Hall, 1987; Puffin, pap. 1993) is narrated by actress Suzanne Toren. The narration reflects Toren's dramatic personal feelings, often not leaving some of the interpretation and emphasis to listeners. The quality of the recording is excellent. In the first four chapters, Auerbacher gives a history of the Jews and the events that lead up to the Holocaust. Born in Germany in 1934, Auerbacher's father and grandfather were arrested by the Nazis in 1938 during Kristillnacht, when the homes and businesses of Jews in Germany were destroyed. Inge and her parents are imprisoned in the Terezin concentration camp. Of the 15,000 children imprisoned in Terezin, only 13 survived until the end of the war. Inge's story is accompanied by many poems that she wrote about her experiences. The book's charcoal drawings by Israel Bernbaum and the black-and-white photographs add to the text and should be available for students. Auerbacher ends her account with a time line beginning with Hitler's rise to power and ending with liberation in May of 1945. This audiobook would impact both a group audience and individual listener with the horrors of the Holocaust. The story begs to be listened to time and again for the full impact.-Katrina Yurenka, New Boston Central School, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.