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Beyond the Yellow Star to America
Class set order code: 1118S
This is the true story of one girl’s experiences of being an immigrant in America, struggling with the challenges of trying to assimilate into a new culture while overcoming a harrowing past. Inge was one of the few child survivors of the Holocaust, and this biographical account follows her after her family’s liberation from a Nazi concentration camp as they work hard to rebuild a life for themselves in their new country.
Ellis Island Award
New York State Department of Education Yavner Award
New York Public Library Choice, Books for the Teenage Reader
Kansas State Reading Circle Choice
Inge Auerbacher’s first book, I Am a Star: Child of the Holocaust, won the coveted Merit of Educational Distinction award from the International Center for Holocaust Studies of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League. It covers her childhood years up to age eleven and her internment in the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, ending with the Allied liberation in 1945.
Inge’s second book, Beyond the Yellow Star to America, carries readers into Inge’s experiences of being an immigrant in America as she struggles with the challenges of trying to assimilate into a new culture with a new language and a harrowing past. She has lost nearly all of her family members, her friends, her belongings, her home, her father’s business, her opportunity for an education…everything that would enable her family to be successful in a new country. And yet her parents are hard workers who are determined to start over and build a new life for themselves and their only child. They are willing to sacrifice—even more than they already have—to ensure that Inge has a promising future ahead of her.
Unfortunately, Inge’s hardships are not over in America. Soon after her arrival in New York City, she becomes ill, and the diagnosis is devastating: tuberculosis. So she goes from one prison to another; for the next two years, she is bedridden in a hospital, once again unable to do all of the things that children her age do. For the rest of her adolescence, her illness will follow her, hampering her opportunities, obstructing her social experiences, peppering her life with long periods of isolation, not just as a rare child survivor of the Holocaust but also as a teenager denied the ability to spend time with others her age, enjoying the life of a typical young woman in the early 1950s. She feels cheated. Who could blame her?
But Inge’s story, as agonizingly frustrating as it is at times, is not a sad one. Inge is so grateful to be in America, where her parents can rebuild and find success again. She seizes every opportunity she can for an education. She seeks friendships and love relationships, and she never loses her enthusiasm for time spent with others. She has learned the true lessons of the Holocaust: that human bravery and endurance, compassion and empathy can be limitless.
Today Inge is an activist for tolerance. She is also an accomplished motivational public speaker about the Holocaust, tolerance, and human rights. It is only by recognizing what happened in the past that we can prevent it from happening again in the future.
This book is enhanced with numerous photographs, writings, and mementos collected by Inge, from her childhood in Germany, through her adolescence in New York City, to her adulthood as a successful chemist and presenter to children and young people.
“Inge Auerbacher’s second narrative—about the miraculous rebirth of hope in the hearts of Jewish children—is as absorbing and as moving as her first testimony. I highly recommend it.” – Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner
“As Holocaust survivors, Inge and I were on the same boat that took us to the brightness of America. I applaud her strength and resolve to make a new life. Her story is one of courage and overcoming great odds without harboring bitterness. This book should inspire all and should be read by everyone.” – Benjamin Meed, President, American Gathering/Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
“…Inge Auerbacher brings a story of hope against all odds to readers young and old. Her story of courage during Hitler’s attempted annihilation of all of Europe’s Jews will give determination to the young…. I personally congratulate Ms. Auerbacher for baring her soul in her struggles in Europe and America. Her life is an example of moral courage, tolerance, acceptance, and respect for all peoples, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, or sexual orientation. …required reading, especially for all high school students….” – Sister Rose Thering, O.P., Ph.D., Executive Director, National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel
“It is suspenseful and interesting. It is fascinating for adults and adolescents, a significant contribution to the Holocaust literature.” – Judith S. Kestenberg, M.D., Co-Director, International Study of Organized Persecution of Children
“…I was greatly impressed with the way [Ms. Auerbacher] dealt with the many personal, physical, and emotional blows [that she] suffered during the first decades of [her] life. [Her] defiance of the enemy—[she] survived in spite of the Nazis’ commitment to destroy every Jew—[her] mature physical and emotional reactions to a dreadful disease, and above all [her] commitment to bear witness constitute an inspirational story that will surely move readers…. I will not hesitate to recommend it as a solid, highly readable account.” – Randolph L. Braham, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, City University of New York, and Director, The Rosenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies
“This is a first-rate, moving autobiographical account of life as a refugee and what it takes to step beyond past pain and create a meaningful life…. A truly wonderful complement to The Diary of Anne Frank.” – VOYA Magazine
“…simple, deeply effective prose…. Students studying the Holocaust will benefit from Inge’s perspective and empathize with her experiences. Recommended for junior high school students.” – KLIATT Magazine