Skip to content
Mass Market Paperback Hello, America: A Refugee's Journey from Auschwitz to the New World Book

ISBN: 1416916253

ISBN13: 9781416916253

Hello, America: A Refugee's Journey from Auschwitz to the New World

(Book #3 in the Elli Friedmann Series)

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Very Good

Save $3.30!
List Price $8.99

1 Available

Book Overview

Having withstood the horrors of Auschwitz and made it out alive, eighteen-year-old Elli is more than ready to leave behind the painful memories and start fresh in America. What she is not fully prepared for, though, are all the challenges of creating a new life in a completely new place -- especially one as hectic as New York City Within moments of stepping off the ship and into the arms of welcoming relatives, Elli's mind starts spinning with questions...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


The book arrived in excellent condition and in a timely manner. And it to made me want to read more of her books, so I ordered more of them. Interesting story.

worthwhile story to read!

This was an excellent true life story to read. It conveyed the difficulties and joys of learning to adapt and live in America in the 1950's. It puts the reader in touch with the challenges and emotional upheaval that was faced by Jewish post World War II concentration camp survivors. It was an interesting biography too of a woman with aspiration, motivation and dreams to become a teacher. In this story the reader sees the fruition of that dream.

In the golden land at last.

Livia Bitton-Jackson continues the story of her life after Auschwitz in "Hello, America," the third installment of the trilogy she began with the powerful "I Have Lived a Thousand Years." The year is 1951 and the narrator, whom everyone calls Elli, is ecstatic when she and her mother sail into New York Harbor. Elli wonders, "America, will you be my home? Will you embrace me as a daughter yearning to belong, an equal among equals....?" Although she never attended high school, she yearns to go to college and become a teacher. She also eagerly anticipates a long-awaited reunion with her beloved older brother, Bubi, whom she has not seen in four years. Elli has painful memories of the past. She recalls with an ache in her heart the last glimpse that she had of Papa in the old country when he was taken away by the authorities, never to be seen again. She cannot forget the harrowing years that she and her mother spent in Auschwitz and in the DP camps. However, her troubles do not end in America. Bitton-Jackson recounts the difficulty she has dealing with a frosty female representative of HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, as well as an employer who tries to take advantage of her. On the plus side, Papa's brother, Uncle Abish and his wife, Aunt Lilly, give Elli and her mother a warm American welcome. When she first arrives in New York, Elli is a greenhorn with an uncertain command of English . She even believed the ship's captain who transported her to America when he jokingly told her that she would need a passport to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. To her, America is a puzzling and overwhelming place, and she is particularly appalled by the conspicuous consumption and waste that she sees all around her. Elli doubts that she will ever feel completely comfortable in this extravagant country, but little by little, she begins to relax and adjust to her new surroundings. In this fast-paced book, Bitton-Jackson tells about her first jobs, the new friends that she makes, and her tentative steps towards romance. "Hello, America" is suitable for young adults, ages twelve and up. Although it is not strictly necessary to read the books of the trilogy in order, it would be helpful to do so in order to get a complete picture of Livia Bitton-Jackson's fascinating journey.

Trials and triumphs of a new immigrant

This book goes into territory very very few Shoah memoirists have--what the person's experience was like after leaving Europe and arriving in America. I'm glad Mrs. Bitton-Jackson decided to make her memoirs a trilogy, covering all of the important years and events of her adolescence and early years as an adult--the Shoah, the experience of going home after liberation and then beginning the long slow process of leaving home once again, this time of their own choosing, and finally what it was like when she and her mother joined her brother and some other relatives in America. Too many Shoah memoirs never go this far. Elli has long dreamt about what America would be like, and finds that, while in many ways it really is the land of her dreams and fantasies, it also has a side she never knew existed. She and her mother begin finding out that America is not like Europe, that you can't just leave a basket of groceries unattended on the street while you're in another shop, that you're not supposed to greet anyone on the subway, that it's dangerous to hitch a ride, that they are now expected to keep their tragic pasts to themselves, that people in America throw things away and buy replacements instead of repairing them, and that people just don't want to hear about what they went through or that they were in the camps. The rabbi-director of the school Elli eventually is allowed to teach at has some words with her on one occasion because she told her students the truth about the number on her arm (in age-appropriate language) instead of saying that it was her phone number. She also finds out that relations between the sexes in America are different from Europe's way of doing things, and several times misreads and misinterprets sexual/romantic advances as joking or just a guy trying to be her good friend. It really shocks her to find out how lightly many American young people treat sexual intimacy, and that some American men feel intimidated upon finding out that she's very smart in addition to very attractive, feeling that a blonde can't be both a bombshell and an egghead. My only small complaint about this book is that it kind of seemed to end without a full sense of closure and resolution, like there could have been another chapter or two to fully wrap up this chapter of Elli's life. And it was a surprise to me that Elli and her mother initially live with her aunt Celia and her husband Martin when they arrive in America; it was never mentioned at all in either of the two previous books that Celia, who appeared briefly in the first book, had survived, or that her husband had survived as well. It seems like a bit of discontinuity there, that something that important, two of their immediate relatives also having survived, should at least have been mentioned in some detail beforehand, so we would have known when they found out these two were still alive, how they found out, and when they got in touch with them again.

GREAT book; Great sequel

HELLO AMERICA by Livia Bitton-Jackson is the sequel to I HAVE LIVED A THOUSAND YEARS: GROWING UP IN THE HOLOCAUST. HELLO, AMERICA begins right where I HAVE LIVED A THOUSAND YEARS left off...with her and her mother standing on the ship seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. The book shares her experiences (good and bad) of her new life in America. Of course, she is surrounded by an unfamiliar and seemingly strange culture and language. As she learns English (and the culture), she begins to feel more and more at home in America although life is not always easy. She finds that most Americans just are not interested in hearing about the Holocaust or recognizing her pain and anguish. In fact, some Jewish-Americans seem not to care about the experiences of those in the holocaust. This is what she finds so unbelievable. The book shares her experiences working, shopping, dating, and learning the culture--for example, she learns that the streets are not always a safe place--as well as her emotional experiences as she still deals with the aftermath of surving the Holocaust while other family members and friends did not. Probably the most memorable scene of HELLO, AMERICA is when she is sharing her experiences as a first grade teacher in a Hebrew school. The principal--a rabbi--calls her into his office to discipline her for daring to mention the fact that she was in a concentration camp. She explains that the child saw the number tattooed on her arm and asked where it came from. He tells her that she should have lied and said that the number was her telephone number. She is outraged, offended, and shocked..."In my pain and bitterness I wonder, do all Americans, Jews and Gentiles who were untouched by our tragedy and don't even want to hear about it, feel like him? Do they also prefer to believe that the number tattooed on my arm in Auschwitz is nothing but a harmless New York telephone number? Do they also prefer to place me, and all of us with numbers tattooed on our arms, beyond the pale of their world?" (141).
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured