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Mass Market Paperback I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust Book

ISBN: 0689823959

ISBN13: 9780689823954

I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust

(Book #1 in the Elli Friedmann Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

What is death all about? What is life all about? So wonders thirteen-year-old Elli Friedmann as she fights for her life in a Nazi concentration camp. A remarkable memoir, I Have Lived a Thousand Years is a story of cruelty and suffering, but at the same time a story of hope, faith, perseverance, and love. It wasn't long ago that Elli led a normal life that included family, friends, school, and thoughts about boys. A life in which Elli could lie and...

Customer Reviews

8 ratings

I have lived a thousand years.

I highly recommend this book to anyone.

Profound Book!

I read this book probably 20 years ago and it's still in the top 5 most influential reads for me. Highly recommend!


I read this book as a child, probably 10 or 11 years old. It had a profound effect on me, and I can still remember scenes in the book vividly years later.

Gripping and unforgettable!

I have read a lot of books about the holocaust, and I especially like to read memoirs written by survivors of the Holocaust. This is one such memoir that is compelling and heartbreaking in the descriptions of the horrors suffered by the writer and her family during the Holocaust. Initially, we witness the author's desire to be loved and praised by her mother, her ambition to be a poet, and her descriptions of simple, everyday life in her little village...later, we are led on a horrific journey beginning with the restrictions imposed upon the Jews in the village, the deportation of Elli's[ the author] father to a labor camp in Hungary, and finally Elli's own deportation together with her mother and brother to Auschwitz...their journey of terror doesn't end at Aushwitz for Elli finds herself and her mother constantly battling for survival under the most deplorable conditions, being forced to endure unimaginable suffering and degradation, being shunted from one concentration camp to another, and finally liberation. Elli's journey is one of horror, hope, faith and resilience, and truly inspiring.

Breath Taking

Much respect is due to this author; she has been exceedingly generous to attempt to tell us, people who can never know, about the extraordinary suffering to which she was subjected. Her writing is simple and straight-forward; scenes that she so plainly descibes are haunting. At times I found myself thinking that the author was too sweet to be true, but these are her memories, and this book is her life. I thank her for imparting to the reader a segment of her life that, truly, when you think about it, defies the written word. An important book, most definitely worth reading.

A Thousand Memories

As an avid reader of material regarding the Holocaust and WWII, I was delighted to find this book at a used book store. "I Have Lived A Thousand Years" offers an interesting perspective on the events of the Holocaust. Written by Livia Bitton-Jackson as an adult, the author transports herself back to her teenage years when her world was forever shattered by Nazi designs. The author, born Elli Friedmann, was thirteen years old when the Nazis invaded Hungary and turned her world upside down. She succinctly details the loss of freedom Jews suffered at the hands of their invaders before they were enslaved in first the ghetto, with concentration camps soon to follow. Elli is miraculously lucky in the fact that she is able to stay with her mother her entire time in the camps; in fact, it is a miracle that she was selected to live at all (as she was only chosen for her golden braids). Bitton-Jackson tells with grave beauty and pain the trials and small triumphs that populated her young world until liberation finally came. "I Have Lived A Thousand Years" is a bittersweet chronicle of the power of faith and perseverance. The author never lost hope that she would somehow survive the horrors that she witnessed day after day. Her testament is a worthy addition to the literature of the Holocaust, and one that younger readers will be able to identify with.

Very involving and compelling read

If you've read a lot of books about the Shoah, sometimes it seems like they all start to sound the same, only with different names and locations, but most good memorable books and memoirs on the subject have things setting them apart. This book, for example, is the only one I can remember having read so far where the subject (Elli) went through the camps with her mother; all of the other books I've read so far have been about siblings or friends or cousins sticking together in the camps. Sadly, there aren't more books about the mother-daughter relationship in the camps because most of the girls who went there with their mothers were immediately separated from them. Besides having the little-represented angle of how a mother and daughter supported and loved one another in the camps (particularly after Elli's mother has her injury), there are also other things in here making it a unique story. The family in this book is also smaller than most of the other families in books about the Shoah, with only Elli, her brother, their parents, and their aunt, as opposed to large families with several sisters or brothers. There are also many details about everything that happened to them in the various places they were in, instead of just giving vague descriptions of what they went through or just focusing on how they stuck together instead of dwelling on the specifics of what they went through. It's definite that Elli and her mother had their chances for survival improved because they were selected for the transport to the factory in Augsburg, where they got better food and treatment as opposed to being forced to do the type of things they did in Plaszow. However, since there are so many horrific details and specifics given, this wouldn't be the type of book for a younger reader, but rather a mature teenager. And I love books written in the present tense; it draws you right in and makes the action even more compelling, wondering what's going to happen next. Reading or writing in the past tense just doesn't have that same deep emotional impact.


I think that I Have Lived A Thousand Years was the best book I've ever read! It tells of Elli's experences in a consontration camp- her pain, her joy, and, most of all, her hope. I never knew how horrible the Nazis were to the Jews before I read this book. Now I'm reading more and more books on the Holocaust, but I think that this book is the best ever! It makes you cry, laugh, and feel like you never want the book to end all at once!
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