A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps
My Mother’s Memories of Imprisonment, Immigration, and a Life Remade
by Barbara Rylko-Bauer
Description of the book
Jadwiga Lenartowicz Rylko, known as Jadzia (Yah’-jah), was a young Polish Catholic physician at the start of World War II. Suspected of resistance activities, she was arrested in January 1944. For the next fifteen months, she endured three Nazi concentration camps and a forty-two day death march, spending part of this time working as a prisoner-doctor to Jewish slave laborers. A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps follows Jadzia from her childhood and medical training, through her wartime experiences, to her struggles to create a new life in the postwar world.
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Awards and Recognition
The Library of Michigan
2015 Michigan Notable Book
Boston Review article (2015/01/05)
“The Tremendous Suffering of Ordinary People”
2014 New York Book Festival
First place, Biography/Autobiography
What others say
“Rylko-Bauer is a gifted storyteller… a gripping and compelling work of non-fiction that strikes a perfect balance between historical research and personal narrative… of one woman’s remarkable journey from one of the worst recorded abysses of human experience, retold with humility, pathos and empathy.” Girija Sankar, newpages.com
“Rylko-Bauer is a patient and painstaking documentarian . . . and a superb writer. . . Through a mother and daughter’s incandescent collaboration, the rough stone of memory is tumbled and polished, emerging as a fiery gem.”
Paul Farmer, author of Haiti After the Earthquake and In the Company of the Poor
“A rare and wonderful achievement, easily the best book I have ever read about a gentile … survivor.”
Leonard Kniffel, former editor-in-chief, American Libraries
“Compelling. Riveting. Exquisite.”
Gelya Frank, author of Venus on Wheels
“A necessary and important book about a time period already well described but not from this point of view. Rylko-Bauer adds a poignant and often moving annex to Holocaust literature.”
Gretchen Schafft, author of From Racism to Genocide: Anthropology in the Third Reich
“Exceptionally well researched and annotated, meticulously structured, as well as simply very interesting to read [and] impressively sensitive to the complexities of the Polish memory of the war.”
Dorota Glowacka, author of Disappearing Traces
“…very well written. I felt like I was time travelling with your mother and was 10 feet in back of her, seeing and hearing what she experienced.”
Mike Van Rooy, Grand Rapids, MI
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