Cilka's Journey

Cilka's Journey

Book - 2019 | First U.S. edition
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From the author of 'The Tattooist of Auschwitz' comes a new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience during World War II.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2019
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250265708
Branch Call Number: FIC Morri
Characteristics: 343 pages : map ; 25 cm


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Nov 10, 2020

Having read "Tattooist of Auschwitz" I was beyond excited to get a glimpse into Cilka's world... However I was somewhat disappointed with this one. It felt lacking... In something... What? I don't know. It just didn't touch me like the previous book.

Aug 23, 2020

The development of Cilka’s character who was an important part of the Tatooist off Auschwitz was interesting and at the same time tragic. Since she was never personally interviewed by the author most was fictionalized based on historical facts about the Russian camp. I didn’t find it quite as good as the original book but definitely worth the read. Most of all what is captured is the oppression and mistreatment of human beings that should never again be repeated.

jrbubbles1 Jul 30, 2020

Cilka is a true character from the camp described in the "tattooist of Auschwitz. " It tells about her life in the camp at the age of 16 and what she had to do to survive. Then it goes on to tell her story of what happened after she was released from the camp. It is horrific what the prisoners in those camps went through, and it is amazing that anyone survived.

Jun 20, 2020

When I discovered this book was written by the author of the "Tattooist of Auschwitz", I read this book with trepidation... These were my feelings about that book: ( Heartbreaking, of course... Great story of finding a reason to stay alive. If only the facts were researched. The probability of the interactions between the two main characters and the events of the story happening as written were as likely as that of surviving Auschwitz... If you are going to write about the Holocaust, do it honorably. ) This book does not turn Auschwitz into a love nest and seems more accurate in its description of life in the Nazi and Russian camps. Cilka's journey is all the more heartbreaking because after Auschwitz she is sentenced to a gulag in Siberia because of "co-operating with the Nazis". She has a prominent SS officer as a lover and in turn lives in relative luxury at the concentration camp. She has her own room and bed in a block were people who are going to the gas chamber the next day are gathered together. She screams at the prisoners to get on the trucks for termination - the excuse is always that a Nazi is about to beat a straggler. The rationale is that she did this in order to survive. The ultimate question is how much do you work on behalf of the Nazis and still retain your soul even if your body survives?? The book seems to justify her behavior because she lives. We all might have done the same.... But does make this choice a moral one? Cilka works hard at the gulag to redeem herself. You will have to decide if her Auschwitz behavior was acceptable and whether she atones sufficiently for her behavior. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Mar 09, 2020

I'm so glad Heather Morris told Cilka's story. Because Cilka passed away before Morris began her conversations with Lale Sokolov, Morris had to fill in a lot of blanks with her own imaginings. But the spirit of the book is no less powerful.

That Cilka, who was a teenager when forced into sex slavery at Auschwitz-Birkenau, should be sentenced to hard labor in Siberia for "sleeping with the enemy" - as though she willingly chose that lot to gain a more-privileged concentration camp life- is to fail miserably to understand victimization and abuse. Cilka (and many others whose stories will never be known) made tragic decisions she never should have been in a position to have to make simply because, above all, she wanted to stay alive.

Cilka's Journey serves as a stark reminder that we must never forget the degradation and horrors perpetrated by brutal regimes. Another message here is the power of hope. Cilka somehow held onto hope through horrific circumstances where the end point was either unknown or years distant. Few people would have had the mental and emotional strength to endure as she did. These are the factors that imbue her story with such worth.

Kudos to Morris for once again telling a heartbreaking and powerful story. It deserved to be told, and Morris tells it well.

Jan 22, 2020

I read this for the "Title Beginning With C" part of my 2020 reading challenge. I loved it, it was fierce and moving and her strength was incredible. The author clearly put a lot of work into the research behind this and The Tattooist of Auschwitz and her dedication shows.

Jan 09, 2020

A remarkable novel crafted from the story of a women who survived both the German and Russian death camps. Created from interviews of those who knew Cilka Cline and from research, it is a riveting story that is difficult to put down. The blend of sorry and hope , of life in both camps, fear of shame and finally love makes this book worth the read.

Dec 19, 2019

I came away from this book both cold and hungry. First Auschwitz and than a camp in the arctic that is so cold it is a wonder anyone lived to tell about it. A well told story that the author spent a long time trying to get to the bottom of. The story of this beautiful Jewish girl of only 16 years who lived through the concentration camps in both Germany and Russia, she is able to live until she can return to her home county. A good follow-up to the authors first book. Very sad..

Dec 14, 2019

A stunning, wrenching, and uplifting story - followup to the acclaimed "Tattooist of Auschwitz." A young Russian Jew survives the Nazi concentration camps, is liberated, and sent immediately to a Soviet gulag, challenged even further to survive and find hope in humanity, and in the possibility of human love.

Nov 24, 2019

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris is a work of fiction based on the actual life of a woman who lived during and after the Holocaust. I hesitated to request this title due to its serious subject matter but I have not regretted a single word. Sixteen-year-old Cilka Klein and her family were transported in cattle cars to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps and she remained there for three years, fighting to stay alive by any means available. When the camps were liberated, Cilka, instead of leaving for her country, was sentenced to fifteen years in a Siberian gulag, charged with sleeping with the enemy. While there, Cilka was befriended by a doctor who helped her to become a nurse and, as the years passed, she helped many. The novel alternates between her time in the camps and her time in Siberia. This is a story of courage and perseverance under the worst of circumstances.

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