By Ann Clare LeZotte
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
Grade 7 and Up 105 Pages
Living in Nazi Germany as a child was not easy. Living in Nazi Germany with a disability was deadly; even if you were only a child. Paula Becker, 13 years old, was deaf. Paula was able to communicate with her family and her community. She helped out her family by watching younger siblings; she was well taken care and was very happy. All that did not matter to Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, as he wanted to create a master race. A master race free of people with “defective genes.” This meant people who were mentally ill or disabled were sent to their death to Hitler’s Tiergartenstrasse 4, a program that came known as T4. Somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 men, women and children died as a result of T4.
This book written in free verse, shares what it must have been like to be disabled and in fear for one’s life. Paula was hidden which gave her family hope that she might survive. This story will touch your heart and leaves you wondering how could a medical doctor, sworn to treat and care for the living ever take part in this genocide?
This is a first novel for Ann Clare LeZotte. Interesting side note is that this author was born deaf and it is sad to think how many other authors, poets, physicians, scientists and other great people were lost in Hitler’s T4 program.