In 1942 Cilka Klein is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.
After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator by the Russians and sent to a desolate, brutal prison camp in Siberia known as Vorkuta, inside the Arctic Circle.
Innocent and imprisoned once again, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, each day a battle for survival. Cilka befriends a woman doctor, and learns to nurse the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under unimaginable conditions. And when she tends to a man called Alexandr, Cilka finds that despite everything, there is room in her heart for love.
Based on what is known of Cilka Klein’s time in Auschwitz, and on the experience of women in Siberian prison camps, Cilka’s Journey is the breathtaking sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz. A powerful testament to the triumph of the human will, this novel will make you weep, but it will also leave you astonished and uplifted by one woman’s fierce determination to survive, against all odds.
‘She was the bravest person I ever met’
Lale Sokolov, The Tattooist of Auschwitz
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