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Please, Mama, I don t want to live like this, pleaded twelve-year-old Estelle Glaser s older sister as they watched the bodies of friends dangle from the gibbet in the center of Warsaw s Apel Platz. I cant take the indignities and brutalities. Let s step forward and make them kill us w. But Estelle s mother fiercely responded to her two daughters: No! Life is sacred. It is ble to fight to stay alive. Their mother s indomitable will was a major factor in the trio s survival in the face of brutal odds. But Estelle recognized other heroes in the ghetto as well, righteous individuals who stood out like beacons and kept their spirits alive. Their father was one, as were hungry teachers in dim, cold rooms who risked their lives to secretly teach imprisoned children. Estelle s memoir, published sixty-four years after their liberation from the concentration camp, is a narrative of fear and hope and resiliency. While it is a harrowing tale of destruction and loss, it is also a story of the goodness that still exists in a dark world, of survival and renewal.
Estelle Glaser Laughlin, a child survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Uprising, and concentration camps, immigrated to America at eighteen. With only three years of public school education, she earned a master s degree in education. After retirement from a long career in teaching in Maryland, she has continued to write and lecture widely about her experience and survival.