Book Review: Questions I am asked about the Holocaust

This is a thought-provoking and well-written true story about young Hédi, who was separated from her parents and sent to Auschwitz, Poland, with her sister during WWII.

Questions I am asked about the Holocaust

by Hédi Fried, illus. Laila Ekboir, translator Alice E. Olsson. Scribe Publications, RRP$24.99. Ages 10-15

Hédi Fried was nineteen when the Nazis arrested her family and transported them to Auschwitz. While there, apart from enduring the daily horrors at the concentration camp, she and her sister were forced into hard labour before being released at the end of the war.

Her family were Jewish, living in Romania before the war, and only she and her sister survived. This young reader’s edition is a compilation of questions with very clear but simple answers about her life before, during and after the war. Thought-provoking questions such as “Were you always hungry?”; “What did you dream of at night?” and “What was it like to get your period?”

After settling in Sweden, Hédi devoted her life to educating young people about the Holocaust. In her 90s, she decided to take the most common questions and her answers and turn them into this book so that children all over the world could understand what had happened.

Hédi Fried passed away recently (2022) at the age of 98 and devoted her entire adult life to ensuring that we learn from, not forget, the Holocaust. This book is her legacy, and she was deeply committed to working for democratic values and against racism.