Book Review: When I Fall, I Shall Rise by Dan Shtauber

Title: When I Fall, I Shall Rise

Author: Dan Shtauber

Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It all began in 1944 when the Germans occupied Hungary. This is when Risa Shtauber’s life turned from an ordinary life to one of surviving unspeakable horrors.
Risa was shipped together with many other Jews to the Oradea Ghetto and from there to the Plaszow Labor Camp and later to the Ober-Altstadt Labor camp. And even this was not enough… Risa was sent to the Auschwitz Death Camp to be slaughtered!
But, she survived!
Having survived, she met her husband – Mordechai Tzvi and they created a family which included 4 sons, 22 grandkids and 34 great-grandkids!
At the age of 94 and living her life in Israel, she still feels victorious when remembering those horrible years!
This book is a special gift given to Risa Shtauber during an emotional event, in the presence of all of her descendants: sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I’ve read quite a few memoirs of holocaust survivors last year, and although the subject matter is harsh and depressing, I still enjoy reading them – for in every story, there’s a glimpse of hope, there’s a portrayal of hidden strength that allowed the author to survive and perhaps even more astonishing, that allowed them to live, to continue on living life, even after all the horrors they have witnessed.

Risa Shtauber is one of these survivors, a brave young man who was shipped to the Oradea Ghetto, along with many other Jews, and then was later dispatched to the Plaszow Labor Camp and Ober-Altstadt Labor Camp and eventually to arguably the most famous camp of them all: Auschwitz.

The fact that Risa survived is nothing short of a miracle. In this book, Dan Shtauber interviewed his grandmother, Risa, and was able to write down her experience through these harrowing, traumatizing years. The book was a gift from the grandson to the grandmother, and that alone already makes it unique and inspiring. Risa is truly an awe-inspiring woman, and she definitely deserves such a thoughtful gift. It’s heartwarming to know that, even in the most terrible darkness, the strength of a human soul can survive and hold on to the light. When I Fall, I Shall Rise is a fitting, inspiring title for this memoir.

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