“Cry, little girl, cry!” the father of eleven-year-old Aliza urged her, after bribing a Slovak doctor to operate on her.
Even though Aliza was perfectly healthy, her father hoped that the medical treatment would save the family from being deported to the East. Little Aliza played the part and had the operation, and her family survived.
Aliza’s parents’ first priority was to save their daughters, whom they smuggled into Hungary. When the Germans entered Hungary, the girls were brought back to Slovakia and the family went into hiding for months in a pit covered with twigs in the forest. It was during this ordeal that Aliza experienced her first love.
The winter of 1944 drove the family to seek a new haven. Fortunately, they gained the sympathy of local villagers and of a priest, who urged his flock to show grace and mercy to the persecuted Jews, however an informer exposed the family’s hiding place in the village and they were arrested. With rare ingenuity and determination, Aliza’s father managed to shepherd the family to safety until the liberation.
The book received honorable mention in the Ze’ev Prize for Young Adult Books, 2000.
“A rare, fascinating story. The entire family succeeded in surviving together, thanks to the infinite initiative of the father, and the inner resilience of each member of the family separately and together, with their unlimited mutual support and love. Highly recommended.” [Shulamit Geva, Ma’ariv]