Cover Image: Into the Forest

Into the Forest

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Into the Forest is one of the most outstanding, compelling, moving, poignant and incredible books I've ever read.  The author managed to capture every emotion there is through her extensive research and writing.  Though I have read many, many Holocaust books, this one is astounding.  It is about perseverance, heartache, betrayal, sorrow, anguish, determination, survival, hope and love.  The unspeakable suffering and constant hiding, not to mention scrounging for scraps of food each day, seem worlds away from most of us.  Add cruelty, fear and death to the equation and you get a heartbreaking situation.  How some willed to go on is unreal.

A very small percentage of Jews in Poland survived the war and aftermath.  Millions didn't.  Miriam and Morris Rabinowitz, along with their two young girls Rochel and Tania, faced horror after horror.  They were forced to leave their home and everything they had and eventually ended up in the ghetto.  Those caught leaving were shot and living conditions were appalling.  Evil men such as Dirlewanger (look him up) were on the rampage.  Bunker living was even worse with no toilet facilities, fresh air and other basics.  Crying babies were "put to sleep" to prevent the soldiers from finding the hiding groups when they were rounded up and obliterated.  A young boy, Philip, survived but his family didn't.  His story is one of the most poignant in the book.

In the Bialowieza Forest the Rabinowitz family survived lice, disease, starvation and cold winter for two years.  The stories are harrowing and chilling.  After liberation they returned to their homes, to nothing.  The family lived in Italy for a short time before moving to America where there were kind relatives who helped them rebuild their lives.  Most survivors couldn't speak of their experiences but the Rabinowitz family did.  My gratitude for them and other survivors cannot be put into words.  This extraordinary family takes my breath away!

Though a horrible subject to read about, this should be required reading for everyone.  Into the Forest is truly a life-changing book.  The author's meticulous research must have been highly emotional as she communicated with members of the Rabinowitz family and learned about their story.  I researched this time for several hours last evening.

My sincere thank you to Rebecca Frankel for writing this book, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the honour of reading this inspiring book.  I cannot begin to describe how it moved me.
Was this review helpful?
Happy Pub Day to the book: Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph and Love, and to it’s author, @rebeccafrankelbooks! 

This book is the incredible true story of the Rabinowitz family, who in 1942, escaped deportation by the Nazis by hiding in the Bialowieza Forest. But this story does not end with the arrival of the Red Army. They then have to try to put their lives back together again. This involved joining a group called #Bricha, which helped people ultimately get to Israel, trekking across war torn #Europe down to the southernmost top of #Italy 🇮🇹(my favorite part of the book). The Rabinowitz’s do not land up in #Israel, but they go the United States (all part of this incredible book). 

Once you read this book, you will understand why @rebeccafrankelbooks felt compelled to share the story of the Rabinowitz family (she spent 6 years doing the research for it. Congratulations @rebeccafrankelbooksvon your pub day! This is truly a #5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read. 

Thank you #netgalley and @stmartinspress for my complimentary copy of #intotheforestaholocauststoryofsurvivaltriumphandlove in return for my honest review. 

#ww2 #poland #bialowiezaforest #soviets #redarmy #partisans #connecticut 
#dogsofwar #rebeccafrankel
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book so much that I am getting the audio to listen to it. Super suspense and excitement that keeps you glued till the ending. How in the world they survived thru the months of weather outside. And more people coming into their group so more food needed. It must of been such a huge forest as they kept out of sight. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I don't want to tell you to much to spoil it for you. Trust me you have to enjoy!!
Was this review helpful?
Non fiction stories set in the WWII era are some of my favorite books.  Most current titles lend more to the military interest than the human experiences during the Nazi control of Poland.  INTO THE FOREST is a deeply emotional read.  This family chose to take their chances with a life they were completely unprepared for rather than face almost certain death at the hands of the Nazi soldiers.  Rebecca Frankel writes of their experience with so much feeling it places us square in the middle of the forest with them.  The chance of survival was small, but as the war dragged on, the Rabinowitz family grew stronger and their will to survive did indeed carry many of them through.  Their efforts saved not only family, but any and everyone they could spirit into the forest with them.  After becoming refugees and eventually moving to the US, the family would meet many of the people they "saved" and find just how much their determination meant to the small community of refugees.  What an excellent read....whether you are an avid WWII fan or not, this book will touch some part of your heart.
Was this review helpful?
I had never read a Holocaust story until Rebecca Frankel’s Into the Forest. Certainly I’ve learned my history lessons, seen movies, but have always shied away from what I knew would be the full unblinking recognition of stark, irreconcilable inhumanity. Yet, I was drawn to this book perhaps because it promised triumph and love.

The love story of Miriam and Morris Rabinowitz is one I will not forget. While it was not the stuff of sighs and roses, it was the stuff of substance. Enough substance to guide them through times so horrible that few of us today can even begin to imagine. At first they have the seeming idyllic life in quaint Zhetel, Poland (which is today part of Belarus) but then the threat of Nazi Germany looms and is a force they cannot ignore, especially when Russians and then Nazis take over their town, and they are forced to survive in the cramped quarters of a ghetto.

As the reader follows the Rabinowitz family, they witness tragedies and self-sacrifice and individuals sometimes compelled to do the unthinkable in order that others might live.

There were many times when I had to set the book aside momentarily because I find it difficult to absorb just how cruel people can be to one another. However, I would pick the book back up and when the Rabinowitz family found themselves in Italy after the end of the war, I felt joy for them, for their survival and future.

Many parts of this story might be considered miraculous but perhaps the one most of all involves a boy Miriam saved during a Nazi culling, who survives. They meet many years later in New York. And, this story has a happy ending.

Frankel deftly tells this story, taking her reader through many lives, and deaths. Showing us the choices, many difficult, that people make through love or fear or to survive. While this may be the only Holocaust book I will ever read, I think I chose wisely because this one is moving and unforgettable. An amazing book.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
From the first chapter, I found myself completely invested in the Rabinowitz family.  Living in a small town in Poland, they managed to get by for a time without much interference from the Germans.  Eventually, like many other Jewish families, they ended up in a Nazi Ghetto.

Once the Nazi regime started their “selections” the Rabinowitz family knew they had to escape the ghetto and take their chances living in the forest.  Their ingenuity, patience and bravery were what drove them to successfully escape the ghetto and then survive two brutal winters in the forest.  Typhus, starvation, freezing and the risk of capture were ever-present challenges to overcome.

Liberated by the Red Army, the family eventually crossed into Italy and lived for a time as refugees before making their way into the United States, where they were reacquainted with a young man who survived the same ghetto, thanks to Mrs. Rabinowitz.

I found their journey after being liberated just as interesting as their time in the forest, though not as harrowing.  History lovers and those who enjoy inspiring stories will not want to miss this book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to read an advance copy.  I am happy to give my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
My passion is learning more about WWII. I read lots of historical fiction and some non-fiction. I am passionate about learning about individuals who survived very difficult circumstances and how they survive to go on to have good lives. We cannot begin to imagine the suffering of the Jewish people by the Nazis. I recently read a very good historical fiction account of a multi-year survival in a forrest, have seen the movie, Defiance, and I am glad to have read Into the Forest by Rebecca Frankel which is a non-fiction account of the Rabinowitz family. It did take me several weeks to read this book as I needed to stop and think about what I had read.

I really liked the preface which shows a chance encounter of Philip Lazowski, a twenty-three-year-old immigrant who in 1953 attended a wedding and encountered Gloria who was also an immigrant from Poland. As they talked about their experiences during the war, Gloria mentions how she knew a mother with two daughters who saved a boy in the first massacre in Zhetel. If Philip had not been at the wedding or if the wedding had been a week later, Philip would not have found out that the woman Miriam Rabinowitz was alive and well and living in the U.S. Philip was that boy. I was hooked at this point to start delving into this book.

I like that this book talks about the lives of Miriam and Morris Rabinowitz before the war, during the war, and after the war. I find it so amazing that they could stay alive for two years in the forest, living underground with children in a multi family group, getting food……it really does blow my mind. I also like that we follow their lives after the war.  I also felt all of Frankel’s author notes at the end of the book (VERY COMPREHENSIVE) are amazing. This is a book that I will be thinking about for a long time! My thanks to St. Martin’s and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I have read many books based on WWII, or during WWII. Some fiction/historical fiction and some non fiction. All have been amazing in their own way, but Into The Forest by Rebecca Frankel (a true story) was different. This book tells the story of the Rabinowitz family and their determination to live! This family escaped a Nazi ghetto and lived in the woods, alongside many others, and SURVIVED! Two years in the woods until their were liberated by the Russians. TWO YEARS!! Two years of living off the land. Two years of constantly having to look for safer places to live in the woods. Two years of having to dig underground bunkers and stay in those when the Nazi's would get close. TWO YEARS! Such a wonderful story of perseverance, love and family. I cant not recommend this book enough!! This book will release on September 7th, so for those of you that like to read  stories about World War 2, add this one to your collection. 4⭐

Thank you to Netgalley,  St. Martin's Press and Rebecca Frankel for the eARC/ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.  After reading Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel, I was intrigued to know more about the Jews who survived the Nazi's by living in forests around Poland.  Low and behold Into the Forest came up as an ARC to read.  Rebecca Frankel did a superb job of telling the tale of Morris and Miriam and their family, even though this is non-fiction it read almost like fiction.  Loved how it was divided up into four parts.
Was this review helpful?
A digital copy of this book was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  When I first read what this book was about I was intrigued by the Jewish people that fled and hid in the woods.  Even though I knew that this had happened, I didn't know very much about this and was interested.  I was under the impression that this was mainly about this Rabinowitz family and the little boy that they had rescued.  However, Philip's rescue was only a small piece of the book.  This book gave me a better understanding of the ghettos, and life in the forest.  Once in the forest, although the Rabinowitz family story is shared, it is not the focus.  The focus is on all the other families and individuals who fled into the forest to hide from the Nazis.  Once the family is liberated from the forest, it follows them back to their village, through the Bricha network and eventually to America where they rebuild their lives.  The story starts with Philip learning that the woman who saved him is alive and has been thinking/wondering whatever happened to him, and ends with Philip's reunion with the Rabinowitz family.  This is written more as a history book.  There are not many "conversations" but facts and details.  If you are interested in the time in history, this is a good resource regarding a lesser known piece of survival.  Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Rebecca Frankel.
Was this review helpful?
I simply cannot read enough of these types of books. Into the Woods reveals the harrowing stories of one Jewish  family and many of their contemporaries who fled into the Polish woods to outwit and survive the Nazis. Their ingenuity and skills impressed me time and time again. I was mesmerized from the first page. I barely looked up in the hours reading it consumed me, I am so glad these stories are being preserved and shared.for others to read and learn.
Was this review helpful?
CW - Holocaust (Please look up for more details)

I think my biggest issue with the book is that it was miss marketed. I didn't realize this was non-fiction when I first picked it up.  I believed it was based on true events of the holocaust and was well researched (based on the references in the back) but I believed it would be structured like a standard novel and follow a family through their experience during the Holocaust. The book does follow a particular family but just by showing what their life looked like while the booked walked the reader through events of the Holocaust. It's all telling and no showing. There are no conversations between characters (or in this case real people), we don't get into their heads to understand their thought process or feelings. The reader is shown what the the family is doing and then breaks off to show what else is going on at this time within the world in regards to the Holocaust and treatment of Jews. There are a lot of names of generals and rebel leaders that became confusing to follow in these descriptions.

Had I known that this was non-fiction before going into the book I think it would have prepare me for the writing style of the book (which does make sense for a non fiction book). The title "a holocaust story of survival, triumph, and love" and the back description make it sound like a novel and I think the book could have a hard time finding the right audience with that.

With all that being said, I did enjoy the book. I learned a lot about the Holocaust that I didn't already know from school, specifically about the survival of Jews in the Bialowieza Forest. For such a hard hitting and horrific period of history to read about I did find the book engaging and easy to read. If anyone is interested in reading more about the Holocaust, WWII, or nonfiction in general I would recommend this. I think it could be used as a great jumping off point to find more books on the subject (especially with all the references from research).
Was this review helpful?
It seems like I have been reading a lot of Holocaust memoirs in the last couple of years, so it would be easy to let one submerge into he mix. This one stands above for being this complete arc from pre-Holocaust Poland to reunion in the US after everything. In between is the shrinking ghetto followed by privation and survival in the dangerous, difficult forest. Like others I have read recently this implicitly tells of how so much the populace enabled as well as acknowledged the Nazi efforts. Here there was also the uneasy relationship top generally anti-Semitic Russian partisans and soldiers. This is very well researched, detailed and an important historical document.
Was this review helpful?
I have always enjoyed reading about the Holocaust and have quite a few books on the subject in my own library. This one does something most other books don’t. It follows some survivors beyond that horrific time and delves into their lives deeper. The author here has done a wonderful job!

My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
I've read a large number of Holocaust-era memoirs, biographies, nonfiction, and fiction. Yet Rebecca Frankel's new nonfiction account of a family surviving for years while hiding out in the primordial Bialowietza Forest. The book is an inspirational account of Jewish refugees, partisan Russian fighters, and others hiding in this impenetrable forest. They evade Nazi annihilation, survive Typhus, and live through record cold winters. It is one of the top books I've read detailing Holocaust history.

And there is more. Frankel's tale uncovers some odds-defying coincidences that bring some of the survivors together after the war. The story was riveting from beginning to end; it reads like a novel. I'm thrilled this story is coming out.

If you like WWII history and want to learn more about a relatively unknown and heroic aspect of the Holocaust, add this book to your reading list and pick it up when it is released in September.

I received a Net Galley copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I have read a lot of WWII books, both fiction and nonfiction, and this is one of the very best nonfiction stories I have read to date. It is the story of Morris and Miriam Rabinowitz who were living in Zhetel, Poland with their two young daughters.  In 1939, German air raids began on Poland and things went from bad to worse. As time went on, troops arrived in Poland and the Jews were singled out, targeted and eventually singled out for extermination. After the remaining Jews of Zhetel were forced to live in a ghetto, they realized their time left was limited and began to plan to escape into the forest.  The Rabinowitz family along with their extended family were finally able to escape and lived in the forest for two years until liberation. This is the story of their survival and then trying to fit back into society after returning to what once was their home.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC of this very powerful story of survival.
Was this review helpful?
Russia, Russian-heritage, Poland, gestapo, historical-places-events, historical-research, history-and-culture, Jewish, love, family, friendship, survival, survivor's guilt*****

How can a shiksa boomer born in Milwaukee possibly appreciate the trials, tribulations, and journeys of the people in this book. Well, start with the area my grandparents came from (all four), add in my calling as a nurse in the inner city, and finish up with a familiarity since childhood with the family names of a large number of the people in this book. I learned a lot about the Russian Poles that I never heard at home, and little of it was good. Did you know that so many of the partisans remained adamantly antisemitic during the war? Can you imagine living in a dense forest with thirty or more people in an underground bunker for almost two years with little food, clothing, water, sanitation or ability to care for the sick. Can you imagine having to do surgery with a kitchen knife and no anesthesia or pain killers other than whiskey. Still they survived. And no less brave or stubborn than those who were caught, tortured, and murdered.
But this book celebrates the triumphs and positives of people who went through incredibly severe trials and came out on top. And it is a labor of love and incredible research and cooperation from people who find it all indescribably painful to talk about. I am totally impressed with everyone associated with this story and agree NEVER AGAIN.
I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
This book was well-researched and the characters were well-developed. I enjoyed the details and had never heard of this family or story prior to reading the book.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book for those who wish to immerse themselves into the true stories of a Jewish Family and a town who did their best to survive a war almost no one survived under Hitler and his brutality. The Rabinowitz family has a heartbreaking journey during the war. The town is the sort that bands together rather than turns on each other yet Hitler's men are too strong for it.
    If you are interested in detail and accuracy this is exactly the book for you. The journey of this family and also it's survival is well told. It is in a story format not first person format, such as a conversation between characters, if that makes sense? I'm new to writing reviews so bear with me. I haven't read a true story from the WWII era spanning the length of time it covers with as much detail, ever and I have read quite a bit on the topic.  It was definitely a remarkable an amazing read.
Was this review helpful?
This book, somewhat reminiscent of Harmel's "The Forest of Vanishing Stars"  a fictional account of the Polish people's migration to the forest, gives an account of the movement of some of the Polish people into the woodlands during the German occupation of Poland and the European struggle against oppression. It was a move made for survival and proved a hardship and struggle for a long two years. For those who are interested in the history of the era and want to find out more about the many struggles of the Polish people, this is a good book. Thanks to #IntotheForest#NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?