Cover Image: Always Remember Your Name

Always Remember Your Name

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Member Reviews

Great story as always very moving and very hard to assimilate what these women went through. 

This is the story of two sisters who survive the atrocities of Auschwitz separated from their mother Tati and Andra are not ready to give up even if that meant doing whatever it takes to survive in such terrible inhumane conditions. they never forget their name no matter how much the evil man wanted to do that with every prisoner.

I felt really sad when Tati and Andra were separated from their mom Mira, the stories about children during ww2 were really heartbreaking, I still can't understand the level of coldness and inhumanity of the SS and the Nazis had. I just can't comprehend what they had in their heart but I guess they didn't have a heart at all. the only part that made me feel a little less sad were those times when Mira was able to visit them. always reminding them to never forget their names.

This is the true story of Tati and Andra who are now older enough to be able to re-tail their story.

I really love the book so much. the only thing that I really didn't like was the way it was written as I had a hard time keeping up, but once I was able to understand the distribution and how it was written I was able to enjoy the story even more.

I don't like to rate books that are biographies or memoirs because I think this is the personal story of a person and shouldn't be rated but this book was good and I thank Tati and Andra for telling us their story they deserve all the love and peace.

Thank you, NetGalley, Greenleaf Book Group, Greenleaf Book Group Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Books like these just hurt my heart and give me hope. I feel so connected to these people even though I am not Jewish nor was I alive at any point while this was happening. I just feel like their vulnerability allows me to connect with them and grieve with them
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WWII continues to deliver untold stories. Two sisters, both younger than 6, survived Aushwitz. It's a moving story, one of endurance and poignancy. Stories like this are a marvel and the fact they survived and were also reunited with their parents is nothing short of miraculous.
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Always Remember Your Name is a heart crushing account of two sisters who were arrested by Nazis and Italian fascists from their home in Fiume (present day Rijeka in Croatia) and taken to Auschwitz.  They were only four and six so some memories have faded, others vivid of their time spent in hellish and humiliating conditions where very, very few children survived.  Most were gassed immediately but for some unknown reason (they looked like twins and were there when Josef Mengele's was performing experiments)  they survived.  Their mother, aunt and cousin were also taken to Auschwitz where they were separated.  Their mother was able to visit them occasionally and instilled in them the importance of keeping their names, Italian culture and identity rather than their tattoo numbers.  They were also not "full" Jews as they were Italian Catholics which is another possible reason they were "safe".  Whatever the explanation for their survival, their lives were eternally changed there and in the aftermath.  After the war they lived in Trieste where they could be Italian citizens.

The photographs are as moving as the writing, gripping and personal.  The stories are told by both sisters as adults, raw and unpolished, evocative and haunting.  Decades after their excruciating experience, continually surrounded by death which became "normal" they returned to the camp and conduct(ed) talks there.  Their goal is to "bear witness".  I am very grateful they have told their story.  Knowing beautiful Rijeka and Trieste very well, I can envision the topography, architecture and so on, their home they left so abruptly and cruelly.  

Readers of the Holocaust ought to prioritize this book.  What this family endured is impossible to fathom.  Evil comes in many shapes.  But so does hope.  

My sincere thank you to Astra Publishing House and NetGalley for the honour of reading this breathtaking and powerful book which should be required reading.
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On March 28, 1944, Tatiana and her sister Andra, six and four years old respectively, were woken during the night, apprehended by German and Italian soldiers, and banished to Auschwitz, where virtually all children were put to death upon their arrival. Their father was born in Fiume, which is where he met their mother who was Jewish, and although both she and the girls had converted to Catholicism in anticipation of growing antagonism against Jews, they had been exposed by someone. The records show that 29 males, 53 females managed to make it through that day, and for the remaining 103, including their grandmother, and their aunt, that day would be their last.

Their mother, who was separated from them in Auschwitz, managed to visit them often, instilling in them the need to remember their names, ’always remember your name,’ she would tell them each time she was able to visit. She knew it was the key to any chance of being able to find them, once the war was over, providing they all survived. Despite the statistics showing that children rarely lasted in Auschwitz for even a year, they survived. This is their story.

Reading these stories, even the fictional ones, are always gutting, but the personal aspect of this one, the ages of these young girls added another level of atrocity, despite knowing that they will survive. So many others were lost, which made me think of those parents who survived, only to ultimately find that their children did not. A neverending heartbreak. But these sisters survived, as did their memories of this time in their life, and so their stories will live on. And from their life story, others will know, and learn, hopefully.

Older now, they are able to share their stories, and share their personal truth of this time, teaching those who did not live through this time the truth of those years. And so these stories will never be forgotten, and hopefully, never be repeated.

A story of evil against the power of a mother’s love and the bond of sisters.


Pub Date: 18 Jan 2022

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Astra Publishing House / Astra House
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Always Remember Your Name by Andra and Tatiana Bucci is a haunting and hopeful memoir. In 1944, the two sisters were arrested with their mother, aunt and cousin and deported to Auschwitz. Upon arrival they were separated from their mother but she reinforced the need to “always remember your name”. That their identity couldn’t be taken from them too. It was a message that not only gave the girls strength but helped them to be reunited after the war had ended. Of the 230,000 children deported to Auschwitz only a handful survived including Andra and Tatiana. The memoir is told through their eyes as they were as children which makes their story even more powerful and disorienting as we the reader try to grasp how such a place can be endured and understood by a child. It is also a book about their lives after the war how they were shaped by their experiences but also found the ability to move forward with hope, courage and understanding. It is a remarkable journey. The book beautifully explores the light and shade of the authors story as children who clasped hands in solidarity against darkness and who as adults with their own families now extend a hand to others so that history should never be repeated or forgotten. 4.5 stars ⭐️
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This is an exceptionally well written memoir about the Holocaust, specifically the horrors inflicted upon twins.  Often singled out by Josef Mengele, accounts from twins are rare, because not many made it out.
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It is a common belief that there were no children in Auschwitz, outside of the family camps that briefly existed and the twins that were forced to participate in medical experiments. This was what I believed, as well. Children weren't allowed to exist within the death camp. This memoir takes that belief and disproves it.

This memoir is unlike just about any other Holocaust memoir I've ever read. It is the story of two sisters who, with their mother and extended family, were deported to Auschwitz from Italy at a very young age. Instead of being sent to the gas chambers like the other children, the two sisters were selected to live and entered the camp (along with their mother, aunt, and her young son). The girls lived in the Kinderblock, the barracks for children from which Mengele and other doctors chose their test subjects. The girls managed to survive to liberation, and were then sent to a string of orphanages and homes for refugee children. Throughout it all, they remembered their birth names because of the secret visits their mother made to them in Auschwitz.

The sisters were very young at the time of their deportation, and so they recount their memories collectively. Their memories are often unclear. For example, the sisters don't remember why they weren't killed upon arrival in Auschwitz, but believe their mother must have said something to the Nazis to spare them (perhaps that the girls were half-Catholic on their father's side). The memoir is also told collectively, using the third-person plural. It gave the memoir a feeling of listening to them telling their story, rather than reading it. Likewise, it is very short (more like a transcribed talk rather than a written book).

Overall, this is an interesting addition to Holocaust memoirs that disproves a common misconception and adds something new to the existing literature.
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