Monday, December 3, 2007

Someone Named Eva

When young Milada's village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia, is taken over by Nazi forces, her family is separated instantly. She, her mother and young sister are taken to a strange building, while her father and older brother simply disappear. At the building, Milada, along with nine other young children from her village, are chosen and labeled as "special," being given tests to determine something, though Milada has no idea what.

Within days, Milada discovers that because of her blonde hair and blue eyes, so-called German appearance, she has been chosen to be part of a Germanization program where she will be forced to speak only German, learn everything about Germany and Hitler, and believe in Nazi ways, no matter whether she truly believes in it or not. Milada, is once again separated from her mother to attend the special school, and immediately renamed Eva, a more German name.

Over the course of the war, Eva learns how to be German. She learns how to follow and love Hitler. She also knows that though she is learning all of these things, she doesn't believe any of them and is actually terrified of losing her true identity.

Someone Named Eva by Joan Wolf was one of the most powerful books I've read this year. So many stories are written about the war, the Holocaust, and the horrors that Hitler did to the Jews, but never have I come across a story about a character that also suffered at the hands of Hitler, though she hadn't done anything wrong in the first place. She was not Jewish. She was not a minority. She was simply a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. I'm not Jewish, but I'm blonde, with blue eyes. Would I have been in the same position as Milada/Eva? This book definitely made my eyes open a little wider.

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