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Judged only as a World War Two survivor's chronicle, Millie Werber's story would be remarkable enough. Born in central Poland in the town of Radom, she found herself trapped in the ghetto at the age of fourteen, a slave laborer in an armaments factory in the summer of 1942, transported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, before being marched to a second armaments factory. Judged only as a World War Two survivor's chronicle, Millie Werber's story would be remarkable enough. Born in central Poland in the town of Radom, she found herself trapped in the ghetto at the age of fourteen, a slave laborer in an armaments factory in the summer of 1942, transported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, before being marched to a second armaments factory. She faced death many times; indeed she was certain that she would not survive. But she did. Many years later, when she began to share her past with Eve Keller, the two women rediscovered the world of the teenage girl Millie had been during the war. Most important, Millie revealed her most precious private memory: of a man to whom she was married for a few brief months. He was -- if not the love of her life -- her first great unconditional passion. He died, leaving Millie with a single photograph taken on their wedding day, and two rings of gold that affirm the presence of a great passion in the bleakest imaginable time.


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Judged only as a World War Two survivor's chronicle, Millie Werber's story would be remarkable enough. Born in central Poland in the town of Radom, she found herself trapped in the ghetto at the age of fourteen, a slave laborer in an armaments factory in the summer of 1942, transported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, before being marched to a second armaments factory. Judged only as a World War Two survivor's chronicle, Millie Werber's story would be remarkable enough. Born in central Poland in the town of Radom, she found herself trapped in the ghetto at the age of fourteen, a slave laborer in an armaments factory in the summer of 1942, transported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944, before being marched to a second armaments factory. She faced death many times; indeed she was certain that she would not survive. But she did. Many years later, when she began to share her past with Eve Keller, the two women rediscovered the world of the teenage girl Millie had been during the war. Most important, Millie revealed her most precious private memory: of a man to whom she was married for a few brief months. He was -- if not the love of her life -- her first great unconditional passion. He died, leaving Millie with a single photograph taken on their wedding day, and two rings of gold that affirm the presence of a great passion in the bleakest imaginable time.

30 review for Two Rings: A Story of Love and War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    When reviewing Holocaust memoirs, I automatically tend to rate them highly for a number of reasons. For one, I admire the amount of courage it takes for a victim to come forward with the truth, often after decades of painful silence, and secondly, for the valuable primary source material these stories provide. And although the reader understands from the outset that the protagonists of these memoirs will survive the Holocaust, I always find them difficult to put down, possibly because most of th When reviewing Holocaust memoirs, I automatically tend to rate them highly for a number of reasons. For one, I admire the amount of courage it takes for a victim to come forward with the truth, often after decades of painful silence, and secondly, for the valuable primary source material these stories provide. And although the reader understands from the outset that the protagonists of these memoirs will survive the Holocaust, I always find them difficult to put down, possibly because most of the more recent titles I’ve read – including this one -- feature an innocent young girl coming face-to-face with evil they weren’t equipped to process, even decades later. Also, this type of reading takes Hitler’s racial policies out of the calm, blurry, dry realm of statistics and history books and brings them into horrifyingly sharp focus. And finally, many of these memoirs – this one included -- feature selfless, courageous people who rescued these ill-prepared young girls at key points in their experiences and the tales of courageous, quick-thinking people always make for compelling reading. Aside from the appealing love story that gives this memoir its title, what sets apart the story of Millie Werber -- a Jewish teen forced into the Radom ghetto, then a munitions factory, and finally Auschwitz -- from the others is the incongruously poetic beauty of the writing, very similar to that found within the pages of I Have Lived a Thousand Years. While attempting to take notes for this review, I found myself instead copying down reams of quotes, one more stunning than the next. For instance, Werber recalls the forced march from Radom to Auschwitz in this way: One loses a sense of time when all the world contracts into the single project of taking yet another step, step after step, for kilometers on end. And the heat all around, the heat burning down from the heavens and rising up in waves from under the road. All the world transformed into an oven, a terrific furnace, and all of us enveloped in it, burning it its belly, with no one to offer us relief. The way in which her first impressions of Auschwitz are described is particularly insightful. She admits that while the images of Auschwitz are now easily recognizable, that “everyone knows now about the nightmare of Auschwitz,” for her and her fellow sufferers it was horrifyingly new: . . all of us had been through much. But until now, we had lived in a world that we recognized – a frightening world, a cruel world, to be sure, but it was a world we could understand, too. The reality of Auschwitz was unrecognizable. These affronts stunned us, tore us brutally from anything we were able to decipher for ourselves, and dropped us into the panicked insanity of this horrible, horrifying place. I’m not sure how much of the writing’s beauty can be credited to the book’s co-author, Eve Keller, but reading Two Rings is a powerful, immediate, and extremely insightful way of observing Hitler’s Final Solution through the eyes of one of his intended victims. This review was first published at CurledUpWithAGoodBook.com: http://www.curledup.com/two_rings.htm

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marla

    This is a very beautifully written story about a woman who survives World War II as a 17-year-old Jew. It spans her entire life. I'm always fascinated with experiences dealing with World War II and this is another one that tells of the horrors endured and how one survivor made it through and found love. This is a very beautifully written story about a woman who survives World War II as a 17-year-old Jew. It spans her entire life. I'm always fascinated with experiences dealing with World War II and this is another one that tells of the horrors endured and how one survivor made it through and found love.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Doerr

    I have always been interested in World War II, the holocaust in particular. I think it is an important part of history that everyone should be familiar with so we are sure not to let history repeat itself. That being said, this is my favorite source of information about the holocaust yet. I even liked it better than the holocaust museum! "Two Rings: A Story of Love and War" is a memoir about Millie Weber written by both Millie and her trusted companion Eve Keller. The intended audience is both i I have always been interested in World War II, the holocaust in particular. I think it is an important part of history that everyone should be familiar with so we are sure not to let history repeat itself. That being said, this is my favorite source of information about the holocaust yet. I even liked it better than the holocaust museum! "Two Rings: A Story of Love and War" is a memoir about Millie Weber written by both Millie and her trusted companion Eve Keller. The intended audience is both intermediate and advanced readers. I gave this book 5 stars because I could not put it down; I just wanted to keep reading on. Millie describes her sheltered childhood that leads up to her Poland town being taken over by the Germans. She endures unfair treatment, an exhausting job at the age of 14, and being separated from her friends and family. I love how Millie conveyed her feelings of deathly scared and first time love. The words used to describe her journey really touched my emotions while reading. Obviously, since Millie was able to write the book, she survived! She learned how to overcome the horrific past she had lived through and how to make her future worth living. Young readers will surely be interested in this book! We all study the facts and events of World War II and this story should be used by teachers to relay some of the information. The descriptive yet simple words really touch your emotions as a reader.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jillyn

    I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. Two Rings: A Story of Love and war is a vivid and haunting memoir of love and survival during the Holocaust. The story follows that of Millie Werber, as she starts off in a small ghetto before being ushered to work in a factory. It is there where she meets her first love, Heniek. Unfortunately, it is also there where her love is taken away, ripped apart as Jews are forced into concentration camps. Mrs. Werber tells the tale of how she time and a I received this book through Goodreads First Reads. Two Rings: A Story of Love and war is a vivid and haunting memoir of love and survival during the Holocaust. The story follows that of Millie Werber, as she starts off in a small ghetto before being ushered to work in a factory. It is there where she meets her first love, Heniek. Unfortunately, it is also there where her love is taken away, ripped apart as Jews are forced into concentration camps. Mrs. Werber tells the tale of how she time and again eluded death when it seemed to be lurking behind every corner during her imprisonment at Auschwitz. This story is truly one that I could not put down, and almost couldn't believe. Being a history buff, I was eager to read a tale from the Holocaust where love, through all other things, is the main theme of the memoir. The author tells her story with such startling detail that I often found myself holding my breath for her, worrying that somehow (despite the book being written these decades later) she would not make it out alive. My heart wrenched as hers did and quite simply, I could not put this book down. This book deserves a place among memoirs such as Night, and should be read by anyone who believes in love or survival. Thank you, First Reads, for allowing me the honor of reading Millie's story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    A heartbreaking but inspiring story of a woman who, as a young girl and teenager, survived Auschwitz, and, up until now, had kept her first marriage a secret. I can't say I'm ever happy to read these Holocaust stories, but I do love to because I'm always amazed at these people, what they went through, lessons they learned, and how they accepted these experiences as part of themselves/their lives and tried to move forward afterwards. A testament to the amazing resilience of the human spirit! A fe A heartbreaking but inspiring story of a woman who, as a young girl and teenager, survived Auschwitz, and, up until now, had kept her first marriage a secret. I can't say I'm ever happy to read these Holocaust stories, but I do love to because I'm always amazed at these people, what they went through, lessons they learned, and how they accepted these experiences as part of themselves/their lives and tried to move forward afterwards. A testament to the amazing resilience of the human spirit! A few things Millie said that struck me: "If you act as a beast in a moment when it matters, is it possible ever to become a man again?" "The horror you cause shall cause horror to you." "If I don't so much believe in God anymore, I do believe in people: I believe that even in the most horrendous of circumstances, there is still space for choice. No matter what the situation, people still get to determine how they will be in the world - whether good or evil, kind or cruel, or anything in between - through daily acts of choice, both large and small."

  6. 5 out of 5

    April

    Wow! What an amazing story. This is a book meant to be read in one sitting. I felt Millie was in the room with me, sharing her story and I hung onto every single word. I felt the truth and honesty coming from this woman who endured so much and survived when so many did not. I am grateful for her bravery; reliving her youth in order to bring this story to print must have been extremely difficult. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    I've read many Holocaust books, some incredible, some not so much. I didn't love this book. It's well written and the experiences of the author are horrifying as in every Holocaust event that has ever been recorded. What I found sad was that it seems the author seemed to remain bitter and angry and revengeful throughout her life. Obviously I have nothing in my life to compare to the devastation of loosing everything, your family members, your home, your sense of security - everything your knew a I've read many Holocaust books, some incredible, some not so much. I didn't love this book. It's well written and the experiences of the author are horrifying as in every Holocaust event that has ever been recorded. What I found sad was that it seems the author seemed to remain bitter and angry and revengeful throughout her life. Obviously I have nothing in my life to compare to the devastation of loosing everything, your family members, your home, your sense of security - everything your knew as good in your life. I was sad to read that the author, Millie, lost her faith in God in whom she may have found some hope. She was married while imprisoned but that marriage lasted only a few months before her husband was led away and killed. After the war she met and married another man, Jack, they emigrated to the United States where they had two children and built a successful business and prospered. She was married to her second husband for 60 years when he died, and yet she continued to hide the fact that the love of her life was her first husband. I felt sorry for Jack who never really seemed to be appreciated by Millie although they shared 60 years together. Even the cover of the book pictures Millie and her first husband. Millie's story is her own and she is telling it as it is. My favorite passages: "Auschwitz is now called an extermination camp, a death factory. Ten thousand people were killed in a single day in Auschwitz--more than one million people in all. It looked like death there--skeletal bodies, sunken eyes, black smoke from the chimneys. And the stench, the stench of what was burning. Nothing grew at Auschwitz. The place was more barren than a desert, as if nature itself knew that Auschwitz was the kingdom of death. Not a tree or a shrub, not a blade of grass. Not a fly. Nothing. Auschwitz was the end of the world, death's domain." "Family and strangers, Jews and Gentiles, these simple people were simply good to me, though I had done nothing to deserve their goodness and though I could never pay them back. If I don't so much believe in God anymore, I do believe in people: I believe that even in the most horrendous circumstances, there is still space for choice. No matter what the situation, people still get to determine how they will be in the world--whether good or evil, kind or cruel, or anything in between--through daily acts of choice, both large and small."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kim Heimbuch

    This heartfelt story takes you on the personal journey of a young and innocent Jewish girl, Millie Werber, as she steps from childhood to adult overnight in the midst and turmoil of World War II. Author Eve Keller gives readers a first hand perspective of what it was like to be a Jew under the German regime. From 12 hour days of factory work to Auschwitz, Millie shares with readers her own horrors of watching her friends and families torn apart, starved, beaten, and even murdered. Even in all of This heartfelt story takes you on the personal journey of a young and innocent Jewish girl, Millie Werber, as she steps from childhood to adult overnight in the midst and turmoil of World War II. Author Eve Keller gives readers a first hand perspective of what it was like to be a Jew under the German regime. From 12 hour days of factory work to Auschwitz, Millie shares with readers her own horrors of watching her friends and families torn apart, starved, beaten, and even murdered. Even in all of the darkness the world shed upon Millie, she was able to find love, survive, and share her story with the world. I highly recommend this book. This would be a profound historical asset alongside Anne Frank World War II history during Secondary schooling. You, the reader, will find a special place in your heart for Millie and the others as I know I did. Received from Goodreads to review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book is like hearing your grandmother tell you a story, though this one is a difficult story to hear. Told in a conversational tone, this is the story of Millie Werber as told to Eve Keller, who wrote the book. Millie had kept to herself what happened to her and her husband Heniek, a Jewish policeman in a wartime ghetto in Poland, throughout the years, not even telling it to her two grown children. What happened to her, and the thousands of Jewish people like her, is something no one should This book is like hearing your grandmother tell you a story, though this one is a difficult story to hear. Told in a conversational tone, this is the story of Millie Werber as told to Eve Keller, who wrote the book. Millie had kept to herself what happened to her and her husband Heniek, a Jewish policeman in a wartime ghetto in Poland, throughout the years, not even telling it to her two grown children. What happened to her, and the thousands of Jewish people like her, is something no one should have to go through. As a 15-year old girl, in Radom, Poland, her family made the difficult decision for her to go to work in an armaments factory for the Nazis. She never saw her mother again. The work was physically demanding and dangerous for someone so tiny and young. This was just the beginning of Millie's experiences during WWII. Along the way she met Heniek and they were married. All she has left of him is a photo of the two of them and their two gold wedding rings. She managed to hold onto these treasures through Auschwitz and the end of the war and liberation.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    It never ceases to blow my mind how much the persecuted Jews had to endure during and AFTER the war. I can't imagine surviving the nightmare to then have terrible things happen to you after the war is over. It never ceases to blow my mind how much the persecuted Jews had to endure during and AFTER the war. I can't imagine surviving the nightmare to then have terrible things happen to you after the war is over.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I received this as a first read giveaway. This is the story of a Holocaust survivor. She was separated from her family at 14 and worked in a factory while her family lived in a Jewish ghetto. She married a man and he was later killed. She spent time in a concentration camp and then in another factory as part of slave labor. She describes her experiences the best she can and I appreciate it when she simply writes that she can't remember what happened. She describes the utter brutality and deprava I received this as a first read giveaway. This is the story of a Holocaust survivor. She was separated from her family at 14 and worked in a factory while her family lived in a Jewish ghetto. She married a man and he was later killed. She spent time in a concentration camp and then in another factory as part of slave labor. She describes her experiences the best she can and I appreciate it when she simply writes that she can't remember what happened. She describes the utter brutality and depravation of humans and what the Jews had to experience. At times I was reminded of Elie Wiesel's memoir of the holocaust and concentration camps. People had to have a strong will to survive. A couple of stories stand out in my mind. She describes the soap that they were given to use on rare occasions. She found out later that the soap was made from the fat of the Jews that were burned. The Germans thought it was funny to use the fat of the bodies to make soap and then make the prisoners use that soap. She hauntingly tells of trying to hide valuables when you are stripped naked and how women only had one place to put those valuables. My only quibble with the memoir was the description of her first husband being her only true love. I felt that this did a disservice to her second husband and father of her children. Her second husband, Jack, was also a Holocaust survivor. They were married for 60 years. I didn't like how the book was structured to make it seem like she only really loved the first husband, especially since the description of him makes it seem that they got married because she thought she might find freedom if they were married. True love is not what it sounds like. .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I have been interested in the history of WWII for some time, particularly by the Holocaust. I don't know where the interest began. It has nothing to do with my family. My dad was an infant & my mother not even born. As far as I know no one in my family fought it the war. I think more than anything it is the horror of the situation & that people were able to survive despite the atrocities they faced. Ones I can not even begin to imagine. This memoir tells the story of Millie Werber & her experienc I have been interested in the history of WWII for some time, particularly by the Holocaust. I don't know where the interest began. It has nothing to do with my family. My dad was an infant & my mother not even born. As far as I know no one in my family fought it the war. I think more than anything it is the horror of the situation & that people were able to survive despite the atrocities they faced. Ones I can not even begin to imagine. This memoir tells the story of Millie Werber & her experiences as a Jew in Poland during the war. I found myself amazed that a young woman could go through what she went through & live to tell the tale. I felt like I was holding my breath as I read. It sounds silly being as it is a memoir & I knew she had written it, but I found myself begging for her to be okay, wanting to know what happened next. It was a surreal read. This book is incredibly well written. It reads like a top notch thriller, one you long to see made into a box office smash. Yet at the same time you know that it is all real...that the person recounting these "stories" actually lived through them. That in itself makes the ending unbelieveable. I would reccommend this book to anyone interested in that particular time in history. But also to anyone who enjoys an amazing story of survival where one is least expected to occur. This is one of my favorite books ever. READ IT!!!!!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Two Rings is the story of an Auschwitz survivor and the loves she found amid the war and afterwards. I feel like so often these stories are presented alongside the victim's path to peace and forgiveness. Millie certainly found peace and happiness in her life after the war, but she was also still really angry about many things that happened, most particularly the love that she lost. Owning the anger she felt even so many years later made this account feel honest and undiluted. I was impressed by Two Rings is the story of an Auschwitz survivor and the loves she found amid the war and afterwards. I feel like so often these stories are presented alongside the victim's path to peace and forgiveness. Millie certainly found peace and happiness in her life after the war, but she was also still really angry about many things that happened, most particularly the love that she lost. Owning the anger she felt even so many years later made this account feel honest and undiluted. I was impressed by the accounts of goodness and heroism done for Millie by those around her who also suffered. Sharing these small acts next to the cruelty committed by others in the same situation really illustrates that kindness is a choice we can always make. The love Millie finds after the war with her husband Jack was truly inspiring. They were so good to one another. Millie was brave, hardworking, honest, and good. I am glad she shared her story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Usha

    I love reading WW 2 memoirs. This book is a moving and inspiring life story of the holocaust survivor Millie Werber. Born in Poland, her growing experiences through the ghetto, being a slave laborer in an armaments factory, later promoted to work in the kitchen through the kindness of a jewish policeman, then transported to Auschwitz, and later taken through two marches both of which very harsh, she faces death many times very close. Amidst all of this, she finds kindness and love among a few pe I love reading WW 2 memoirs. This book is a moving and inspiring life story of the holocaust survivor Millie Werber. Born in Poland, her growing experiences through the ghetto, being a slave laborer in an armaments factory, later promoted to work in the kitchen through the kindness of a jewish policeman, then transported to Auschwitz, and later taken through two marches both of which very harsh, she faces death many times very close. Amidst all of this, she finds kindness and love among a few people. Beautifully written, and I couldn't put the book down. There cannot be any more unfairness than fearing death every single minute of the day as holocaust victims have faced. To be able to recollect all of the good and bad events that she experienced in her life after many years is amazing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    The story that Millie Werber recounts of her days as a young girl/lady growing up and surviving during the most unimaginable horrors of the holocaust is unbelievable. Like many, I have heard stories told of things done but to "hear" it told in this way makes it even more real and tragic. With as priviledged as we are to be living in this time and in this country, I wonder if any of us would be able to survive the hardships that she endured. The story that Millie Werber recounts of her days as a young girl/lady growing up and surviving during the most unimaginable horrors of the holocaust is unbelievable. Like many, I have heard stories told of things done but to "hear" it told in this way makes it even more real and tragic. With as priviledged as we are to be living in this time and in this country, I wonder if any of us would be able to survive the hardships that she endured.

  16. 4 out of 5

    M

    The writing is just "okay," probably bc the author is transcribing her notes from conversations. I've read 'better' Holocaust memoirs (referring to the writing). It's not a particularly compelling love story (no Bridges of Madison County here). It's a tale of survival, of luck, and of the little miracles that kept her alive during the horror of WWII. you'll read this in a day, btw. The writing is just "okay," probably bc the author is transcribing her notes from conversations. I've read 'better' Holocaust memoirs (referring to the writing). It's not a particularly compelling love story (no Bridges of Madison County here). It's a tale of survival, of luck, and of the little miracles that kept her alive during the horror of WWII. you'll read this in a day, btw.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Really loved this book. Didn't want it to end. Another tale from the Holocaust but different from others I've read. Really loved this book. Didn't want it to end. Another tale from the Holocaust but different from others I've read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Read this in one day - which I never do. Great book. Sad, obviously, but good.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Thomas

    Oh my God. (I am not being blasphemous.) How is it possible to live through such horrors and still retain ones sanity? Do not be fooled by the title of this book - the "Two Rings" are a very small portion of this "story of love and war". Millie was 15 when she first met Heniek Greenspan, one of the Jewish policemen used by the Germans to carry out their policies in the ghetto and in the factory where she lived and worked. She was 16 and he 28 when they secretly married and then continued to live se Oh my God. (I am not being blasphemous.) How is it possible to live through such horrors and still retain ones sanity? Do not be fooled by the title of this book - the "Two Rings" are a very small portion of this "story of love and war". Millie was 15 when she first met Heniek Greenspan, one of the Jewish policemen used by the Germans to carry out their policies in the ghetto and in the factory where she lived and worked. She was 16 and he 28 when they secretly married and then continued to live separate lives but for the few moments they could snatch to be together. After only a few short months (or was it even shorter weeks?) Heniek was marched away by the Germans he worked for and Millie never saw him again, his nightmare presumably ended - although she could not be sure where, when or how he died - while hers continued. 65 years later Millie confided her story - of a wartime love found in one of Europe's darkest corners, of barely surviving Auschwitz, and of a peacetime love shared for decades in the U.S - with Eve Keller, who made it her goal to express what she believed was in Millie's heart, even when Millie herself didn't have the words to express it. (" 'Yes', she says, 'it is true; what you have written is true.' ") "If I don't so much believe in God anymore, I do believe in people: I believe that even in the most horrendous circumstances, there is still space for choice. No matter what the situation, people still get to determine what they will be in the world ... I want the world to know about these quiet heroes of my life. Most of all, though, I want the world to know about Heniek ..."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Banks

    This was a quick but powerful read of one woman's story of her time during the Holocaust. Millie Werber suffered in numerous ways during that period -- living in the Jewish Ghetto, seeing family members killed before her, having her family members rounded up and taken away, working in arms factories and finally ending up in a concentration camp, where her own young husband was rounded up and marked for death. The author's courage is remarkable, and she is able to convey the horror of what she ha This was a quick but powerful read of one woman's story of her time during the Holocaust. Millie Werber suffered in numerous ways during that period -- living in the Jewish Ghetto, seeing family members killed before her, having her family members rounded up and taken away, working in arms factories and finally ending up in a concentration camp, where her own young husband was rounded up and marked for death. The author's courage is remarkable, and she is able to convey the horror of what she has seen and experienced without being graphic. The book is not bogged down with background information -- it is just the "meat and potatoes" of the author's experiences. Those with an interest in Jewish history, WW II history or the Holocaust should read this true story. Highly recommended.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julie W

    No matter how many books I read about the Holocaust I will never understand. I enjoyed this as much as you can any book on the subject. I think I appreciated it even more with the author’s explanation of how it came about at the beginning. Knowing that this came from months of interviews and conversations and that she said she reviewed the text with Millie when she would try to put it in her own word.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    reading this book, it really opened my eyes to something I had never before thought about. these two people were put together by fate and fate only, or thats what I believe at least. they went through hell and back together, because their love undoubtedly strong. nothing. could come between them.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    Heartbreaking and touching.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Incredible personal story of a young girl from Radom, Poland and the experience that she went through during World War II. Her story helped to clarify a lot of what happened during the way and gave me the experience to share personal stories with my 8th grade class, particularly about the death marches from the camps.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Francine

    Five stars for this memoir describing the fear, horror, love, and survival that the author, Millie Werber, experienced as a Jew in Poland, 15 years old until her early 20’s—during the Holocaust. Eve Keller, a Professor at Fordham University, met Millie through Millie’s son, Martin. In the book’s introduction, Eve beautifully describes the development of her relationship with Millie, and the challenges of drawing out stories and secrets that have been hidden for so long. Millie’s son, Martin Werbe Five stars for this memoir describing the fear, horror, love, and survival that the author, Millie Werber, experienced as a Jew in Poland, 15 years old until her early 20’s—during the Holocaust. Eve Keller, a Professor at Fordham University, met Millie through Millie’s son, Martin. In the book’s introduction, Eve beautifully describes the development of her relationship with Millie, and the challenges of drawing out stories and secrets that have been hidden for so long. Millie’s son, Martin Werber, gave me the book when I visited New York recently. Martin tells me most people get so engaged that they read it in one sitting—Yes, the book is that engaging, but I read it in two sittings because my eyes don’t handle a whole book in one day. I’ve read a lot of holocaust historical fiction, and the stories that grab me are both horrifying, frightening, and engaging—but they’re fiction, so I can close the book and say, yes, this is based on fact, but these characters aren’t real. Two Rings is also engaging, frightening, and horrifying to read. I’m still reeling when I remind myself that the narrator is a Real Person who is describing her own near death experiences, survival based on acts of unexpected kindness or where she happened to be standing in line, a sweet and tender first love, and a second start in life with another survivor. Without reservation, I highly recommend Millie Werber’s memoir.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I received the book, Two Rings: A Story of Love and War as part of Goodreads First Reads. The first night I picked it up, I read for about 3 hours and had a hard time putting it down. The book is written in a simple manner as if I was sitting with Millie Werber, listening to her tell me about her life and it brought me right into the tale she telling. It's a hard subject, as it is about the life of a Polish Jewish teenage girl in WWII and what happened to her and her family starting with being i I received the book, Two Rings: A Story of Love and War as part of Goodreads First Reads. The first night I picked it up, I read for about 3 hours and had a hard time putting it down. The book is written in a simple manner as if I was sitting with Millie Werber, listening to her tell me about her life and it brought me right into the tale she telling. It's a hard subject, as it is about the life of a Polish Jewish teenage girl in WWII and what happened to her and her family starting with being in the Jewish Ghetto. She doesn't spare details of about the deaths of others and the conditions of the factory and Auschwitz Death Camp. Even though going into the book, you know she survived and married again to a man who has a very interesting survival tale of his own, all through the book you are worried that she and her Aunt, who is with her most of the book, will not make it through the war alive. However, it is also a very sweet love story that took place in an awful time and place, between two people who are doing what they can to get out alive and I think that is in the end what made the whole book very special.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I feel like an absolute heel rating a Holocaust book so low ... but the best I can say about this one was "it was ok." I did learn some things: it was told from a new-to-me perspective (Polish Jews forced to labor in factories for the German war machine -- though later Millie was sent to Auschwitz, too). And I certainly appreciated the candid honesty with which Millie told her story. But I just felt so disheartened reading it. I felt so sorry for Millie's losses -- of her family and her dignity I feel like an absolute heel rating a Holocaust book so low ... but the best I can say about this one was "it was ok." I did learn some things: it was told from a new-to-me perspective (Polish Jews forced to labor in factories for the German war machine -- though later Millie was sent to Auschwitz, too). And I certainly appreciated the candid honesty with which Millie told her story. But I just felt so disheartened reading it. I felt so sorry for Millie's losses -- of her family and her dignity and her youth, to be sure, but even moreso for her losses of faith in God and in humanity. There was this bitterness that infused the book toward anyone who had escaped the situation. Perhaps I had been hoping for something more inspiring, with glimmers of hope and forgiveness -- a Man's Search for Meaning or a Left to Tell. This just wasn't the bittersweet book I was expecting.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Joyanne

    I finished this book on my birthday at the Tunnel Beach in Holland, MI. I am glad the sun was shining as there were some truly dark parts to this book. It is a true story of one Holoaust survivors experiences before, during and after being in the Nazi work camps of World War II. As with many stories from survivors, Millie shares the horrors that she witnessed and lived through but she does it with an authenticity that touched me deeply. She tells her story from her perspective and often question I finished this book on my birthday at the Tunnel Beach in Holland, MI. I am glad the sun was shining as there were some truly dark parts to this book. It is a true story of one Holoaust survivors experiences before, during and after being in the Nazi work camps of World War II. As with many stories from survivors, Millie shares the horrors that she witnessed and lived through but she does it with an authenticity that touched me deeply. She tells her story from her perspective and often questions whether others around her witnessed these events the same way. She tells the reader why she has no faith in God and the things that led up to her decision to leave faith behind her. She expresses her bewilderment at the treatment and psychological torture the Nazi's imposed on their prisoners and how over and over it made no sense to her. I admire her courage to share her story and tell it in her own way and in her own words. This isn't like reading Eli Wiesel and his poetry or Corrie TenBaum and her inspirational "finding hope in the ashes" but it is worth reading and always worth remembering...lest we ever forget

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michael Richards

    very fast read. Could read in a couple of days if had the time. Story starts in central Poland the city of Radom. One third of town was Jewish. A city of 30,000. By age 13 or 14 Millie Werber was forced to move with her family to a Ghetto. August 1942 brought deportations. Later 12 hour work days were mandatory and no bathroom breaks until after 6 hours. One shower a month. A move to the kitchen was better for Millie but still peeled 1 thousand potatoes a day. But could sneak a bite of small pee very fast read. Could read in a couple of days if had the time. Story starts in central Poland the city of Radom. One third of town was Jewish. A city of 30,000. By age 13 or 14 Millie Werber was forced to move with her family to a Ghetto. August 1942 brought deportations. Later 12 hour work days were mandatory and no bathroom breaks until after 6 hours. One shower a month. A move to the kitchen was better for Millie but still peeled 1 thousand potatoes a day. But could sneak a bite of small peel here and there by throwing peel against stove - let it stick and cook. Then peel off and eat. Random killings happened from time to time. A 6 year old boy drinks from a mud puddle on a long 2 day march. No food no water and covering 80 miles or so- needless to say a german guard shot the boy in the back of the head while he drank mud water. One german brings a small sandwich daily to Millie later on but he was an enemy of hitlers regime. Im sure there were some germans that felt for the Jews but the majority looked the other way and feared for their own lives if they were against hitlers words.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Leanne Davis

    Excellent. This story is brutal in what happens to Millie during WWII. She is put into a ghetto at the age of 14 and goes on to be a slave laborer and ends up in Auschwitz for six months. She survives it all and finds two different loves, one in midst of being a slave laborer. It is horrifying and heartbreaking what she and her first love/husband suffer. She never really knows what happens to him but he most certainly died at the hands of the Germans. The way this story is told is so real and wi Excellent. This story is brutal in what happens to Millie during WWII. She is put into a ghetto at the age of 14 and goes on to be a slave laborer and ends up in Auschwitz for six months. She survives it all and finds two different loves, one in midst of being a slave laborer. It is horrifying and heartbreaking what she and her first love/husband suffer. She never really knows what happens to him but he most certainly died at the hands of the Germans. The way this story is told is so real and will stay with me always. I read some other reviewer who didn't like how Millie stayed bitter in her life and gave up her faith. For me? This was the most real portrayal and honest reflection I have read of a Jewish survivor of the death camps. After just reading the terror, fear and the way she was beaten down, I have to wonder how many people would have the strength to even keep living through what she experienced? I have to wonder how could anyone dare to judge her? Criticize her? Decide what she should have faith in? Who are we to judge when she survived and witnessed what we can't even comprehend. I don't judge her, I am in awe of her.

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