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Hidden Gold: A True Story of the Holocaust

by Ella Burakowski

Hidden Gold by Ella Burakowski tells the story of the author’s mother, Shoshana Gold, Shoshana’s siblings, Esther and David, and their parents, Hanna and Leib. The Golds were a wealthy Jewish family who ran a grocery store and tobacco concession in pre-war Poland. Burakowski traces their experiences after the German invasion, including being on the run, narrowly escaping death, and hiding inside a barn for 26 months.

Hidden Gold Ella Burakowski October 2015Burakowski was able to collect many personal stories from her surviving family members. These details help give a first-hand immediacy to the descriptions of the struggles and pain that even wealthy Jewish families endured in order to survive the Holocaust. They also paint a portrait of the Golds as a strong, resilient family determined to do anything to stay together and keep each other alive.

The writing, on occasion, is a bit dry and matter of fact. The book also jumps between time periods and lacks the storytelling technique to effectively build to climaxes. However, once the action increases (about a third of the way into the book), these flaws become less obvious, or at least less important, as Burakowski’s powerful and moving story about her family unfolds.