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.
Burakowski 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.