Haddassah Book review, 2010

Haddassah Magazine, 2009

“Stand back, Anne Frank’s Diary, here comes Edith!...I loaned it to a friend and she gave it back a week later and said she couldn’t put it down…” – Dorothy

“I have a great admiration for your ability to maintain yourself under such harsh conditions. That you remained mentally and emotionally intact I believe was due to the strong will and determination with which you were born and which you nurtured. You constantly concentrated those areas of your life which you saw as fundamentally important for your survival. One must be in awe of such strength! Furthermore, I realize that your other readers must have gotten a greater respect for the human spirit and a more expansive Weltanschauung. You have given much to many." – Hannah

“Your book is excellent in every respect–as a narrative and as a product of the book-making art. I have read it and appreciated every minute of it.” – Mary

“For most of us, the end of the war brought a welcome relief from the suffering and deprivation. In your case, regrettably, your mother took over where the Nazis had left off. I have great admiration for you because you persevered to get your degree and yet you did not abandon your mother, although she deserved no less.” – Gunther Katz, Holocaust survivor

“Your story is well-written. It should be on the best-seller list!” – William O’Malley

“The way I see it, none of [my service with the US forces during WWII] holds a candle to what you went through. Sure, I led quite a few patrols which can be hazardous to one’s health…Your intestinal fortitude and drive to get an education exceeds anything we had to endure. The constant fear of being discovered by the Gestapo, while you were in France and avoid that by being moved suddenly is very disconcerting…I found your book, Becoming Edith, an excellent review of what it was to live during and after the war years in Europe…” – Ernst Selig, WWII veteran

“What a tremendous and inspirational story! I should say life. It was wonderful to read about your life. You’ve come so far.“ – Roberta Nestor

“You said something more profound than I think you may realize: it is having the right values that empowers people to weather the most horrific adversities in life…I have not stopped talking about you, your visit, and this insight you shared.” Jonathan E. Brill, PhD, President & Founder at Test Mastery Systems, Inc.

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“Becoming Edith: The Education of a Hidden Child is an autobiographical account of Cord’s experiences during World War II, when her family tried to escape the Nazi Holocaust. It is a story of individual perseverance, courage, and determination to survive the circumstances presented by Nazi control of Europe. Edith’s family moved from Austria to Italy, then into France. In each cause, they fled just ahead of Nazi occupation. Edith’s father and brother were taken into custody in France and ultimately sent to Auschwitz where they were killed. To increase their chance of survival, Edith and her mother were separated, and Edith was sheltered by the Jewish underground. She was moved repeatedly to avoid detection and ultimately found sanctuary in Switzerland. The conditions she had to endure along the way were extreme. She was a teenager at the time and had to learn to fend for herself under difficult conditions. After the war, Edith was reunited with her mother. Together they learned of the tragic deaths of their loved ones. Edith’s account of her search for meaning to the events she had endured and her determination to acquire the education she had been unable to pursue while fleeing the war, are as fascinating to read as the account of the wartime period.” – Edward E., Platt, professor emeritus at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

“An amazing tale of self-discovery and determination, Becoming Edith tells the amazing tale of an adolescent who is not only determined to survive, but also to receive an education and to make a meaningful place for herself in the world. The author’s ability to recall and describe day-to-day life in many different locations is astounding. Her willingness to share with the reader her teenage thoughts, doubts, feelings of despair, hopes and dreams makes it impossible to put this book down.” – Nancy Lefenfeld, author

“I had the opportunity to interview you for a paper and I have read your book. Your story is such an amazing one and I think you are such an amazing and strong woman for going through all that hiding and still finishing your education.” – Megan Lowener, student

“I have not been able to put your book down. What a wonderful piece of work, a masterpiece…You are so right, the one thing missing in this world that does not cost a lot is love. If we all realized that, what a better world this would be.” – Robert Hartge

“I am a child survivor of the Holocaust myself and have read quite a number of books on survivors’ experiences. As such, I can attest to the truth of Edith’s book and its fine craftsmanship. It truly is an extraordinary book, well written, clear, and touching. It should be in every library – school, municipal, local, etc. It should be taught in the Holocaust curriculum in all schools.” – R. G. S. Silten, Holocaust survivor

“This is the story of Edith Mayer Cord, a child survivor of the Holocaust. It is an uplifting story of coming to peace with a very difficult, lonely, and frightening childhood and teenage years. Edith lived as a hidden child in France during the Nazi occupation. She overcomes losing her father and brother and all her worldly possessions. She learns to deny her very own self to a callous and frightening world. Later, she deals with her mother who is abusive; and, most likely, mentally ill. Realizing that education was her way out of this situation, she worked and studied hard at the conclusion of the war to make up for all the lost time. Edith’s experiences have led her to develop 10 Life Lessons which have helped her live a fulfilling life. Living these life lessons will make you a happier person and the world a nicer place in which to live.” – Freida Berg, Media Specialist, Damascus High School

“Let me tell you how impressed I am by your attitude, your self-discipline, and your determination to make something of yourself.” – Susie Pernitz, Holocaust survivor

“The book definitely moved me and helped me gain a perspective on the world that I didn’t have before. I am…opposed to the oppression of any people, and have tried hard to eliminate those things that cause oppression tangent to my own life. Reading this book makes these efforts seem all the more important in the social climate in which we live. Thank you for giving this book to the world.” – Eric Black, opera singer

“Thank you so much for…meet[ing] with the 6th grade class…for Yom Ha’Shoah…I just finished your book and I must tell you that I could not put it down. It is very inspiring and you tell your story very clearly…Thank God you survived and succeeded in creating a very full life for yourself.” – Rita Plaut, teacher

“I can’t imagine anyone failing to be interested in your moving story, and am happy that you took such difficult beginnings and turned your life into a triumph. I hope many young Americans will read, and learn from, it.” – Vivian Berger, emerita law professor, Columbia University

“It was very absorbing; you have a clear voice and strength of personality which leaps from the page.” – Maureen Sweeney

“This book is a very interesting story of the author’s childhood in Austria and war-time Europe. This book vividly describes how the author hid in plain sight, as a teenager. I would highly recommend this book to other young teenagers. Tweens and teens can identify with her experiences, hiding one’s identity in schools and similar places.” – David Duthinh, high school student

“Thank you for the privilege of reading your memoir. Over our years together, I have always admired your talents and intelligence, but at what expense for you—the disruption of your family due to the loss of your beloved father and brother not because of an accident or ill health, which would of course bear mourning, but due to such horrible actions to the Jews. You were so determined to gain an education, yet at the same time, you were helping others. You are still helping by sharing information and encouraging others.” – Ethel Ward

“[Becoming Edith] is such a heart-wrenching account of a child’s coming of age under the worst of circumstances. I had tears in my eyes so often as I read about what you had to go through on a daily basis just to survive…Your book was written in such a clear, easy to read style. It was concise but peppered with insights and words of wisdom you acquired during your long, hard journey.” – Linda Melago, French teacher & former student

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© 2019 by Edith M. Cord