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Gone To Ground

This is an intriguing read and true account of Marie’s life during the time of the Nazi occupation of Berlin during the Second World War. Miraculously Marie managed to hide out in Berlin over a period of three years moving between twenty safe houses, surviving only by using her wits and sheer determination to stay alive, whilst those around her perished or were moved on.

It is the story of gritty stuff, however the facts have not translated to an emotional journey for me, as this book could have been written as a series of bullets points outlining people, place and time.

There was not enough to grab onto and was a struggle to reach the end of the story, sadly giving up two thirds of the way through. Something may have been lost in the translation but remarkable as her story is, it just wasn’t a great read. As one woman’s story of daily survival in a world of violence and hate it is remarkable and as such is worthy of documentation.

However, if this is a period in time that appeals many readers will find the book worthwhile as a survival story.


Bio: Courtesy Allen & Unwin

Marie Jalowicz Simon was born in 1922 and came from a middle-class Jewish family. She escaped the ghettos and concentration camps that claimed the lives of so many other Jews during the Second World War, by living in hiding in Berlin. After the war she taught classics and philosophy at the Berlin Humboldt University, but rarely spoke about her past. Shortly before her death in 1998, her son recorded her telling her story for the first time. This book is based on the tapes he recorded.


Author Marie Jalowicz-Simon, edited by Irene Stratenwerth edited by Hermann Simon
Publisher Profile Books
ISBN 9781781254141