Home » Biography & Memoir » Estelle Glaser Laughlin » Transcending Darkness

June 11 , 2009

Transcending Darkness

A Girl’s Journey Out of the Holocaust


“Please, Mama, I don’t want to live like this,” pleaded twelve-year-old Estelle Glaser’s older sister as they watched the bodies of friends dangle from the gibbet in the center of Warsaw’s Apel Platz. “I cannot take the indignities and brutalities. Let’s step forward and make them kill us now.” But Estelle’s mother fiercely responded to her two daughters: No! Life is sacred. It is noble to fight to stay alive. Their mother’s indomitable will was a major factor in the trio’s survival in the face of brutal odds. But Estelle recognized other heroes in the ghetto as well, righteous individuals who stood out like beacons and kept their spirits alive. Their father was one, as were hungry teachers in dim, cold rooms who risked their lives to secretly teach imprisoned children. Estelle’s memoir, published sixty-four years after their liberation from the concentration camp, is a narrative of fear and hope and resiliency. While it is a harrowing tale of destruction and loss, it is also a story of the goodness that still exists in a dark world, of survival and renewal.

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