Review: Otto Rosenberg – A Gypsy In Auschwitz

A Gypsy In Auschwitz
How I Survived the Horrors of the ‘Forgotten Holocaust’
Otto Rosenberg

“Otto Rosenberg is 9 and living in Berlin, poor but happy, when his family are first detained. All around them, Sinti and Roma families are being torn from their homes by Nazis , leaving behind schools, jobs, friends, and businesses to live in forced encampments outside the city. One by one, families are broken up, adults and children disappear or are ‘sent East’. Otto arrives in Auschwitz aged 15 and is later transferred to Buechenwald and Bergen-Belsen.”

This is the first Holocaust book I have read that has a gypsy perspective at the heart of it. I think it is unfair however that it’s the ‘forgotten’ Holocaust, because it seems as if it was very similar to Jewish perspectives. The Holocaust was attrocious for any marginalised group in Nazi Germany, and I would hope people hadn’t forgotten about others who suffered.

These Holocaust books, no matter how horrifying, are history that I can appreciate reading (I can’t really say ‘enjoy it’ because the content is awful). I need my history to have people and compelling stories. That being said, there are many stories from this period of history that won’t have survived due to the sheer number of people murdered. I think that these books need to keep being written, and I will probably keep reading them all. They make me feel very grateful for the relatively peaceful life that we Westerners now have. COVID-19 is nothing compared to the Holocaust in sheer scale of human attrocities. Enough said.

It’s non-fiction, so there’s no need for me to give it any stars, but this is a good (but not outstanding) book to add to my catalogue that also includes The School that Escaped the Nazis, The Keeper of Miracles, Always Remember Your Name and The Dressmakers of Auschwitz.

Hachette | 9 August 2022 | AU$32.99 | paperback

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