Ravensbruck51tuttqiuzL._SX335_BO1,204,203,200_A Holocaust survivor, my collaborator on a current writing project, objected to my use of the phrase “Molotov cocktail.” Why? Because he feared the young readers wouldn’t understand.

Slowly the memories of World War II are receding. That’s all the more tragic, given that new stories—fresh even to those of us who care—are emerging. One is the not-so-well-known history of the Nazis’ sole concentration camp for women.

Sarah Helm‘s Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women is a welcome addition to World War II literature if a free excerpt in Longreads reflects the overall quality of the book.

I’m pleased to see an e-book edition, not just paper ones, and I hope that this old history will be fodder not just for aging readers but also younger people reading on cell phones.

TeleRead buying link for the book: Here.


  1. How can someone not know what a Molotov Cocktail is? I suppose if they’re really, really young like under ten, otherwise I would think it’s basic knowledge.

    But I like history and books from previous generations, so maybe it’s not as universal as I think.

    I picked up a copy of Ravensbruck after reading a review in the New York Times. It’s in the queue to read before the end of the year.

  2. I am currently reading Ravensbruck (about half done with it). It is very well written and a fascinating glimpse into the only women’s concentration camp. Helm did a fantastic research job. Anyone who wants to know what concentration camp life was like, especially before the Nazis turned to genocide, this book gives the insight. Interestingly, it was the concentration camp that was most micromanaged by Himmler.

    For a broader history of the concentration camps, read KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann. It’s the only comprehensive history of the camps and became an instant classic (until something better comes along, but this sets the bar pretty high) on the subject.

  3. David, I’m indifferent. I don’t participate in the ones on MobileRead and wouldn’t participate here. I buy and read a lot of books (I invite you to look at, for example, my An American Editor essays titled “On Today’s Bookshelf”. The latest one was posted this past Wednesday. Here is the direct link: https://americaneditor.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/on-todays-bookshelf-xxii/. To see all of the articles, follow this link: https://americaneditor.wordpress.com/category/books-ebooks/on-todays-bookshelf/) and I expect it would be the rare book that interests me that would be a book club selection.

    More importantly, participation in a book club means I would actually have to read a particular book within a set timeframe. That is not how I read. I generally am reading 3 to 5 books at a time, and thus would have a great deal of difficulty meeting a particular schedule.

    So, I think you should ask the Teleread readers about their interest and ignore me 🙂 as a poor gauge of whether it should be done or not.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.