Beyond These Walls – Escaping the Warsaw Ghetto

Written by Janina Bauman
Review by Elizabeth Hawksley

This is the vivid and compelling autobiography of Janina Bauman, a young Jewish girl (the same age as Anne Frank) from a professional Jewish family who lived in Warsaw during the Second World War. Against all the odds, Janina, as well as her mother and sister, escaped both the destruction of the Jewish ghetto and the mass transportation of Polish Jews to the concentration camp at Treblinka. Janina tells how she and her family spent two years in hiding, always on the move from house to house, constantly threatened by betrayal or discovery. We also learn the story of Janina’s adolescence: when she snatched what education she could, grabbed any books she could find, and learnt about love – as well as facing semi-starvation, TB, the deaths or disappearance of friends and family, all against the backdrop of the brutality of the Nazis. Recommended.