I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree

by: Laura Hillman

"We will get out of here, little one. I promise."

Never underestimate your family, and how important they are or how much you love them and need them. Hannelore Wolff knew it, and yet she still knew that they were all slipping out of her grasp. She leaves her school, her friends, and her safety behind as she travels home to meet the rest of her family when she hears about the death of her father. They travel together for some time, her mother and two brothers live safely, working to stay alive. But safety doesn’t stay long, after a few weeks, Wolfgang (one of Hannelore’s brothers) gets deported in the middle of the night, it all goes downhill from there.

The three of them get shipped to another camp, for a long time Selly (Hannelore’s other brother), Hannelore’s mother and her survive in the camp. She gets informed from an officer friend, Eugen that deportations will be starting, and that the only way to get out of it is to hide. When the Nazi’s come Hannelore gets separated from her mother and brother when hiding, but she is safe, for now.

Hannelore gets caught, she moves from camp to camp, she is humiliated, beaten, starved and deprived of sleep. She watches friend after friend, jew after jew get killed. But all that suffering goes away when she catches the eye of a Polish soldier, they risk being caught to see each other, and slowly but surely they fall in love. Selly finds her and they are reunited for the first time in about a year, but once again, her happiness doesn’t last long. Things brighten up a bit, slowly, she and other women are selected to go to a different camp, a camp where there is a chance of survival, there is enough food to not hollow out again, and yes, there is happiness eventually.

"I will never forget what they did."

  • Nazi’s made the Jews at camps stand in line naked in the middle of the night for inspection, no matter the weather.

  • At some camps, if one Jew escaped and was not counted for in line up, the German soldiers might shoot 10 other men for that one man’s escape.

  • You could not stay in the infirmary for more that two days because of how fast illness would spread, even if you were not healed or cured.

Who would like this book?

  • If you like learning about real things, real facts, but don’t like just a list, read this book. Or if you like to read a story about someone who lived through the Holocaust, this is great.
  • I would give this book a 5 out of 5 rating. It was very good, very interesting with all of the facts put into a story of a real life experience.
  • This book is a non-fiction biography.