Daniel's Story

by Carol Matas


Daniels Story is based on a young, teenage Jewish boy whos family is sent on a long journey from being run out of Frankfurt, being stuck in the Lodz Ghetto, and soon being deported Auschwitz. Ever since he was a preteen, he has been dealing with Jewish propaganda turning his life from riches to rags. He soon realizes that the amount of hatred throughout Germany soon impacts him and his loved ones, and he must find a way to undergo the battle. Through Daniels jouney he finds peace by photography; taking photos of poverty, distress, and Hitlers rise to power. During his time in the Lodz Ghetto, in Poland, he discovers horrifying truths, possible outcomes, and even love. He soon becomes known throughout not only the Lodz Ghetto, but in Auschwitz for his amazing photography skills, and is soon recruited to a resistance group. Here he begins to fight back, by exposing the horrors of Auschwitz. During Daniels despair, he learns crucial lesson of survival, hope, and courage, yet throughout the midst of the Holocaust, his few reasons for hope rely on the Allies, Palestine, and his loved ones.


Daniels Story truly showed me the horrors of being a prisoner during the Holocaust. During Daniels journey, he expresses how he wishes that the pain would end, and that each time he thinks that things could not get any worse, it does. This showed me how fortunate I am to be living in this time period, and even in this country. No one here knows what it is like to literally loose everything, just because of your religion.
I also realized that us as a teenager society, we don't understand the difference between poverty, and lack of riches. We instantly think that if we cannot have something, we are living in despair and poverty. Daniels Story showed me that they weren't even allowed to have control of their own happiness, let alone their materialistic items.
Lastly, Daniels story showed me how you can find true beauty in such a dreadful time. During Daniels stay in Auschwitz, he dodged selection, starvation, and hopelessness. I believe that this is what truly captured peoples inner beings during the holocaust, making them pull through the dramatic and horrific events.


"I had to be who I was- Daniel a twelve-almost thirteen-year-old Jewish boy who carried an I.D. card stamped with a big red J."
-This shows that Daniel is starting to realized how the Holocaust has placed him as an individual, and that society was stripping him of his individuality.

"All I knew by November of that year was work; work and somehow getting enough food to stay alive."
-Daniel has morphed from a simple Jewish boy to a hardened teenager, with survivalist characteristics, and had started to become numb to the emotional and physical distress.

"They would always believe that our lives had been worthless and that they were not murderous, just simple folk carrying out orders to wipe out a subhuman species."
-Daniel realizes what has happened to his whole race, and how the world has viewed him and the rest of the Jewish community. he shows anger and hatred for the Nazi party, and has no intention on returning back to the Nazi founding state.


I would definitely recommend this book. this book was written in with a child's vocabulary, and the text of the book is not too horrific, yet still allowing the reader to fully comprehend the destruction on mankind. i would recommend this book to almost all ages. it is an extremely easy book to read, but it shows you a perfect display of chronological events, and the vibrancy from a child's perspective.

Things I learned about the Holocaust

The first thing I learned, was that the allies were always catching up to the Nazis. I wasn't aware that people were actually trying to help out the parishioners and Jews. In the book, Daniel and Rosa constantly talk about how the allies and the Russians are close, and to survive till the allies liberate them. Also, I noticed that during the Holocaust, the harsh laws and punishments greatly escalated. At first, it was no big deal, but it quickly caught flame. they first began corralling the Jews, Which soon turned into the Final Solution, massacring almost the entire Jewish community. Lastly, the book reassured me that during such harsh times the prisoners had hope. I realized that it was hope that drove the Jews to their liberation, not luck. The only way you would survive concentration was hope.