The Violinist of Auschwitz, a review by Jenn

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The Violinist of Auschwitz
Ellie Midwood

356 Pages
Published November 18, 2020 by Bookouture

You’ve read the history books you know the facts of World War 2 now The Violinist of Auschwitz will give a unique glimpse into the personal journey and true story of Alma Rosé. Based on Almas real life Ellie Midwood has done extensive research and written a beautiful story to share Almas life and accomplishments.

From the first chapter I was invested in Alma and her story, I wanted to know just how she got to this point and where her story would go. This is the first time I’ve read an account of a WW2 story that includes music and the way Alma used her talent in the camp to help those around her is simply astonishing. The addition of music to their harrowing tale adds even more emotion for the reader.

Through music the women can feel some hope and when they play or hear it, they are transported to a time when they were free, with their families and felt warmth and joy. Their fearless leader Alma is quite the character and uses her talent to help her fellow prisoners in a way that only she can. At first she refuses to play for the SS but then quickly realizes that she will need be to be strategic and use anything she can to help herself and those around her survive. Alma plays so these women can have a tiny bit more food, some clothing, a piece of soap, anything to help them survive another day.

I thought Alma was portrayed very well and her outlook of the officers was a refreshing one, often playing for them out of spite and constantly walking the line with her outward hate and disrespect for them. Alma is unlike any other prisoner in camp Auschwitz, creating something out of absolutely nothing. Because of this she is able to gain a little respect from the officers and conducts herself with grace and intelligence.  

I especially liked that Ellie Midwood has included a note of history at the end of the book so we can see exactly where she draws all of her inspiration from the story, I was amazed to learn that nearly every event in this story is pulled from a real life fact, often found in an account from those who were at camp Auschwitz. Ellie Midwood worked hard to represent Alma and the others truthfully and to tell their story and she’s done a fantastic job.  

A story full of pain, suffering, music, talent and hope this book will take your heart on a ride bringing you to tears, making you smile and cheer on the amazing women that you’ll find within this book.


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