The beginning of the book is about Rifkele when she is an adult. She often has nightmares about growing up a Jew when the Nazi's were trying to take over. She oftens talks to her daughter about this and she doesn't understand how the Nazi's could kill her grandparents. The book goes back to the past when Rifkele is growing up. They lived in an apartment and their landlady, Mrs. Gruber, is not a Jew. But she still loved them and treated them as family. Mrs. Gruber's son Harry was like a brother to her. One day they were playing outside andan angry mob surronded them. They said that Harry was a spy and was sending messages to the Germans, so he should be killed. In September 1939, the Germans invaded Poland. Mrs. Gruber who has always been their friend came to their home and started taking all their belingings. Leaving them wth no stove in the middle of winter. All over Jewish families were being killed, robbed of their belongings and thrown out of their homes. Rifkele's brother comes down with Tuberculosis. All the Jews are poor and they have little food. Rifkele and her mom work in a tailor shop. They only get a little bread and soup everyday but they bring it home mostly for her brother. One day Rifkele and her cousin were out walking. They got seperated and the Germans started marching them. They marched them all day until they finally seperated the men and women and children. The women and children got to go home that night. The German soldiers were coming to search their home. They hid her brother in a cellar so they would not find him and take him away for being sick. But that day their mom was taken away because she was ill. The children were all on their own. And now Rifkele is getting sick too.
I couldn't believe the way that the German's treated the Jews. The pushed a pregnant lady on the ground so she landed on her stomach. Then a man tried to help her and he got a rifle bashed through his skull. I couldn't believe that this was real reading it. I couldn't see how someone could do these horrible things to another.