Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years

ISBN: 0963525778
ISBN 13: 9780963525772
By: Misha Defonseca

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About this book

The compelling story of a young Jewish girl who walks thousands of miles to escape the Holocaust and find her parents-- An inspiring true tale of courage and survivalIn 1940, when Misha was seven years old, her mother and father were taken by the Nazis, and she was hidden in a "safe" home they had secretly arranged for her. Realizing the terrible danger she was in, her kindly foster Grandfather taught her survival skills, such as "Don't trust people; they can hurt you", and "You can do anything you make up your mind to do". When Misha overheard her stepmother planning to turn her over to the Germans, the child took off on foot to search for her parents. Hiding in the forests to avoid human contact, she survived by stealing from farm kitchens along the way and pilfering crops in the fields. Often she was near starvation and many times nearly froze to death. In the course of her travels she was befriended by wolves, and among them she experienced the happiest moments of her troubled childhood. "I never remember being hungry in the company of wolves", she writes.Throughout her trials Misha continued to believe she would find her parents, and so she kept walking, day after day, year after year, across war-ravaged Europe, witnessing firsthand the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust. Before the war ended she would be captured by partisans, imprisoned in the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, forced to kill a Nazi soldier in self-defense and swept up by her first love. Although she never found her parents, she was reunited with her foster Grandfather when she returned home five years after her journey began.This astonishing story, full of passion, terror, and triumph, will become a classicin the way that The Diary of Anne Frank is, with the difference that in this tale the heroine survives.

Reader's Thoughts


Okay, after Defonseca was recently outed as a fraud, I had to read this for the curiosity factor, and now I must question the I.Q. of anyone who read this "memoir" at the time of its publication and thought it was authentic. Yeah, a seven-year-old sets off on a four-year trek across war-torn Europe, and is intermittently nurtured by wolves. She just happens to slip into the Warsaw ghetto hours before it was liquidated; she stabs a Nazi to death; she digs a hole for herself in a mass grave and hides amidst the bodies... I'll stop there. Never mind that it's clearly untrue -- it's not even halfway-decent fiction. An insult to intelligence.


The author of this book is a serial liar and fantasist, who made a great deal of money out of her fabrications but is having her butt sued off in court. For recent details, check e.g. this page.


Even if this was fiction it was not a good read but selling this as non fiction, as the true story of a Jewish kid in the holocaust? This woman is not a Jew and she spent the war in the comfort of her relatives home.This book should be known for what it is - junk and Defonesca is not only a bad writer but also a demented liar.I've place a little newspaper article about Defonesca inside the copies that we have at the library so that everyone will know what this loon is all about and I suggest that every library will do the same.I wish that I could give this book zero stars for it is not even worth the effort of picking it up.


Say you meet me at a party and I tell you that when I was 7 years old, I killed a full-grown military officer, then ran off and was nurtured by a pack of wolves. Would you believe me or begin edging away quietly, keeping the snack table between us at all times?Or say I'm a healthy-looking, articulate young white woman, and I tell you I used to work for the Bloods in L.A. -- a full-time gun-strapped gangbanger. Would you believe me or laugh in my un-bruised, orthodontured face?If you said you would believe these stories, then please stand by -- the process of natural selection will be along for you in a moment. More likely you scoffed at the idea you'd fall for such obvious crap.read more ...http://thetyee.ca/Books/2008/03/10/Li...


I thought this was a dubious and poorly written story of an orphaned Jewish girl's vain attempt to walk east from Belgium to find her parents who had been taken by the Nazis.It seemed to read as if a twelve year old had written it. I persevered becaused I'd promised a neighbor (who loved it ... !?!?!!).Reading some of the reviews on here led to a bit of research; I've learned the story is largely made up by Ms. Defonseca as her way of "surviving" the war. I have no problem with fiction written in the first person (remember "A Million Little Pieces"???) ---- but this was, in my opinion, just bad writing.


История трогательная, очень ярко написанная, но совершенно неправдоподобная. Героиня выживала, несмотря на холод, голод, войну и отсутствие необходимых для этого вещей.


This was an amazing story, until I found out it was completely fabricated. I think is was sometime in 2008 that it was discovered to be completely false. Real nice. A made-up holocaust story that was advertised as truth.

Paul Jr.

Literary fraudhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world...


Misha: A Memoire of the Holocaust Years by Misha Defonseca (1997)

Kell Woods

Wow I was so sucked in by this. I totally believed it. And I really enjoyed it. I as so upset when I colleague at the library where I work told me it was a hoax. The question now is where does it belong? It is currently catalogued as adult non-fiction... Should be interesting!!


I enjoyed this book but was disappointed it was not a true story.

Myriam St-Denis Lisée

Et dire que tout cela n'était que mensonge.. avoir sû!

Janne Paananen

Susilapsi kertoo seitsenvuotiaasta Mishasta, joka toisen maailmansodan juutalaisvainoissa menetti perheensä ja lähti etsimään heitä idästä. Matka taittui jalan. Neljän vuoden aikana tyttö käveli Belgiasta Neuvostoliittoon ja takaisinkin eläen lähinnä varastamalla ruokaa ja kun varastettavaa ei ollut, syömällä raatoja, puun kuorta ja matoja. Koko matkan aikana Misha ei juuri ollut tekemisissä ihmisten kanssa. Hän jopa eli muutamissa susiperheissä. Eläinsuhteista muodostuikin hänelle ihmissuhteita luotettavampia.Tarina on hurja ja mielikuvituksen rajoilla kulkeva selviytymistarina. Se ei kuitenkaan tunnu "rehelliseltä". Hyvä kirjoittaja saa fiktionkin myytyä lukijalle ja tämän uskomaan siihen. Jostain syystä Mishan reissua ei pysty ostamaan täysin varauksitta. Kieli on hieman kankeaa, johtuuko kirjoittajasta vai suomennoksesta, en tiedä. Osaltaan kaikkea tätä tietenkin selittää se, että kirja on kirjoitettu (ainakin julkaistu) vasta 2004 (alkuperäinen itse asiassa 1997) eli itse tapahtumista on ehtinyt vierähtää puoli vuosisataa. Ja Mishan kokemukset ovat hänen 7-10 ikävuosiltaan, joten aikuisena niiden muisteleminen voi olla haastavaa.


** spoiler alert ** I knew going into it that the story wasn't actually true and wanted to read it because of the controversy surrounding it. The writing is actually amazing and so is the story--it really tells a lot about human nature and paints a poignant picture of life during the Holocaust.


Somewhere halfway through this book I heard that it isn't completely true, although I couldn't find any trustworthy information concerning which parts are made up and what really happened. Decided to read it through anyways, so it gets 3 stars mainly because the reading of this one really changed in the process.

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