Sala Lewis is a well known model and singer, she’s also a survivor of Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Sala was a young girl when Jewish people started to disappear. Several members of her family were taken before she was, then one day while she was out playing with friends, her parents and brothers were taken. By the blessing of God and her own spunk, she was fortunate enough to be reunited with her sister, Dora, in one of the camps.
Some would argue that it was good luck, others that it was God’s blessings, but she and her sister Dora as well as their brothers, survived and were able eventually to move to Canada and America where she made a name for herself.
Her story is told in the wonderful biography, “Sala, More than a Survivor” written by Marsha Casper Cook, as told by Sala Lewis.
We follow Sala from the time she is a child until her adulthood as a wife and mother. Through it all, her indomitable spirit kept her going. The love and support of her older sister, Dora, certainly saw her through hard times.
One can only imagine how horrible the camps were in Nazi Germany. Sala clearly tells how hard life was for them, but somehow, they lived. Sala now lectures, telling others about the horrors of Nazi Germany, emphasizing how loving one another is the key to preventing such a thing from happening again.
“Sala, More Than a Survivor” is a beautiful, candid look at one woman’s life and what she made of it after the Holocaust. She had dreams of becoming famous and she lived to fulfill that dream.
My favorite part of the book, which brought tears to my eyes, was at the end. She was asked to speak at her son’s school, telling the children about living in Bergen Belsen. Her son had never heard the story before as she had tried to protect her children from the horrible truth.
“Days later when Cort, Evelyn, Jerry and I were at a neighborhood restaurant and standing in line I saw a young boy from Cort’s class tugging at his mother’s sleeve. I had no idea why, until he came up to me with his mother right by his side. “Mother,” he said. “I want you to meet Mrs. Lewis. She’s not just Cort’s mother, she’s special. She’s a survivor!”
Sala Lewis is not the only survivor of a concentration camp, but her beautifully told story certainly makes the reader stop and think. Marsha Casper Cook found Sala’s voice and transcribed it to the page with great respect and skill.
I highly recommend this book to any reader. It brings a slice of world history alive. Net proceeds from this book will be donated to the Holocaust Museums in Washington, D.C. And Skokie, Illinois.
Five Golden Acrons
© Dellani Oakes