I often wonder how we allowed such hatred to flourish, but The Sound of Freedom by Kathy Kacer ($12.95, Annick Press) showed me how easy it is for prejudice and evil to take hold; it started off small with people turning a blind eye to injustice because they didn’t want to get involved or hurt themselves (not judging, just commenting) until we have this disgusting period in our history.
In The Sound of Freedom, Anna is a young Jewish girl in 1936 in Krakow, Poland. She sees the hatred and violence against Jewish people and begs her father to leave their country. Her father, a celebrated clarinetist wit the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra doesn’t want to leave and suggests it will get better.
Perhaps because I know the future, I wanted to shake Anna’s father and tell him to listen to his daughter.
Anna then hears about the world-renowned violinist Bronislaw Huberman, who is auditioning Jewish musicians for a new orchestra in Palestine and gets an audition for her father.
While this is a work of fiction, Bronislaw Huberman is a real person who saved about 1,000 Jewish people to between 1935 and 1939.
This is part of the reason why I read books based on the Holocaust. Although I often feel sad and anxious reading these stories, and disgusted and horrified about how truly evil people can be, it’s these sparks of kindness, of people doing whatever it takes to do the right thing, that offers me hope and brings a bit of light into that terrible dark.
Kathy Kacer, whom I am a huge fan of, does a great job, as usual, of bringing Anna and her family’s story to life, while giving me more information about the Holocaust and the people who lived through it.
Read my interview with Kathy Kacer, here.
A copy of this book was provided by Annick Press for an honest review. The opinions are my own.