Myra is a young student looking for a room, she is interviewed by an elderly woman, Helen Stein asked a lot of personal questions. Myra debates on whether or not to rent the room but decides that she does need a place that she can afford.
There is a reason behind all of Helen's personal questions she asks of Myra. Finding out that Helen has a number tattooed on her wrist is the clue to Helen's background. Helen tells the story of how she ended up with the tattoo, see, all inmates of the concentration camps are tattooed with numbers and once behind that fencing, are no longer a person, no longer have identities. That is the horror of Nazi Germany and the atrocities that one race of people inflicted on another.
Helen's story starts out in the 1920's, born of a Jewish family, living in Berlin. She was born after the Great War, at a time when Germany was floundering and looking for a leader, they found it in Adolf Hitler. Helen really didn't realize at a young age how the Nazi party was going to affect her and her family and what she was going to lose as a result of one man's hatred of the Jews.With the advent of Kristallnacht, Helen and her family's lives implode into a horrible series of events that find Helen interred at Auschwitz.
Helen's story is one of many to come out of this terrible time in history, even though this is historical fiction, I could tell by the author's words, that this was a story she wanted to tell with compassion and honesty about a woman who could very well have lived during this time and experienced the atrocities of the fanatics that were the Nazi Party. I enjoyed it immensely.