READ ↠ The Other Half of Life


A heartbreaking novel based on the true story of a World War II voyageIn May of 1939 the SS St Francis sets sail from Germany carrying German Jews and other refugees away from Hitler’s regime The passengers believe they are bound for freedom in Cuba and eventually the United States but not all of them are celebrating Fif. In 1939 930 German Jews set sail across the Atlantic Ocean on the MS St Louis in the hope of escaping Nazi persecution in Germany and of finding political asylum in Cuba The trip was costly to begin with and then Cuba demanded 500 additional dollars that the refugees couldn't afford to pay The ship proceeded to the United States and Canada but both countries refused to grant asylum to the Jewish refugees The captain of the St Louis had taken it upon himself the make sure the passengers were treated with dignity while crossing the Atlantic and when they were refused admittance into these three countries he again took on the responsibility of finding asylum for all his passengers refusing to return to Germany until this was doneThe Other Half of Life is a fictionalized version of this event Thomas Werkmann 15 is traveling alone on the MS St Francis from Germany to Cuba because his Jewish father is in Dachau and his Christian mother could only afford to buy one tourist class passage and landing permit On his first day at sea Thomas meets Professor Affeldt his wife and two daughters Priska 14 and Marieanne 10 They are traveling first class and pass Thomas off as their cousin so that he can join them for meals It doesn't take long for Thomas and Priska to become friends and to meet other kids their age on board ship Priska and Thomas couldn't be different Throughout the voyage Thomas is skeptical about whether or not they will be admitted into Cuba while Priska firmly believes that they are finally saved from Hitler's persecution of Jews Yet despite her infectious optimism and faith Thomas continues to say he will not believe they are saved until they are safely in Cuba making him metaphorically a Doubting Thomas figure And of course we know from reality that they never are allowed to enter Cuba but that isn't the end of the story for Thomas Whitney's takes us much further than the Cuban port in her version of the storyI found this to be a fascinating fictionalized version of the real events in this coming of age novel In the space of a two week voyage Thomas learns much about people life and himself much of this occurring in his games of chess with various opponents Chess is a game his father had taught him and Thomas was uite good at it He even took a pawn from his father's chess set and carried it around in his pocket Though I don't play chess I could still follow the games progress and how each one contributed to Thomas's growth Slowly he learns that sometimes people are not who they appear to be including himself and even Priska with whom he falls in love with PriskaThe Other Side of Life is an energetic novel well written with well developed characters At times I found myself annoyed with Thomas's negativity and with Priska's relentless positivity is that even a word but I also liked the contrast I also know I am a realist and in Thomas's situation I would feel just like he does Whiteny brings in all kinds of uestions regarding identity Thomas is a Mischling but raised in a secular home It is on the MS St Francis fleeing a country that sees him only as Jewish that he begins to learn and appreciate and about Judaism his father's religion and coming to terms with the fact that it is a part of his identity too This is a very interesting historical fiction novel and between Whitney's imagination and research she has produced a valuable novel about a little known part of Holocaust historyThis

REVIEW The Other Half of Life

The Other Half of LifeTeen year old Thomas is anxious about his parents and didn’t want to leave Germany his father a Jew has been imprisoned and his mother a Christian is left behind alone Fourteen yearold Priska has her family with her and she’s determined to enjoy the voyage looking forward to their new livesBased on the true story of th. Solid historical fiction based on the sad story of the MS St Louis an ocean liner loaded with Jewish refugees that departed Germany in 1939 for Cuba Whitney focuses her novel on Thomas a teen travelling alone to meet a half brother who had earlier emigrated to Cuba The relationships among the passengers and between passengers and crew are well drawn including a budding romance between Thomas and a young woman named Priska I think this would be enjoyed by those young readers who can't get enough of World War II though the labored descriptions of chess matches may deter some

Kim Ablon Whitney ↠ 1 READ

READ ↠ The Other Half of Life ´ A heartbreaking novel based on the true story of a World War II voyageIn May of 1939 the SS St Francis sets sail from Germany carrying German Jews and other refugees away from Hitler’s regime The passengers believe they are bound for freedom in Cuba and eventually the United States but not all of them are celebratinE MS St Louis this historical young adult novel imagines two travelers and the lives they may have lived until events and immigration laws conspired to change their fates Kim Ablon Whitney did meticulous research on the voyage of the St Louis to craft her compelling and moving story about this little known event in history. Objective Summary spoiler warningThe Other Half of Life By Kim Ablon Whitney follows a 15 year old boy named Thomas who is a Jew during world war two who lives in Germany At this point in world war two Hitler is letting Jews out of Germany on ships heading for Cuba and then to the US One of which is called the St Francis In an effort to escape Germany Thomas is sent aboard the St Francis by his mother Unfortunately they only have enough money to get one of them out of the Country and into Cuba Thomas also had to leave his father behind because he was captured by the Nazis While on the St Francis Thomas meets a family that he becomes very acuainted with They go by the Affedts On the voyage the passengers are actually treated well because even though the captain is part of the Nazi party he does not believe in most of the laws set against Jews But on the ship is another person from the Nazi party Ortsgruppenleiter Holz Holz deeply believes in these laws We later find out that he was a Nazi spy collecting information from the US When they reach Cuba they find out that to land on Cuban shore they all need a visa All that they have are landing permits So then head to the United States where they are once again rejected So they set course back to Germany but before they get there they manage to convince some European countries to let them land So in turn they split up the passengers to go to different countries Priska and Thomas are sent to different countries They plan to meat up 5 years later in Miami because by that time they will both be in America Instead in 10 years Thomas sees Marianne Priska's sister who tells Thomas that Priska was killed in a concentration camp near the German boarder Marianne and Thomas are then seen seventy years later where they have been married and have two kids To end the book it's al of them looking at an exhibit in a museum dedicated to the St Francis