, Research Paper
A Childhood Lost in A War
Tell No One Who You Are
?But I?m Regine Miller.?
?I know that,? said Nicole. ?But from now no one else must know
your real name. What I?m saying is: Tell no one who you are. Do
you understand? This is very, very important.?(Nicole and Regine
In Buchignani 76)
In Tell No One Who You Are, Walter Buchignani explores the topic of the holocaust seen from the eyes of twelve year old Regine Miller. This book, inspired by an interview Buchignani had with Miller, shows the fear in young Regine during this time of war. This book takes place in Holland during World War II in the 1940?s. This book shows how World War II affected the lives of young, Jewish children.
Persistence and hope are depicted well in this book. This is shone in Regine?s constant belief that her father will return for her. ?Papa is alive. He will come back.?(Regine in Buchignani 49) shows her hope of her father?s return. This also shows her confidence in her father?s promise; ??I?ll see you next Sunday,? her father said? ?That?s a promise.??(Papa in Buchignani 43)
The author also does a good job in keeping the reader in suspense. He does this by using quotes from people that were said in other languages such as French. He does this during many parts of the story when news is brought to someone and when a new character enters. This following quote gives an example of this and is said in Flemish:
Monsieur Gaspar spoke quickly, as if he wanted to get the news
over with. ?Haar moeder en haar broer zijn niet meer.?? She lay in
bed half asleep, half awake, sometimes going over the scene- seeing
Monsieur Gaspar at the front door, following him into the kitchen,
sitting at the table and hearing the words: ?Haar moeder en haar
broer zijn niet meer.?- ?Her mother and brother are no more.?
(Gaspar in Buchignani 48)
The author is very good at describing the family?s radio: ?The most imposing piece of furniture in the main room was a wooden radio with large, round dials and four short legs?(Buchignani 6). The reason the author describes the radio so well is because it is very important to the family. The radio is the family?s source of entertainment and is their source of news about the war. The only radio station they listened to was Radio Free London. ?He explained that Radio Free London was the only station you could trust to give true accounts of the war? Radio Free London carried a program called Les Francais parlent aux Francais. It always ended with a message of hope? ?Bonsoir et courage. On les aura les boches!?- Good night and courage. We?ll get those Germans!? (Radio Free London in Buchignani 40)
This story takes place during World War II. The parts of the book that depict the war talk about loud planes. The author uses very descriptive words to describe the noises of the planes. A good example of this is ?The noise was deafening? (Buchignani 12) He was descriptive in these parts because Regine?s life was spent away from the heavily bombed and violent areas of Europe.
The most unforgettable moment is when her brother boards the tram to report to serve in the war. This is so unforgettable because it was a turning point in Regine?s life. Her brother had always been there for Regine to look up to. She always wanted to be like him in so many ways. She had a signal that assured her that he was home: ?Then a stream of light appeared under the door. It was Leon. Leon was home!? (Buchignani 57) Because she adored her brother so much, she wanted their goodbye to be special:
Regine wondered what she would tell Leon at the train station
when it came time to say good-bye. It was hard to know the right
thing to say. ? She must say good-bye, but she couldn?t
remember what she had planned. She grabbed his arm and she
blurted out the only thing she could think of: ?Don?t work too
hard for the Germans.? It sounded like a joke and she regretted it.
Then he was gone? (Regine in Buchignani 28)
This is a good example of a book that may get overlooked by most people due to the fact that its main character is not widely known for surviving the Holocaust. This is a very good book and is highly recommended. It is well written and takes a different view of the Holocaust: it eliminates the graphic horror that many books about the Holocaust depict. This makes it easy for anyone to read the book because the subject matter isn?t dealt with heavily. The author uses words that are easy to understand by everyone. With a well-written, easily understood book you should enjoy it until the last page.