Essay by racheline March 2004

download word file, 2 pages 3.5

Among the books on my bookshelves, there are many that are interesting, and exciting, but only one of them is unforgettable. It is the true story of a young Jewish girl named Esther Rudomin, and her family living in Siberia. This book is entitled 'The Endless Steppe', written by Esther Hautzig.

The story takes place during World War II, when the wealthy Rudomin Family is pronounced capitalists. They are removed from their beautiful home and loved ones in Vilna, Poland. They are taken by train, along with peasant families to an endless steppe in Siberia where they are forced to work in various places, including gypsum mine. Siberia lacks many necessities. The only way they are able to survive the harsh Siberian conditions is the thought that they must never be brought down. With the help of many friends along the way, the Rudomins eventually learn to fit into the Siberian puzzle.

Every obstacle becomes part of their everyday life for five long years. Only the strength of family sustains them and gives them hope for the future. As the days stretched into months, Esther and her family became accustomed to the harshness of their new lives. Their priorities changed; Esther, as a spoiled girl, became an optimist and learned to value things she previously took for granted, such as a day at the fair, a chance to attend school, and a costume party.

There is one time when she knitted clothing for her neighbour in order to earn an extra income for the home. She will stay up late at night and knit, under the flickering light from the candle. Of course, they have to bring their own cloths for Esther to sew and knit. One day, she finds a piece of red cloth that is enough...