A few years ago, I received a phone call from a Jewish survivor named Inge Auerbacher from New York. She read about my book project and wanted her story written by a young author. During the war, she had gone into a concentration camp with a doll she named Marlene and, against all odds, came out of the camp with the doll under her arm. Inge felt her story would appeal to young readers. I agreed.
Just a few weeks later, I was volunteering in Washington DC with foreign exchange students; scholarship recipients who were taking a leadership training. A fellow chaperone was working alongside me and was very interested in my children's book series.
Rhonda Lyle felt her daughter would love to be an author for Inge's Holocaust story. This is how Danielle Lyle became the author of a powerful story of a Jewish girl whose life was spared, with her doll by her side.
Inge's doll Marlene was donated to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Danielle wanted to see this important doll with her own eyes. The promotional folks at the museum featured Inge and Danielle in a commercial ran during the special programming for the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz last January.
See commercial here
I woke early one morning thinking about Inge and Danielle spending time together later that day. My idea was to have them take a photo forming a heart by putting their fingers together. I wanted it to be a keepsake for Danielle with the lovely friend she had made. The image was so moving, I had it included in the book project.
The image and the experience overall meant so much to Inge because of the support Jewish survivors showed African-Americans during the Civil Rights era. It's a powerful bond the two women have and Danielle's book entitled We Are One is a powerful story of survival. Pick one up today for a young lady in your life who loves dolls. This will be a story she never forgets.
We Are One is available to purchase on Amazon.