Jump to Content

Escape from the Black Lady’s Castle

This is an intriguing novel about displaced Jewish children who make their way in Poland at the end of World War II. Amit bypasses the war itself and opens her novel with the entrance of the Red Army into Poland and the defeat of Germany.

Antek is a Jewish boy who escaped from the Lodz Ghetto and survived the war on his own, hiding from both Germans and Poles. As the war ends, he comes out of hiding and encounters a group of children like himself, each with his own unique survival story. They stick together, managing to stay alive by trading on the black market, and through a string of stealthy escapes from various dangers.

The leader of the group has ties with a movemen that helps refugees leave Europe. He convinces the motley group of youths to take on a fierce challenge: a group of Jewish children that survived the war by hiding in a Catholic convent must be smuggled out. The group succeeds in its mission, and even finds two additional Jewish orphans in the nearby countryside. Antek and his group of war-weary youths discover that survival can mean taking the initiative as well as hiding and fleeing. The novel ends when the group boards the train that will take them out of Poland. The final destination is Israel.

Basing her adventure story on historical evidence, Amit vividly portrays the chaos of Poland in the aftermath of World War II. Her depiction of the children’s ingenuity and unquenchable spirit is an uplifting tale in which victims become heroes.

Title Escape from the Black Lady’s Castle
Writer's Last Name Amit
Writer's First Name Irit
Genre Children
Ages 12 up
Illustrations David Kedem
Publisher (Hebrew) Milo
No. Pages 179pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Bricha Mi-Mivtzar Ha-Gvira Ha-Shchora