I first read Petru Popescu and Blanka Friedman’s memoir as a sophomore in high school. I had picked up The Oasis because of how beautiful the cover was and when I read the book jacket, I was hooked.
This memoir is a true story of love conquering all, even in the most trying of circumstances. The memoir is more Blanka’s with help from Popescu, to be honest.
First, boy meets girl. In this case, Mirek meets Blanka.
They met in the Dachau concentration camp during World War II. While men and women weren’t kept apart, any contact between the two was punishable by death.
The two fell in love and risked everything, quite literally, to try and be together.
From the Goodreads summary: “Mirek, a freedom fighter in the Czech underground, saved Blanka’s life by distracting the authorities when she forgot to use her fake identity, assumed so she could leave Auschwitz. ”
The two ended up together, surviving the war and making a life of their own.
I don’t remember many details of the book, but I remember being incredibly moved by the power of love in this memoir. I would gladly read it again.