Cilka's Journey

Cilka's Journey

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival. After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child? In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions. Confronting death and terror daily, Cilka discovers a strength she never knew she had. And when she begins to tentatively form bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love. From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka's journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit -- and the will we have to survive.
Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press, an imprint of St. Martin's Publishing Group,, 2019.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250265708
Branch Call Number: FIC MORR
Characteristics: 343 pages : map ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Matthews, Owen


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 09, 2020

A remarkable novel crafted from the story of a women who survived both the German and Russian death camps. Created from interviews of those who knew Cilka Cline and from research, it is a riveting story that is difficult to put down. The blend of sorry and hope , of life in both camps, fear of shame and finally love makes this book worth the read.

Dec 19, 2019

I came away from this book both cold and hungry. First Auschwitz and than a camp in the arctic that is so cold it is a wonder anyone lived to tell about it. A well told story that the author spent a long time trying to get to the bottom of. The story of this beautiful Jewish girl of only 16 years who lived through the concentration camps in both Germany and Russia, she is able to live until she can return to her home county. A good follow-up to the authors first book. Very sad..

Dec 14, 2019

A stunning, wrenching, and uplifting story - followup to the acclaimed "Tattooist of Auschwitz." A young Russian Jew survives the Nazi concentration camps, is liberated, and sent immediately to a Soviet gulag, challenged even further to survive and find hope in humanity, and in the possibility of human love.

Nov 24, 2019

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris is a work of fiction based on the actual life of a woman who lived during and after the Holocaust. I hesitated to request this title due to its serious subject matter but I have not regretted a single word. Sixteen-year-old Cilka Klein and her family were transported in cattle cars to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps and she remained there for three years, fighting to stay alive by any means available. When the camps were liberated, Cilka, instead of leaving for her country, was sentenced to fifteen years in a Siberian gulag, charged with sleeping with the enemy. While there, Cilka was befriended by a doctor who helped her to become a nurse and, as the years passed, she helped many. The novel alternates between her time in the camps and her time in Siberia. This is a story of courage and perseverance under the worst of circumstances.

ArapahoeKati Oct 28, 2019

An incredible story about Cilka, an Auschwitz survivor, is condemned to a Russian gulag. Inspiring, heartbreaking and the kind of book you won't want to put down. Keep tissues nearby.

OPL_KrisC Oct 22, 2019

A powerful and emotional historical read.

Oct 21, 2019

Loved this book. Really, really good. It's almost unfathomable to believe how cruel and heartless humans can be. That said, the story also gives hope. Highly recommend this book.

ArapahoeSarahH Oct 12, 2019

This follow up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz follows a fictionalized version of Cilka's journey after being "liberated" from Auschwitz and sentenced to 15 years hard labor in a Russian Gulag near the Artic Circle. Similar to Tattooist, Morris' second novel highlights the love and friendship that can bloom in even the most horrific situations. Cilka's story was so compelling that I finished this novel in two sittings, and was awake long after finishing thinking of all the moral and other topics brought up by this novel.

DCLadults Oct 10, 2019

A New & Noteworthy pick. “The Tattooist of Auschwitz,” based on a true and incredibly moving story, introduced us to Cilka. She survived Auschwitz only to be branded a collaborator and thrown into a Siberian prison camp. Here is the rest of her story.

JCLPiepieB Oct 07, 2019

This book did not grab me as "Tattooist" did; I was reading an advance copy but the writing seemed choppy and juvenile. I will say that the author's note at the end was very interesting.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

heatherlikesminecraft thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top