This is an excellent new review from Emmy Yoshida, author of Corrupted. http://www.corruptedbook.com/
“As an author I am always looking for inspiration and one of the things that inspire me the most are the people who I meet in every day life; listening to their unique stories and their life experiences.
One of the most inspirational people I have ever had the good fortune of meeting is a friend of mine Dorit Oliver Wolff, and after hearing her speak about her experiences as a young girl growing up in the Holocaust recently to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, I felt compelled to share her story on my blog. It is one of survival against all the odds and her attitude and passion for life encourages me to follow my dreams and live my life to the full just as she does.
I first met Dorit when I went to my local writers group meeting in Eatsbourne last year. Her friendly sunny nature made me feel welcome straight away and I felt an instant affinity for her. She is currently writing a book about her life entitled, “Behind The Smile – From Yellow Star To Pop Star,” and devotes a lot of time to public speaking in schools and for charities to raise awareness about the atrocities of the holocaust and to help people to remember those sad events that happened seventy years ago. Her efforts are an important contribution to prevent anything of the sort happening in the future and to teach others about the dangers of racism and prejudice.
Dorit was still a young girl of just five years old when the Nazi regime started to spread across Europe like wild fire and by the age of seven Dorit and her mother were homeless refugees of the war, relying upon their courage, determination, and the grace of God and compassion of others to get through each day. Her mother was a brave woman who’s quick thinking helped them to escape death on many occasions and she would dress as a nurse to avoid suspicion, Dorit posing as an injured child often with bandages covering her face to hide her Jewish features. They were unable to carry any possessions with them as this was one of the easiest ways for the Nazis to identify people who were on the run. All they had were the clothes on their back, shelter that was given to them by kind strangers who were risking the lives of their own families by helping them, and they often ate food that was discarded from hotels and restaurants to live.
As a result Dorit didn’t get to have a normal childhood, she grew up surrounded by fear and uncertainty, cold and hungry, her mother’s love the only certainty she could rely on.
She was captured twice by the Nazis and taken to a sorting camp where people were held sometimes for months before being sent to work and concentration camps. Both times she was lucky enough to escape, the first occasion a kind Nazi officer helped Dorit and her mother, giving them all the money in his wallet and telling them to flee. The second time Dorit was captured she was still just seven and had not seen her mother for eight weeks. Terrified and alone, one day she was beckoned into a room by a cleaner who had a message from her mother. He instructed her to sneak out after lights out and to hide in the coal storage room until he came for her. After hours of waiting in the pitch black; cold and terrified with no concept of how much time had passed he came and smuggled her out in a laundry basket. She was reunited with her mother and despite countless brushes with death they managed to survive the one of the cruellest regimes ever known to man which killed over six million Jews.
By the time the war ended however Dorit was given just a year to live, a skeletal young girl, she had lost all her hair and was suffering from malnutrition but her love for singing kept her alive. She grew into a beautiful young woman and was eventually discovered and became a successful pop star in Germany. She never let her traumatic experiences affect her judgements of others and was embraced by the German people, the very people who had persecuted her but who had also helped her and her mother on many occasions to hide.
Dorit is a true testament of the strength of human nature and just to meet her has been a humbling experience. She has never let the trauma of her early years hinder her or hold her back in any way, she is evidence that no matter what situation you are in and how bad it may get there is always light at the end of the tunnel and life can be beautiful and is to be embraced. She has lived her life fearlessly with compassion for everyone she has met and had the faith to believe in her dreams, even when she was told that her days were numbered. I hope that hearing about Dorit will inspire you, whether it is in your own life or for your work. Sometimes real life can be so much more amazing than fiction and Dorit’s tales always surprise, entertain and motivate me.
If you would like to find out more about Dorit then visit her website, http://doritoliverwolff.com where you can also order a copy.” of her newly published booklet ‘Behind The smile.’ and you can hear one of her songs here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_K9nm4Bs5E