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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faithful Friends is a book about loyalty of animals and the courage of their owners.
Faithful Friends is about the bond between people and their pets. It is the first book to put this subject in the context of the Holocaust. I can honestly say that I learned as much about dogs and history from reading this book. I wish this book provided a map, so I could see where each country is in promixity to each other. I enjoyed reading the historical information...
Published on October 3, 2011 by Robert G Yokoyama

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Faithful Friends
I love books about pets however, I struggled to get to the end of the book. The style of writting was amateurish.
Published on April 15, 2012 by Judith M. Smith


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faithful Friends is a book about loyalty of animals and the courage of their owners., October 3, 2011
By 
Faithful Friends is about the bond between people and their pets. It is the first book to put this subject in the context of the Holocaust. I can honestly say that I learned as much about dogs and history from reading this book. I wish this book provided a map, so I could see where each country is in promixity to each other. I enjoyed reading the historical information that Susan Bulanda provides. Bulanda is a animal trainer for both dogs and cats. She has a degree in psychology. She uses her background to convey the feelings of the animals described here. She combines her professional experience to write this unique book.

The love of a pet can give a person the strength to survive physically harsh conditions. This is evident in all of these stories. Lya Galperin is a Romanian woman who nearly died in the Holocaust after being forced to donate blood in a Nazi camp. The hope she had of being reunited with her dog gave her the strength to live. I learned that spaniels are excellent hunting dogs and that German Shepherds are good guard dogs and excellent companions. Bulanda is vivid in describing how pets were affected by the Holocaust. There are stories about dogs were starved and cats were physically injured. These kinds of descriptions depict the harsh conditions of war well. Yvonne Redgis is a courageous woman who worked for the French resistance during the war. The love of her bull dog named Nicolas is a humorous and moving chapter in the book. There is another about an one eyed cat named Ketzelah who provided comfort to orphaned girls in Poland. Not all of these stories end happily in this book, but the memory of a pet remains with their owner forever. Kurt Moses is a man who loses his dog in the war. He still remembers his pet with love and affection. The stories in this book are short, but the experiences are emotionally moving. Each Holocaust survivor in Faithful Friends feels like a friend instead of a just a name. This is because of Bulanda's personal style of writing. She makes me care about each person's story. Faithful Friends is an excellent book of about the loyalty of animals and the courage of their owners.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAITHFUL FRIENDS, INDEED..., September 24, 2011
When this book came to my attention, I was intrigued by the concept. Though I have read many books about the Holocaust, I never came across one in which pets were a focal point. As I thought about it, it made sense. What did happen to the beloved pets of those whose lives were to be forever changed by man's inhumanity to man? As an animal lover who has had many pets over the years, I very much wanted to read this book.

This book is a collection of first person narratives in which survivors of the Holocaust talk about their beloved pets and what happened to them. The stories are often heartbreaking, and no two are alike. Some are so poignant that they caused tears to well up in my eyes, because these people, who fates hung in the balance, so loved their pets. Even now, many years later, their pain over being forced to leave their beloved pets is palpable, and the love that they had for these animals, who had a connection to a life before the Holocaust, leaps across the pages at the reader, making for a profoundly moving reading experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stories of horrific suffering by people & their pets in WWII, March 16, 2012
This review is from: Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors' Stories of the Pets who Gave Them Comfort, Suffered Alongside Them and Waited for Their Return (Kindle Edition)
Faithful Friends by Susan Bulanda tells the untold story of people and their pets during the Holocaust. While the German Nazis marched across Europe in their quest to eradicate the Jewish people, it wasn't just humans whose lives were damaged and destroyed. Bulanda tells the story of several people, most of whom were children at the time, who had beloved pets at the time. The stories of these completely innocent creatures deeply affected by the savagery of war puts into focus again the horror of this time in history. This is not an easy book to read, but it is a vital one. Many of the stories do not end happily. Some are shocking; I had to go back and read the final dialogue in the story of Blackie three times before the full horror hit me. The story told by Lya Galperin of her dogs reveals more of the devastation the people faced. Lya was taken from her parents through deception, as used as an unwilling blood donor, drained of blood until the Germans thought her dead. Her reunion with her beloved pet brought tears to my eyes, because this little girl truly needed a miracle from God after her torture. I do wish that Bulanda had flip-flopped the last two stories in the book, just to end it on a high note, but that's a small quibble with a story that will definitely get readers thinking and will help ensure that the Holocaust will never be forgotten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and poignant collection, October 18, 2011
By 
Beverly J. Coons (SANTA ROSA, CA, US) - See all my reviews
These stories of holocaust survivors and their pets were told with such simplicity that their power was a little surprising. Along with a story about a pet, came history about the country impacted by the Nazi nightmare. Holland, Belgium, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, France: all affected a little differently, with citizens who reacted differently to the plight of the Jews. The stories cover the gamut of human emotions from compassion and courage to fear and cruelty. They are almost understated, but the pain of the tellers comes through loud and clear. And if you did not already love dogs and cats, you will when you finish. What a touching, sad, but love-filled book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than a comfort, December 1, 2011
Anyone who has ever had a beloved pet can identify and imagine the pain of what happened to these holocaust survivors. It is a testament to the love animals engender when these stories seem to dwell on the loss of their pets rather than the horror the people lived through and the loss of their family and friends.
An interesting point is made about the survivors' fear of German Shepherds, since they were the guard dog of choice. I can remember when I would visit my grandmother with my German shepherd, she would always tell me not to walk in the Jewish section with my pet, since it could bring back bad memories. These memories and stories tell of the loss of these pets when the victims were taken to the camps. There are a few words before each to give a short history lesson and then the stories, both of which at times create a little bit of confusion with old memories and storylines.

I would have preferred the contributors' background be included before their story, it just adds to any understanding. They are in alphabetical order in the back if the book instead.
Some stories are shocking, some so sad, others hold you in wonderment that a woman seems to be more worried about the fate of her dog than her husband, but then she admits, she thinks he turned her in. We also learn the little known fact that children were used as blood donors for soldiers - drained of blood until most died. This indeed is an addition to the horrors of war, but more than that - the unforgettable love than a pet can bring.

I was asked to review this book and given a copy for review by the publisher. The opinion and details written here, are mine alone and were not dictated or ordered. If I didn't like the book I would say so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different View of The Holocaust, October 21, 2011
"Faithful Friends" is a book I don't think I ever expected to see. There has been so much written about the Holocaust and none of it has mentioned much, if anything, about the pets people had to leave behind during that horrible time. Being a fugitive from the Holocaust myself, I thought I had heard or read pretty much everything, but Susan Bulanda's collection of emotional tugs came as a total surprise. These stories, as told to Susan by the people who lived them, are moving and inspirational to the extent that they leave one wishing for more. A few of the stories have happy endings, but others do not. All of them are a lesson hopefully learned as well as a testament to the power of love shared with an animal. As an added bonus, there is a collection of brief history lessons regarding the way Jews and other victims in different European countries lived and died through the Holocaust. This is a book everyone with a heart should read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faithful til the end..., September 18, 2012
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This review is from: Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors' Stories of the Pets who Gave Them Comfort, Suffered Alongside Them and Waited for Their Return (Kindle Edition)
"Faithful friends" is a book which compiles several stories from different countries during WWII. The main perspective (which I never considered before reading this) is what happened to many pets who belonged to the victims and targets of the nazis. As the owner of a dog, I can imagine the pain that those persons suffered when they had to abandon their friends, and the sadness of the pets watching their family go and hope to return in a few hours, days, weeks, years...
I felt happy when I read some stories that ended with the reunion of the pets and the owners, but also felt sad reading about the constant concern of the people for their pets and only to find out that those faithful friends died in really bad conditions.

I highly recommend this wonderful book. It's incredible the loyalty and love that a pet can show us everyday, but also gives us hope when we find out that many people don't abandon their pets, even when they've lost everything and everyone else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Faithful Friends - A Good Read for Animal Lovers, June 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors' Stories of the Pets who Gave Them Comfort, Suffered Alongside Them and Waited for Their Return (Kindle Edition)
Shortly after getting a Kindle Touch (my first Kindle), I saw this book offered for free and grabbed it. Not only was it about animals, one of my lifelong passions, but also about the Holocaust, another strong interest. I feel fortunate to have found this book, which contains stories from pet owners/survivors of 7 countries invaded by Germany. Susan Bulanda first gives a short timeline of the Holocaust, then for each country goes into more detail about the events there. These details are a good reminder of what the inhabitants went through.

Each survivor story shows how much the people loved and cared for their pets, tried to protect them from harm, and tried to provide enough food for the animals even if the people went without. In some cases the dogs reciprocated by protecting their owners from harm.

The story tellers also talked about how painful it was to leave their pets behind when they had to leave their home, not knowing if they would ever be able to return. Some were lucky enough to find their pets when the war was over.

I can't imagine how difficult it was to see your fur children suffer because of lack of food, medical care, or anything else humans normally provide their companions. I often tell my two cats how lucky they are to be inside when it's freezing outside and to have enough food and love. Now I have even more to remind them about. LOL

Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sad - very readable, April 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors' Stories of the Pets who Gave Them Comfort, Suffered Alongside Them and Waited for Their Return (Kindle Edition)
Faithful friends tells the untold stories that have been over looked - the stories of the very loved pets. Through no fault of the owners or the very much loved pets some dreadfully sad stories about abandoned pets. Certainly shows the love and loyalty of family pets. The reader is shown how cruel the war was to not only people but also much loved pets. Highly recommend this book but have tissues handy it is very sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend this book!, October 9, 2011
This review is from: Faithful Friends: Holocaust Survivors' Stories of the Pets who Gave Them Comfort, Suffered Alongside Them and Waited for Their Return (Kindle Edition)
Susan, I finished reading the Holocaust book and it was so heartwarming, sad, informative, and wonderful to record those stories. Thank you so much for doing this book. It was hard to read for me, knowing my mom was one who had to leave her little dog, a miniature Dobie, and many of the stories were stories I grew up with, hearing how it was. She was leaving Poland at the time and 14 years old. So I could imagine my mother and her family in any of those stories. It was a sad book for me to read...and could only read one chapter a night just before bedtime, then drift off to sleep remembering my heritage. What a blessing that you have recorded and documented these stories. You have earned a few more crowns!! Thank you for writing such a memorable book. I would recommend this to everyone~!

Christy Judah
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