We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Secret Holocaust Diaries Audiobook

The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

Regular Price:$19.59
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

For half a century, a terrible secret lay hidden, locked in a trunk in an attic... photos, official documents, and scraps of a diary written by a young girl. "The time has come when I must share my life story... some facts from the past that could make a contribution, however small it may be, to the history of mankind."

The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a haunting eyewitness account of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, a remarkable Russian-American woman who saw and survived unspeakable evils as a young girl.

For half a century, she kept her story secret while living a normal American life. She locked all her photos, documents, diaries, and dark memories from World War II in a trunk. Late in life, she unlocked the trunk, first for herself, then for her husband, and now for the rest of the world. Nonna's story is one of suffering, torture, and death - but also of incredible acts of kindness that show the ultimate triumph of faith and love over despair and evil.

The Secret Holocaust Diaries is in part a tragedy, yet it's also an unforgettable true story about forgiveness, courage, and hope.

©2009 Nonna Bannister; (P)2009 Oasis

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (139 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.3 (112 )
5 star
 (70)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.3 (109 )
5 star
 (63)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Michelle Macomb, United States Minor Outlying Islands 04-11-12
    Michelle Macomb, United States Minor Outlying Islands 04-11-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    97
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sad , true story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The book has a realism that is riveting. It is unfortunate the author kept it secret for so long. There is so much to be learned by her story and I am sure it's length would have filled volumes. Since I listed to the audio version, I wonder if a sample of the journals the author kept are included in the book.


    What other book might you compare The Secret Holocaust Diaries to and why?

    It is comparable to Anne Frank, but of two nationalities one more persecuted that the other. Both from the childs point of view.


    Which character – as performed by Rebecca Gallagher – was your favorite?

    Nona the child


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was saddened that intelligent people can treat one another in such a dispicable manner for perceived or real slights.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Independence, KS, United States 12-26-11
    Susan Independence, KS, United States 12-26-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    28
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I respect Nonna"

    As avid reader of WWII and Halocaust books, I respect the author's experience. That being said, I didn't enjoy this as an audiobook because the entire narrative is heavily pepper with "Editor's notes." I thought many of them were unnecessary to my understanding, and were very intrusive.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TheMorkenFamily 11-17-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    39
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent book"

    The book itself is fascinating and gives an unusual account of the horrors of World War II by also including the terror of the Stalin regime and not only the Holocaust. The audiobook was enjoyable and the narrator was great though I would have preferred a young girl's voice. Additionally it was a petty that the reading was not checked for proper pronunciation. It was clear that the narrator had the potential to pronounce correctly but especially when she constantly said Schweister instead of Schwester when referring to the nuns it was annoying. I would though like to listen to more books from this narrator.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Faith Butte, MT, United States 10-31-11
    Faith Butte, MT, United States 10-31-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting story"

    I thought this was an interesting story, but it was confusing where it started and then went back to earlier childhood days. I had to look up the story on the internet to better understand it. I really wish the book had explained a little more on how and where she met her husband. I think it would have been better for the story to start with her husband asking about her past and then going back to explain her childhood. When you listen to the book, you don't know until the very end that she didn't tell her husband about her past for 40 years- which is an important detail of the story. I am glad that she finally did tell her story, because we should all try to prevent such horrible things from happening again. We shouldn't pretend that they didn't happen and wouldn't happen again. Evil can sneak up on you and trap you. We should remember that communists and Nazis are all basically autocratic socialists that cause the same kind of suffering and that we should appreciate the Judeo-Christian (non-socialist) governments that gave the Holocaust victims freedom. We should remember the lessons of history and avoid fascism, socialism, and communism. God bless the nuns who saved Nonna! I listened to The Nazi Officer's Wife right before this story- they go together well.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marykay 09-21-17
    marykay 09-21-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    31
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "too much extra stuff,



    "

    not a good story that kept. my interest too many editors notes I just couldn't get into it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leaha 03-13-17
    Leaha 03-13-17 Member Since 2015
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating Story"

    Highly recommended, and I really appreciated hearing Nona's true voice at the end of the book.

    My only critique is that I found the narrator's slight midwestern accent distracting and unauthentic to Nona's story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 01-29-17
    Elizabeth 01-29-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    23
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible story, beautiful narration "

    The first thing that grabbed me was the narrator's voice. So very pleasant that I just wanted to pull up a chair and listen. But she wasn't limited to "sweetness and light." When tragic things had to be communicated, she did so with real feeling. I would happily listen to her again.
    True, she stumbled over a few of the foreign words and names, but I couldn't bring myself to take a star away from such an excellent performance.

    As for the story: It is absolutely vital that it be told and retold. And don't fear that it will be a depressing book even though much of it is hard. Much of the story highlights the beauty of good and loving hearts which refused to give in to hate. This is an excellent narrative which should be widely heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rivkah Kay Macclenny, FL United States 01-04-17
    Rivkah Kay Macclenny, FL United States 01-04-17 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    48
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great subject matter, boring book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narrator was good, but the book was boring to listen to


    Has The Secret Holocaust Diaries turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What character would you cut from The Secret Holocaust Diaries?

    The main one.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator is fine but the story itself was boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    noladel Diamondhead, MS 10-05-16
    noladel Diamondhead, MS 10-05-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    47
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Could Have Been Good"

    I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't even finish it because the narrator kept referring to the notes too often. The notes should have been saved for the end of the book. Having the notes read every two minutes was extremely distracting from the continuity of the main story. I love audio books, but I feel as if this audio book was a collosal waste of my time and money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    genny 04-25-16
    genny 04-25-16 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very informative"

    Overall I enjoyed the book. it is interesting to hear people's accounts of historical events, but I found the editors notes to be somewhat distracting and not usually necessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Helen
    United Kingdom
    6/28/12
    Overall
    "Seen Through The Eyes of a Child"

    This one was difficult to listen to because of all the editors notes in between various sections throughout the book. I found it almost impossible to keep up with at first but once I got used to the style in which the book was put together and reminded myself that the entire text was put together from various bits of paper with scribbles on in five different languages compiled over several years mainly during Nona's childhood, it all came together and I was able to get through it. So glad I did as I learnt a great deal from this one.

    Some parts of the book are quite graphic depicting first hand eye witness accounts of atrocities seen through the eyes of a child, a young Nona fighting to stay alive herself. So keep that in mind when listening through speakers if there are any young children within earshot.

    Strength and courage, the will to survive, its all there in this one which leaves little to the imagination.

    Three out of five stars because there are some very long winded descriptions of past pre-war family times together and the editors notes scattered throughout. Aside from those two issues, the book is well worth the listen, it gives a good insight into what it was like to be living in Russia during the invasion, the deportations of Jews and how Nona survived and went on to live the life she had in the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.