Facing The Lion, by Simone Arnold Liebster

I enjoyed reading this book very much and would highly recommend it. Facing the Lion is an autobiographical account of a young girl’s faith and courage. In the years immediately preceding World War II and through the war years.

You get to know her family, the every day life of town and country pre-war Alsace-Lorraine and what it was like during Hitler’s regime.

She has a close family, loving parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. In the pre-war years her parents turn from the Catholic church and become Jehovah’s Witnesses. The war years come, the schools are the propaganda machine of Hitler. Simone refuses to accept the Nazi party as being above God. Her simple acts of defiance lead her to be persecuted by the school staff and local officials, and ignored by friends.

With her father already in a concentration camp, Simone is wrested away from her mother and sent to a reform school to be “reeducated”. While there she learns that her mother also has been sent to a concentration camp, and she remains in this harsh, embittered environment until the end of the war.

How she stands up for her beliefs under overwhelming pressure to conform to society, when all her peers around are conforming, is a potent reminder to stay true to one’s beliefs.

I enjoyed the picture into a young girl’s life, what it was like before the war, where her dad worked, where they lived. How she felt, what her feelings were. It is a snap shot, just as Anne Franke’s Diary is a snapshot into a young girls life during this time period.


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