Punished for survival

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The image of a Nazi collaborator is well entrenched in fact and in fiction: the individual who is either too afraid to stand up for what was right or who sympathized with the Nazi cause. This novel, based on a true story, brings to light a different kind of "collaborator": a woman who experienced repeated sexual assaults from guards and staff of a concentration camp, and was "rewarded" with some relief of the physical torments of the camps. For her crime of survival, Cilka is sentenced to the gulag, the concentration and labor camp system of the USSR. This seems like an incredible book club pick, and a work that belongs up in the pantheon of fictionalized Holocaust survivor stories.