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Her beauty spared her, and she was condemned.

Cilka is only 16 when she was taken to the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942, where the commandant immediately noticed how stunning she was. Forcibly segregated from the other female prisoners, Cilka quickly learns that energy is equal to survival, even unwillingly taken. When the war is over and the camp is opened, Cilka is not given freedom: she is charged with sleeping with the enemy as a collaborator and sent to a Siberian jail camp. Yet has she really got a choice? And where are the traces of ethics for Cilka, who was sent when she was still a child to Auschwitz? 

Cilka faces fresh and painfully familiar obstacles in Siberia, including the guards ‘ unwanted attention. But when she encounters a kind female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and in the camp starts to tend towards the wounded, working under brutal conditions to care for them. 

Every day in the face of death and fear, Cilka discovers a power she never realized she had. And when she begins tentatively forming bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality, Cilka discovers that there is space for love in her heart given everything that has happened to her. 

The story of Cilka illuminates the endurance of the human spirit from child to adult, from woman to healer-and the will we have to live.