On the Rope by Erich Hackl
As German Jews, Regina Steinig and her daughter Lucia are forced into hiding during the Second World War. Finding refuge in the workshop of a local beltmaker, they hold on to each other as they live in constant fear of discovery by his neighbors and customers. When their hideaway is damaged in an air raid in the closing months of the war, the women are forced on the run and are locked in a desperate battle for survival. Based on a true story, On the Rope is an account of extreme courage in the face of danger, violence, and hatred. Exploring themes of displacement and survival, friendship and family, it ends with the women's efforts to bring recognition the selfless heroism of those who faced tremendous personal risk in order to protect them. A novella by one of Europe's most prominent literary novelists, On the Rope layers deeply personal stories in a grounded historical account of life before, during, and after the Second World War. It paints a vivid picture of the hardships forced upon people by conflict and separation, depicting the forming and unravelling of relationships as a fact of life.