I am Ella: A remarkable story of survival, from Auschwitz to Africa (April 2023, Paperback, 296 pg) Joanne Jowell

“I survived the Warsaw Ghetto, the gas chambers of Majdanek, the depravity of Auschwitz and the utter hopelessness of Bergen-Belsen. I lost my parents, my brothers, my sisters, their spouses and children . . . But for me, while abnormal, this is not extraordinary. That I went on to love, to talk, to write, to have toast and tea and to live my life – that is what is extraordinary.” Read more below.

Joanne Jowell


Available on back-order


Ella Blumenthal’s story of surviving the Holocaust and building a new life in faraway South Africa is a lesson in resilience, attitude and – perhaps unexpectedly – joy. From the dying embers of the Warsaw Ghetto to the gas chambers of the Nazi concentration camps; from Poland to Paris, Palestine and eventually Cape Town; from stateless refugee to community pillar, Ella’s 100 years of life have been nothing short of herculean.
Under the shadows of shame and trauma with which so many survivors lived in the years immediately following the war, Ella made a happy home where few knew her suffering or shared her history.
After decades, Ella is finally ready to tell her full story to bestselling author Joanne Jowell.
I am Ella is the staggering tale of a real-life superheroine.