Monday, May 10, 2010

Too Stubborn to Die by Cato Jaramillo

Too Stubborn to Die : A Child of Nordausen
I don't know how to rate this one.
R- 1ish
Violence Language

This book is extremely hard to read.  I've read quite a few survivor memoirs and such things and this is probably the hardest I've ever read.

And less than half the book takes place at Nordhausen.

Cato's life is difficult from the beginning, a childhood filled with neglect and abuse.  Nordhausen was just another chapter, albeit far more hellish.

If chapter 18 hadn't been so close to the end, I might not have  finished the book, but I'm glad I stuck it out.  If you're squeamish, especially about violence against children, you should probably skip this one.  First time mothers with brand new babies should also probably skip it at least until their hormones have gone back to normal.  It was just really hard to get through, and I don't usually have a hard time getting through stuff like this.

It was also interesting to me how open Cato was as a child-- her friends knew what happened to her at home and her teacher knew, but no one does anything.  I know it was a different time and another country, but still.  Now if a child told a teacher half of what Cato told Mr. Speets, that child would be removed from the home so fast.  At least I would hope so. 

At one point, one of Cato's friends says that there should be a law against kids living that way-- my thought was, I'm pretty sure there are laws against that.  But maybe there weren't so much in the 40s in Holland?

This book counts for the Support Your Local Library challenge and the Support Your Local Author challenge. (Technically I'm not sure she still lives in Utah, but she did at the time it was published.)


  1. Never heard the book or the author! You learn something new every day! :) I will add this review to the list.

  2. I hadn't either, but my cousin had picked it up at an author signing a while back and was telling me about it.

  3. My parents were good friends of Cato and her husband. Have heard her speak first hand of the horrific incidents she went through. It was an amazing book and was very honest she didn't hold anything back.

  4. My family knew Cato (Toni) as she was called, very well in Orillia Ontario Canada. My Great Aunt and Uncle, the Cox family, took her in. She was a strong, wonderful woman, who many years later, spoke at high schools about hate and violence. She moved to Utah, with her daughter, many years ago. The last time I saw Toni was around 5, maybe 6 years ago, when she came to visit. Everything that she shared in that book was true, and she teaches many about the experiences that she went through. A truly good woman.

  5. Cato is a fraud. Her story is a total fabrication. The description of the Dora Nordhausen camp system is totally wrong.
    Descriptions of Amsterdam are also historically wrong. Do your own fact checking and you'll come to the same conclusion. Both the Dutch war documentation center as well as the Dora Nordhausen museum have denied the accuracy of her phoney story.