Book picks similar to
Save my Children. An Astonishing Tale of Survival and its Unlikely Hero by Leon Kleiner
If It's Not Impossible...: The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton
Barbara Winton - 2014
They are the descendants of a group of refugee children rescued by him from the Nazi threat in 1939. Some of them know of his existence and the part he played in their history, many others do not. It was a short event in his life but a critical one for those whose lives were saved. For him that intervention was over in a flash and other adventures supplanted it. Only much later did this episode re-emerge in his life and ever since has brought him visitors from all over the world anxious to learn his story. This book lays out that story in detail, exploring the motivation and early experiences that led to him acting to save young lives, while others looked the other way. His motto "If something is not impossible, then there must be a way to do it" led him to follow his own convictions and undertake an operation others had dismissed as unnecessary or too difficult. His life thereafter was full of exploits stimulated by similar motivation which, though not so consequential, remain testimony to his character. But what was his motivation? How had his life and background led to him being ready, willing and able to conduct a successful rescue operation of 669 children from Czechoslovakia at the age of 29? His daughter has painstakingly sifted through her father's papers and talked to family and friends to construct a detailed account of his whole life. It explores the influences on his character as well as the historical events he was caught up in. Taken from his historical letters and writings, Winton's own words are introduced to convey the atmosphere of many of his diverse experiences.
Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs: A Candle and a Promise
Deborah Donnelly - 2016
It offers a detailed historical account of being a Jewish teenager under the Nazi regime, shedding light on sickening truths in an honest, matter-of-fact way.Hank Brodt lived through one of the darkest periods of human history and survived the devastation of World War II. Born in 1925 into a poor family in Boryslaw (Poland), he was placed in a Jewish orphanage. Losing his family when the Germans invaded Poland, he waged a daily battle to survive. Moving from forced labor camps to concentration camps, one of which features in Schindler’s List, his world behind the barbed wire consisted of quiet resistance, invisible tears and silent cries for years on end.This story of survival includes rare photographs from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that powerfully illustrate these intimate and shocking memoirs. One recently discovered picture shows Hank Brodt in prison uniform removing the dead on carts at the liberated Ebensee concentration camp on May 7, 1945. It is hard to believe that someone who endured such horrific events could go on to live a life of gratitude. Through his unwavering compassion towards others, Hank Brodt managed to keep his humanity and find a way to move forward. After the Second World War, Hank Brodt testified at the trial of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Dachau, Germany. He has joined the March of the Living since 2006, walking from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Yom Hashoah to pay tribute to the millions that died. Lighting the candle, he made a promise to himself to always answer the call to talk.“As the train rattled down the tracks, the noise it made seemed to say, death - death - death. But in my mind and heart it sang, life - life - life.” ˃˃˃ Hank Brodt’s Holocaust memoirs are a necessary reminder of one of the ugliest times in the history of human civilization. Scroll up and grab a copy today "Deborah Donnely narrates her father’s memoirs. It is one of the very few books about the Holocaust experience narrated by descendents of Holocaust survivors. This is remarkable and commendable, because regrettably nowadays not many children and grandchildren have a keen interest in the life stories of their parents and grand parents. Hank Brodt’s Holocaust Memoirs offers a poignant account of what it was like for a young man to experience so many travails under the Russian and German occupation of Poland in WWII." Alter Wiener, Holocaust survivor, author of 'From a Name to a Number'
Gazing at the Stars: Memories of a Child Survivor
Eva Slonim - 2014
Over the next five years, as the Nazi persecution of Europe’s Jews gathered momentum, Eva’s parents were forced to send their children into hiding, but she and her sister Marta could not avoid capture.In this remarkable memoir, Eva recounts her experiences at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. There, she witnessed countless horrors and was herself subjected to torture, extreme deprivation, and medical experimentation at the hands of the notorious Dr Josef Mengele. When the Soviet army liberated the survivors of Auschwitz early in 1945, Eva and Marta faced a new challenge: crossing war-torn Europe to be reunited with their family.Narrated with the heartbreaking innocence of a young girl and the wisdom of a woman of eighty-three, Gazing at the Stars is a record of survival in the face of unimaginable evil. It is the culmination of Eva Slonim’s lifelong commitment to educating the world about the Holocaust, and to keeping alive the memory of the many who perished.‘Eva’s account of her experiences is remarkable in its detail, particularly when one considers her age. Through her 14-year-old eyes, the daily humiliations, deprivations and tortures of Auschwitz are thrown into sharp relief.’ - the Age‘An extraordinary memoir that is brimming with courage, hope and love in the face of evil. Slonim’s story . . . is a must read for everyone.’ - Books and Publishing OnlineEva Slonim (née Weiss) was born in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 1931. A survivor of the Holocaust, Eva relocated with her family to Melbourne in 1948. She married Ben Slonim in 1953, and together they had five children, and many grandchildren and great- grandchildren, fulfilling Eva’s wish to rebuild what was lost in Europe. A gifted storyteller, and deeply passionate about the importance of education and community, Eva has for many years given public talks on her experiences during the war.
Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?: A powerful true story of love and survival
Horace Greasley - 2019
There had been whispers and murmurs of discontent from certain quarters and the British government began to prepare for the inevitable war. After seven weeks training with the 2nd/5th Battalion Leicester, he found himself facing the might of the German army in a muddy field south of Cherbourg, in Northern France, with just thirty rounds of ammunition in his weapon pouch. Horace's war didn't last long. He was taken prisoner on 25th May 1940 and forced to endure a ten week march across France and Belgium en-route to Holland.Horace survived...barely...food was scarce; he took nourishment from dandelion leaves, small insects and occasionally a secret food package from a sympathetic villager, and drank rain water from ditches. Many of his fellow comrades were not so fortunate. Falling by the side of the road through sheer exhaustion and malnourishment meant a bullet through the back of the head and the corpse left to rot. After a three day train journey without food and water, Horace found himself incarcerated in a prison camp in Poland. It was there he embarked on an incredible love affair with a German girl interpreting for his captors.He experienced the sweet taste of freedom each time he escaped to see her, yet incredibly he made his way back into the camp each time, sometimes two, three times every week. Horace broke out of the camp then crept back in again under the cover of darkness after his natural urges were fulfilled. He brought food back to his fellow prisoners to supplement their meagre rations. He broke out of the camp over two hundred times and towards the end of the war even managed to bring radio parts back in. The BBC news would be delivered daily to over 3,000 prisoners. This is an incredible tale of one man's adversity and defiance of the German nation.
Hide and Seek: The Irish Priest in the Vatican Who Defied the Nazi Command; A Dramatic True Story of Rivalry and Survival During WWII
Stephen Walker - 2011
Hide and Seek chronicles the intimate and intensely personal war between them. A fiercely fought rivalry that would culminate in failed attempts by Kappler to kidnap and then murder his Irish opponent. In July 1943 Rome was bombed for the first time during the war. As the swastika flew above the city, it was a time of fear, and a moment of choice: collaborate and compromise, or resist and revolt. O'Flaherty decided to quietly resist and fight the new rulers. Dubbed 'Ireland's Oscar Schindler', he masterminded a large-scale operation from within the Vatican, to help Jews and escaped Allied prisoners on the run from the Nazis. He used a series of safe houses and church buildings and sheltered around 500 Jews in the Holy See, and it is believed that sanctuary was found for some 4000 Jews across Rome, and 4000 Allied escapees. After the Resistance killed 32 German soldiers in a bombing, Hitler was enraged, and declared that he wanted a revenge attack to "make the world tremble". He instructed Kappler to draw up plans. Eventually, 335 people would be executed in the Ardeatine Caves, a labyrinth of tunnels outside the city. The massacre would become the worst atrocity committed on Italian soil during WWII. Kappler's handiwork would remain secret until Rome was liberated by the Allies in June 1944. The Nazi Colonel was found guilty on all the charges relating to the caves massacre. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole. Amazingly, O'Flaherty would continue his relationship with Kappler, going to see his former rival in prison. The discussions of the two men would become intense and searching, and a friendship grew between them. In later life, after much soul-searching Kappler became a Catholic, and was baptised by the Irish Monsignor.
After Daybreak: The Liberation of Belsen, 1945
Ben Shephard - 2005
But they also confronted a terrible challenge - inside the camp were some 60,000 people, suffering from typhus, starvation and dysentery, who would die unless they received immediate medical attention.After Daybreak is the story of the army stretcher-bearers and ambulance drivers, medical students and relief workers who attempted to save the inmates of Belsen - with the war still raging and only the most primitive drugs and facilities available.Drawing on their diaries and letters, Ben Shephard reconstructs events at Belsen in the spring of 1945 - from the first horror of its discovery, through the agonising process of trying to save the survivors. In doing so he addresses the question of whether we should regard the relief of the camp as an epic of medical heroism - as the British believed - or see the failure to plan for Belsen and the undoubted mistakes that were made there as further evidence of Allied indifference to the fate of Europe's Jews - as some historians now argue. The result is a powerful and dramatic narrative, full of extraordinary incidents and characters, and an important contribution to medical history.
The Children's Block: Based on a True Story by an Auschwitz Survivor
Otto B. Kraus - 2019
There was so little space on the berth that when one of us wanted to ease his hip, we all had to turn in a tangle of legs and chests and hollow bellies as if we were one many-limbed creature, a Hindu god or a centipede. We grow intimate not only in body but also in mind because we knew that though we were not born of one womb, we would certainly die together.'Alex Ehren is a poet, a prisoner and a teacher in block 31 in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the children’s block. He spends his days trying to survive while illegally giving lessons to his young charges while shielding them as best he can from the impossible horrors of the camp. But trying to teach the children is not the only illicit activity that Alex is involved in. Alex is keeping a diary…Originally published as THE PAINTED WALL, Otto Kraus’s autobiographical novel, tells the true story of 500 Jewish children who lived in the Czech Family Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau between September 1943 and June 1944.
Holocaust Memoirs of a Bergen-Belsen Survivor & Classmate of Anne Frank
Nanette Blitz Konig - 2018
In these compelling Holocaust memoirs, Nanette Blitz Konig relates her amazing story of survival during the Second World War when she, together with her family and millions of other Jews were imprisoned by the Nazi's with a minimum chance of survival. Nanette (b. 1929) was a class mate of Anne Frank in the Jewish Lyceum of Amsterdam. They met again in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp shortly before Anne died. During these emotional encounters, Anne Frank revealed how the Frank family hid in the annex, their subsequent deportation, her experience in Auschwitz and her plans for her diary after the war. ˃˃˃ This honest WW2 story describes the hourly battle for survival under the brutal conditions in the camp imposed by the Nazi regime. It continues with her struggle to recover from the effects of starvation and tuberculosis after the war, and how she was gradually able to restart her life, marry and build a family. Nanette Blitz Konig, mother of three, grandmother of six and great grand mother of four, lives in São Paulo, Brazil. Her Holocaust memoirs were written to speak in the name of those millions who were silenced forever. Scroll up and grab a copy today.
Gestapo: Hitler's Secret Terror Police
Lucas Saul - 2015
These men were leaders of the Gestapo, the secret police during the times of the Nazis. This book outlines who the Gestapo were, how they operated, what their numbers were, the terrible crimes they committed and how they paid for these in the end when they were hunted down after the war.
Don't Forget to Write: The true story of an evacuee and her family
Pam Hobbs - 2009
As we reached the corner of Kent Avenue, I looked back for one last wave. But Mum had buried her head in her pinny and it was a year before I saw her again.'In June 1940, 10-year-old Pam Hobbs and her sister Iris took the long journey from their council home in Leigh-on-Sea to faraway rural Derbyshire.Living away from Mum and Dad for two long years, Pam was moved between four foster homes. In some she and Iris found a second family, with babies to look after, car rides and picnics, and even a pet pig. But other billets took a more sinister turn, as the adults found it easy to exploit the children in their care.Returning to Essex, things would never be the same again, and the war was far from over. Making do with rations, dodging bombs and helping with the war effort, Pam and her family struggled to get by.In Don't Forget to Write, with warmth and vivid detail, Pam describes a time that was full of overwhelming hardship and devastation; yet also of kindness and humour, resilience and courage.
Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1944
Richard C. Lukas - 1986
This book includes a short history of ZEGOTA, the underground government organisation working to save the Jews, and an annotated listing of many Poles executed by the Germans for trying to shelter and save Jews.
Gun Button to Fire: A Hurricane Pilot's Dramatic Story of the Battle of Britain
Tom Neil - 1987
This is a fighter pilot's story of eight memorable months from May to December 1940. When the Germans were blitzing their way across France, Pilot Officer Tom Neil had just received his first posting - to 249 Squadron, in process for forming at RAF Church Fenton in Yorkshire. Nineteen years old, fresh from training at Montrose on Hawker Audax biplanes he was soon to be pitch forked into the maelstrom of air fighting on which the survival of Britain was to depend. By the end of the year he had shot down 13 enemy aircraft, seen many of his friends killed, injured or burned, and was himself a wary and accomplished fighter pilot. Tom Neil is one of only a handful of veterans still alive today. The average age of surviving veterans is 91. Only 20 veterans out of 2947 official Battle of Britain pilots are fit enough to attend Battle of Britain Fighter Association events (although around 90 are still alive in total). He is 89 and lives in Suffolk with his wife who was a Fighter Command plotter when they met in 1940. He flew 141 combat missions (few pilots reached 50) mostly from North Weald airfield in Essex, and shot down 13 enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain. Tom Neil was one of the pilots the War Ministry used in their propaganda at the time of the Battle of Britain partly because of his height (6 ft 4) and his good looks. Tom Neil flew with James Nicolson at the time he won the only Battle of Britain Victoria Cross.