I just finished reading Joel Rosenberg's "The Auschwitz Escape." This story centers around the infamous Nazi death camp where thousands of Jews were tortured and murdered mercilessly. The main character, Jacob Weisz, is part of a resistance group and he is accidentally caught on the train to Auschwitz when his team is attempting to set free the Jews on the train; a rescue gone terribly wrong. He ends up taking the name of another Jew who was killed in the rescue attempt and poses as another man's son to keep his identity as a resistance operative hidden. He is forced into living life in unsanitary conditions, with poor food, and long hard days of work. Fear of doing even the least thing wrong is a constant companion for beatings and ill treatment are meted out for very paltry reasons. Amazingly after just a short while he is recognized by a trusted prison supervisor who knows of his work in the resistance. He is quietly recruited to work for him and be a part of the prison underground. All of a sudden he receives better treatment during his work day with bonuses of good food. He learns the underground is planning an escape in an effort to get word of the inhumane treatment at Auschwitz and becomes a part of the process. The ensuing story is spellbinding as the plans and preparations for a chain of escapes is made. The desire to stop the senseless killing of a race of people is the ultimate goal. Getting the message out to the world takes an incredible effort that cost many, many lives. Vivid descriptions of life in the camp made me aware of so much more of the horror the Jewish people experienced during this sad time in history. The author details the history of this time with excellent commentary. I learned a great deal from his story about this era. I appreciated his detailed list of resources used for the book as well as his list of the actual events and actual people used in the story. I was challenged to do more reading on the subject. He also had opportunity to share the Gospel and many Scriptures as his Christian characters lived out their faith. An excellent read!
I remember learning about WWII and the Concentration Camps in high school but this book brought it all to life. The characters in the book captured my attention on page one and it was hard to put down. Jacob has lost his entire family because they were Jews and is now in the most horrific of camps, Auschwitz. The only thing left is to escape or die.
Valuable addition to Holocaust history resources - and a very good read
July 28, 2014
Young German Jacob Weisz watches the new Nazi regime's power grow under Adolf Hitler. All non-Aryans, but most especially Jews, are treated like animals. Jacob's uncle leads him to work for the Resistance. One night during a raid gone bad, Jacob is captured and finds himself in a train on the way to Auschwitz. Resistance fighters within Auschwitz learn they can trust him, and he helps others escape with one main objective - to inform the rest of the world what the Nazis are doing through the death camps. Jacob waits for his turn to escape.
This is the first book by Joel Rosenberg I had read, but it won't be the last. The story had my attention from the first. It was easy to follow, even with numerous characters and locations. I've read many books and watched many movies (as a non-expert...) about the Holocaust and found this very informative about successful escapes I didn't realize had occurred. We must never forget what happened.