Death March to Buchenwald is a gripping memoir of a young man?s journey through the German concentration camps of WWII. Jochanan?s fiancÃ©e, Nitzah, escapes the ghetto, and hides in the labor camp to which he has been deported. Somehow, from within the camp, he must devise a plan for her to avoid being captured by the Nazis. They enlist the help of a Polish peasant and even of the'surprisingly benevolent camp supervisor.Extremes of human nature are revealed to Jochanan as he experiences the hell of various concentration camps and the Death March to Buchenwald, in which thousands of prisoners perish from starvation, the freezing cold, and killings by the Nazi guards. Yet it is in Buchenwald, where German political prisoners have penetrated the camp?s administration, that he finds human solidarity. Through the'sympathy and friendship of Walter, a German political prisoner, he is able to survive.The Last Jews of Bendzin is the'story of a predominantly Jewish city in southern Poland, a centuries-old cultural center, under Nazi occupation. On the'selection field, Jochanan?s suicide squad, wearing faked militia armbands, rushes among those condemned to Auschwitz and pulls out as many as they can. As a leader of one of the youth groups, the author recounts the efforts at escape and resistance made by these young Zionists, who knew they were doomed, but nevertheless wanted to die with dignity.? (These) recollections are important and forceful? I found the descriptions of life in wartime Bendzin and in the camps particularly engrossing and engaging.?-Prof. Robert M. Shapiro, Historian of Polish Jewry and the Holocaust
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November 28, 2007
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