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anneliesscott

A Lucky Child

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I bought this having heard Thomas Buergenthal speak at Hay - he was an amazing interviewee and writes with a very authentic voice, as reading his book is so similar to hearing him speak.

 

Buergenthal's family started to flee from the advancing Nazis when he was a child of 6 years old, but unfortunately ended up in Poland, where they were compelled to live in the ghetto in Kielce. He was one of the few children who survived Kielce, and ended up on a transport to Auschwitz aged 10, where he repeatedly survived selections by Mengele and for the gas chambers.

 

The book covers his time up to and including Auschwitz, then talks about his time following liberation, when it took him 18 months to find his mother.

 

This is a fairly rare perspective on the holocaust - I have read many personal accounts but none from a surviving child of the concentration camps. Thomas Buergenthal took 50 years to write down his experiences, and muses on why it took him so long at the beginning of the book. You are left with a sense of awe and respect for this extraordinary human being, who has spent his adult life fighting for victims of Human Rights crime.

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Thx Annelies I find the holocaust a fascinating subject and have read many books on it but not heard of this one.

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This is a fairly rare perspective on the holocaust - I have read many personal accounts but none from a surviving child of the concentration camps.

A "rare perspective' is indeed a rare thing in the holocaust lit genre, so I have added this to my wishlist despite the publisher seeing fit to slap a misery memoir cover on it.

 

The Children's House of Belsen by Hetty Verolme was a child survivor's memoir and I remember it was a very good read indeed. Heartbreaking, though, which is a given for these kinds of reads.

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