*Takes a deep breath* Okay. I can do this. I can write this review without breaking down…can’t I? I don’t read much about the Holocaust…it’s painful to realize that anyone could be so cruel to a fellow human being, especially the innocent. To be honest, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy! This book hid nothing.
The Auschwitz Escape
By Joel C. Rosenberg
Blurb: A terrible darkness has fallen upon Jacob Weisz's beloved Germany. The Nazi regime, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, has surged to power and now hold Germany by the throat. All non-Aryans -- especially Jews like Jacob and his family -- are treated like dogs.
When tragedy strikes during one terrible night of violence, Jacob flees and joins rebel forces working to undermine the regime. But after a raid goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself in a living nightmare -- trapped in a crowded, stinking car on the train to the Auschwitz death camp.
As World War II rages and Hitler begins implementing his "final solution" to systematically and ruthlessly exterminate the Jewish people, Jacob must rely on his wits and a God he's not sure he believes in to somehow escape from Auschwitz and alert the world to the Nazi's atrocities before Fascism overtakes all of Europe. The fate of millions hangs in the balance.
My Review: I actually read some 1-star reviews of this book on Amazon and I was asking myself, “Did they even read the same book I did?” They clearly didn’t pay attention at least.
Let me start off by saying 1.) This book is not for children. I recommend it to grown, mature adults only. There is a lot of violence (it’s the Holocaust) and the conversations about Christianity and Judaism were very confusing at times. 2.) This book is NOT for entertainment. Even though it is fiction, it is very raw, rough and real. Mr. Rosenberg doesn’t hide the ugly things of the Holocaust and while it was certainly disturbing, he didn’t treat the subjects in a light way or as a way of throwing ugliness into his story. He wrote it as historical fact. Would I have included those details? No, not all of them. But it was an eye-opening experience to me.
There are some minor historical errors that the author points out in the back of the book. I don’t agree with shifting timelines, but I’m glad he pointed them out. There was also a spattering of romance in the story and some brief mentions of topics that I know were probably realistic, but that I didn’t find necessary.
This book was not overtly Christian. In fact, they refer to Catholics as Christian, and they mention protestants, but there is no mention of the Baptist faith. I really didn’t like them lumping Catholics into the Christian label, since they worship Mary, not God, and they are the ones who hurt the Jews, not Christians. That insinuation really upset me.
I also did not agree with the use of a Bible version that was not King James. There were not many verses in the book, since it was mostly about the Jews, but towards the end, there were several verses all together, and I am in the process of looking up the references to fix them.
But this story was so touching. We get to see Jacob struggle through his belief in God. If God cared, why had he allowed the Nazis to do all these wicked things? We see him struggle to understand, struggle to live, struggle to hope. But then, we also get to see him fight for his hope, fight for his life and fight for the lives of others. And in the end, we get to see his belief in God restored, though I have no idea if he was supposed to have gotten saved or just decided to practice Judaism. It wasn’t very clear, and that bothered me.
But if you want a story to glean a better understanding of what was happening at Auschwitz, the escapes that happened or how one could have been made, or just a story about doing all you can to help God’s Chosen People, give this one a try. Again, I do not recommend this to people younger than 20 or those who are young in their spiritual walk with the Lord.
Have a blessed week and God Bless Israel!
I’ve read a grand total of 4 classics in my life. Wait…do The Holy War and Anne of Green Gables count? If so, make that 6! So as you can see, I’m not well versed in classic literature. Not that I’m against it per say, it’s just not a genre I’ve gotten my hands on a lot. Now there are definitely some I’ll not be reading for obvious reasons, but that’s “neither here nor there”. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts on Kidnapped!
By Robert Louis Stevenson
This is the story of young David Balfour, who is seeking his inheritance after the death of his parents, is double crossed by his uncle and kidnapped by a sea captain who plans to sell him in the Carolinas as a slave (yes, the white slave trade was a thing in the 1700s). It is set in Scotland a generation or so after the Jacobite Rebellion, which was the Scottish struggle to put Bonnie Prince Charlie on his rightful throne. The English prevailed, ousting the true king and stripping the Scots Highlanders from their heritage, including the playing of bagpipes and the wearing of the tartan. Anyone who fought for Prince Charlie was arrested and executed or sold into involuntary servitude or slavery.
My Review: Forgive me while I bask in my love for Scotland. *Listening to some Scottish music as I type!* Okay, so I love Scotland! The accents, language, tartan plaid, bagpipes…ahh…
So, with that said, I really did enjoy this book! It was so Scottish, the story was engaging and believable and Alan Breck was such a Highlander! David tended to get on my nerves (he was a Whig, the liberal political party of his day and pro-King George II, who was the father of King George III, who was the one who was the cause of the Revolution), because he was a bit immature. To be honest, he came off English to me, rather than Scottish.
But why did it only get 3 stars if I enjoyed it so much?
Well, there’s this bit of Scottish culture that I do not like in the least. And that is the fact that drinking alcohol is an everyday “okay” thing and is treated as such in the book. I do not believe in drinking alcohol at all so this got on my nerves. It was sprinkled through the story and my copy was an eBook, so I couldn’t mark it out. There were also two different words that I would have marked out, for a total of three words.
If you enjoy Scotland and want a story that will immerse you in its culture, history and divided loyalties, pick up a copy, edit it and enjoy! Edited, I would give it a 4-star review! Recommended to 18+ for understanding/interest.
And now for that Invitation...
Hope to see you there!
Have a blessed week!
10 Totally Random Facts About…Second Manassas! // A History Post +An Excerpt from Our Heritage to Save!
At last, I have returned to this beloved series after…4 months! Wow…that’s a long time…
Anyway, today I am doing a post on the Battle of Manassas Junction, Virginia! But Ryana Lynn, you might say, You’ve already done a post on Manassas Junction! And you would be quite right! Here’s a link to my first post! But today, we are looking at the SECOND battle that took place in that unfortunate area. Unfortunate because who really wants to have ONE battle fought in their backyard, let alone TWO? And hang around at the end of the post for a tiny excerpt from my book, Our Heritage to Save, to learn an additional fact about the Battle!
1. Lightning Strikes Twice. Yep, people often say it doesn’t but it has happened…anyway… Second Manassas (Or Second Bull Run, if you’re from the northern side of the Mason/Dixon 😉) was fought on the same ground as the first major battle of the War Between the States, almost a year later! And it lasted a little longer too, beginning on August 28th and ending on the 30th.
2. Stonewall was Here! But unlike the first battle, where his was one of the last on the field, Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s was the first command to arrive at Second Manassas…3 days early!
3. Same song, second verse. After the second battle I suppose the federal army decided it would be a bad idea to fight here again; they lost both battles fought at Manassas Junction to the Confederate Army.
4. Immortalized in Song. There is a hilarious song, written and sung by southerners, that goes through the laundry list of men who Lincoln put in charge of his Grand Army of the Potomac. (There were so many, it’s not even funny!) The commander for the Manassas Campaign was Gen. John Pope. The song is written as if it’s union soldiers singing it, making it even funnier to the Southern population. Pope and the Battle of Manassas were featured in the lyrics like this:
Then said Lincoln unto Pope, “You can make the trip I hope,
I will save the Universal Yankee Nation,
To make sure of no defeat, I’ll leave no lines of retreat,
And I’ll issue a famous proclamation.”
But the same dreaded Jackson, This fellow laid his whacks,
And made him by compulsion a seceder.
And Pope took rapid flight from Manassas’ Second fight,
‘Twas his very last appearance as a leader.
But to be fair, the southern author was kind to Pope in the chorus…
Then pull off your overcoat and roll up your sleeves,
For Stonewall is a hard road to travel;
Pope did his very best but was evidently sold,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I am told!
5. A New Commander. The federals weren’t the only ones with a different commanding general when Second Manassas rolled around. Instead of Joseph Johnston commanding Southern forces, General Lee was in charge. But the results were the same: Southern Victory!
6. Old Stomping Grounds. Stonewall’s first mission upon arriving at Manassas Junction was to destroy the Union supply depot there. After fulfilling this duty, Stonewall set about making camp…near to the very place where he had first earned the nickname Stonewall (though he always insisted the name belonged to the brigade who had fought with him that day).
7. Don’t Count your Eggs Until They Are Laid. During the fight, U.S. General Pope informed Lincoln that the victory was the Union. NEVER announce victory before you actually have it…you’ll have to eat your words…
8. Strike while the Iron is Hot! Stonewall believed in action. He was not one to sit around and wait for the enemy to attack him. Second Manassas showed that very well. Pope knew he was in the area, due to a previous fight with another command. But his men got within a few hundred yards of Stonewall and didn’t even see him until Jackson’s artillery opened fire on them.
9. It’s not the Size that counts. Jackson and his troops were outnumbered two to one during the battle. In fact, multiple times, the federals broke their lines. But in spite of being outmanned, Jackson’s men always counterattacked and plugged the holes. And it paid off; Longstreet reinforced them, giving them desperately needed man power to ultimately carry the battle.
10. According to the Numbers… There are a lot of similarities between the two Battles of Manassas Junction. But the numbers are not part of that. Around 63,000 federal and 55,000 Confederates were engaged in the second battle, almost but not quite double their forces from the first battle. At First Manassas, 2,896 federals were listed as casualties (mostly injured); at Second Manassas, their numbers were 13,826. The Confederates listed 1,982 casualties (again mostly injured) at the first battle. Those numbers jumped to 8,353 at the second battle. (Numbers taken from A Pocket History of the Civil War by Martin F. Graham, ©2011 by the author, All Rights Reserved)
And now…for the excerpt…which happens to spotlight one of my favorite facts about this battle!
From Chapter 22: He Fixed It, Our Heritage to Save
“Believe it, Joe. We’re out of ammo!” The young Southern soldier’s face was white with anxiety. “We just used our last two rounds. What are we gonna do?”
“Rocks!” someone yelled. “Use the rocks!” The boys looked down at the rocks on the ground.
“Can’t hurt trying,” Joe shouted, picking up a sizable one. He hurled the rock as hard as he could. The others standing around followed suit.
Meanwhile, a Union soldier was firing away as fast as he could. Suddenly, a hard object struck his rifle barrel. “What was that?” Another “thing” came flying, this time striking him in the shoulder. “Stones? Ahh!” A hail of the rock ‘bullets’ came raining down on him.
“Now I have seen everything!” his friend commented, picking a pebble from his hand. “Here we are, fighting our own countrymen in the middle of nowhere, and being battered by rocks!”
“Yeah, and they say Longstreet and Lee reinforced Jackson last night. This is insanity!”
Not as long as most of my excerpts, but if I put anymore…well, you know, spoilers…
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post!
Have a Blessed Day!
I love America. I’m sure you never would have guessed that, lol! But yes, I am a proud American citizen and I thank God for allowing me to be born in the Greatest Nation in the world. (Shouldn’t everyone be able to feel that way about their home?) Today, I want to share a book list of 5 books for Patriotic Americans!
1. Let’s Roll by Lisa Beamer
I promise I won’t fangirl over it here. If you haven’t read my review, you can do so by clicking here. This book helps you put modern American patriotism back into focus. It reminds us of why we are at war in the first place and what we as individuals need to do to keep our country great.
2. & 3. Battle Heroes: Voices from Afghanistan/War Heroes: Voices from Iraq by Allan Zullo
Want your eyes opened to “boots on the ground” operations in the Middle East by the best fighting force on earth? I don’t care if you are a mature adult, this middle grade book needs to be read by you! The youngest I would suggest read it would be 12, since it is a war book. While sensitive, it’s still intense. This book puts a story with the random things we hear about the war. Ever wondered what goes in to defusing an IED? What exactly are native translators capable of, besides translating? Who are the guys serving our country? What are they like? Do they really have a life besides the military? Just read it, please. (Needs minor editing, nothing major.)
4. O To Be Like Thee by Kassie Angle
I know, I know, I talk about this book all the time. But it’s because it is so good! Please, just pick up the book and allow yourself to dive in to this fictional but true to life story. I mean, Kassie has grown up in the Army, so I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s talking about 😉
5. Behind Enemy Lines: Under Fire in the Middle East by Bill Doyle
Okay, so if you’ve ever wanted to read/watch Lone Survivor but wouldn’t because of the language (like me!), you need this book. (I mean, I would probably read it if someone else had edited it, just because I still have a few questions, but that’s just me. But I seriously doubt I could endure the movie, even if the language was edited out. Some things are better read than watched 😉) Among the 8 stories of valor in the Middle East is one titled Operation Redwing…and this was my introduction to Marcus Letrell and the Navy SEALs that served with him. Well, I had read an article about his buddy Danny, but I’d never heard the story of how exactly he died or what happened to his friend that made it through the ambush. Well, now I know! This was written on preteen level, so it’s comprehensive, clean and still quite jarring. Don’t read it right before bed, just saying. But, if you want to gain a deeper understanding to the conditions our boys are going through over there, pick up this quick read and let the story pull you in!
So that’s it for today! Now, hurry along to your library and find these books. Except for Kassie’s. Just order a copy. That’s what you really need to spend your money on! 😉 And no, she didn’t tell me to say that. She knows nothing about this post.
Have a blessed week!
This is the last review in my 9/11 book series. This book was a large picture book that I borrowed from our local library. It was a bit different than I expected…but still an interesting book.
No author listed; compilation
My Review: I thought when I picked up this book that it was going to be a compilation of stories about and by service members, focusing on the War on Terror. Instead, this book was a basic history of 9/11, the War on Terror and humanitarian efforts of the military. Few personal stories and profiles were included; most of the soldier submissions were just talking about their humanitarian assignments and not their actual stories. The book was very informative, but not written in an engaging style.
It was easy to see that the project was more focused on humanitarian efforts and “happy Muslim and American relationships” than on telling the truth about terrorism and our efforts to squash it. A few parts even suggested that the terrorist regime has nothing to do with true Islam/Muslim faith, when in fact it is rooted in the teachings of Muhammad. That bothered me. It wasn’t on every page, but the mature reader will definitely find it hiding in the corners and flavoring the text.
For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend this book, unless you are a mature reader and well grounded in the truth. (Check out Fortress of Faith for many helpful resources on Islam vs. Christianity)
Christian. American. Southern. Author.
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