*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!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.