The Mascot: The Extraordinary Story Of A Jewish Boy And An Ss Extermination Squad
The "spellbinding" (The New York Times) true story of a Jewish boy who became the darling of the Nazis
When a Nazi death squad massacred his mother and fellow villagers, five-year-old Alex Kurzem escaped, hiding in the freezing Russian forest until he was picked up by a group of Latvian SS soldiers. Alex was able to hide his Jewish identity and win over the soldiers, becom
This is the story of Uldis Kurzemnieks, by birth Ilya Galperin, a Jewish boy caught in the turning wheels of the Holocaust. To the b...more
Because the boy can think on his feet, he makes a connection with Sergent Kulis who saves him from the firing squad. Jekab Kulis is a Latvian sergent on a mission to "liquidate" the ghettos in 1941.
The sergent, knowing that the boy is Jewish, saves him. H...more
There was also a bit of "cloak and dagger" stuff that never really was explained, which took away from the main story too much. All in all,...more
Mark, our narrator, always knew his father had his secrets. His father had a brown bag he carri...more
As a Jewish boy, aged only 5 or 6, Alex witnessed the murder of his mother and siblings by a German-led execution squad. Fleeing into the nearby forest,...more
Alex had no identity, during the early days of WWII, he was found wandering out of woods in Latvia. The soliders that found him named him and made them their mascot. Now 60 years later he starts having flashbacks to that time in his life.
Alex and Mark emb...more
The writing isn't terrible but tries to be more than it ultimately is. (I mean, you really shouldn't use the word bonhomie more than once in any given five pages.) But at the same time, the writing wasn't bad, and I fell easily into his prose.
Given my Jewish family ties to the Balts and to Belarus, I was especially enthralled with this story of a 5 year old Jewish boy that became a 'mascot' for an SS t...more
The novel is told from the perspective of his son, Mark, as he slowly begins to learn about his fathers past when he is an adult. He and his father try to piece his memories together in order to discover who he really...more
Children and war. It is a pain that strikes me in deep the heart, the same way I feel when I read about babies abandoned at birth or children neglected and abused. War is that great...more
After decades of silence, Alex finds himself compelled to confide his true history--as much as he can remember of it, to his son Mark....more