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Into the Tunnel: The Brief Life of Marion Samuel, 1931-1943

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A generous feat of biographical sleuthing by an acclaimed historian rescues one child victim of the Holocaust from oblivion

When the German Remembrance Foundation established a prize to commemorate the million Jewish children murdered during the Holocaust, it was deliberately named after a victim about whom nothing was known except her age and the date of her deportation: M
ebook, 144 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Metropolitan Books (first published May 31st 2004)
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Jen Fries
Oct 22, 2012 Jen Fries rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devastating. The author won an award for his book Hitler's Willing Executioners. The award was named for one child killed in the Holocaust, Marion Samuel. Her name had been picked at random, and nothing was known about her but her name and place of death. The author is a historian, and he felt this was unacceptable. He found out a number of things about this child, including the title phrase, which is what she told a playmate happened to Jews in the Third Reich, 'they go into a tunnel and don't ...more
Carol Ann
This is a slim book, but Marion Samuel only lived to 12. She was one of the 6 million Jews who did not survive Hitler. Through the diligence of author Gotz Aly, we are given a glimpse into 3 generations of one family and how Nazi hatred affected them all.
Definitely could've done without Seinsch's afterword, although the last line was good: "They were young and old, poor and rich, men and women, children full of dreams and hopes--like Marion Samuel, a child with a ribbon in her hair." I suppose the people on the committee couldn't help but be a bit annoyed though...I mean, having their proverbially anonymous victim being brought out into the light like this...
Jun 17, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This brief little book is packed with historical significance as Aly brings Marion Samuel to life after decades of being a faceless victim of Nazi terror and oppression. If only we could do this for all of those whose ,ices were ended by the Nazi terror machine! Ally's methods of scholarship and easily readable style make this a great read for those high school aged and beyond. I, personally, look forward to using it with students in my Holocaust courses during the upcoming school year.
Aug 25, 2009 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate this book as a work of research, not literature. It is a short biography, investigating the brief life of an ordinary 11-year old. Other than her name and age, Marion Samuel was one of the unknown of the million children whose lives were violently abbreviated in the National Socialists' Final Solution. Her name was randomly selected by the German Remembrance Foundation as the name for a prize to be awarded in commemoration of the child victims of the Holocaust. Gotz Aly received the ...more
Jul 09, 2015 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aly's achievement is mind-blowing: the meticulous reconstruction of one Jewish family's experience in Nazi Germany, and the elevation of an unknown young child to a specific individual girl whose brief life was swallowed up with many others in an era of true horror. I was particularly struck (and sadly enlightened) by the massive scope of the process and by how heartless, meticulous, and systematic it was. As Jews were packed into railcars and transported off to death camps, their apartments and ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marion Samuel's name was randomly selected by the German Remembrance Foundation, as the name for a prize to be awarded in commemoration of the child victims of the Holocaust. When Götz Aly (whose name btw I keep thinking is written backwards, because Götz to me sounds more like a surname and Aly a first name! XD) received the award he decided to see how much he could find out about Marion, which brings us to this book.

There was not much he was able to learn of her sadly, but he did manage to fin
This biography has been deemed remarkable for the reason that it exists in the first place, and I must agree with that sentiment. When contacted about being awarded the Marion Samuel prize, Gotz Aly knew nothing about the girl for whom it was named. Nor did anyone, seeing has how her name was plucked from among thousands in the books of Holocaust victims. Seeking to return her voice and banish her anonymity, Aly meticulously researched her family, and incredibly found photos and people who knew ...more
Laura Murdoch
Jan 13, 2011 Laura Murdoch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating story of a young "unknown" Holocaust victim. The author received the "Marion Samuel Award" for his historical work with the Third Reich. He felt he couldn't accept the award without learning of the history of Marion Samuel and learning about who she actually. He did some amazing research to bring a life and history to a random girl and her family that were murdered at Auschwitz. The amount of work he did to humanize this victim was amazing. Interesting story.
Mrs. Hassig
Jan 23, 2016 Mrs. Hassig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most amazing book and one I intend to use with my 8th grade students for a lesson. Beautifully written, the book is a quick read but one you will never forget as long as you live. The research that went into creating this book is beyond belief and I'm so hoping that I can somehow access these documents to use with my students. A must read for Holocaust studies.
Like in the book Empire Made Me, the author vividly portrayed a period in history by looking at the life of one ordinary individual. I was impressed by how much information he was able to dig up on Marion Samuel and her family, considering that sixty years had passed and most of them had been killed. This is a slim but powerful volume that brings to life the horrors of the Holocaust.
This gives you the author was able to find out about the life of an eleven-year-old girl killed at Auschwitz, plus everything he was able to find out about her family and her hometown. Soul-crushing -- you know she was literally only one out of 11 million others exterminated that same way, people we will never learn about -- but recommended.
Mar 24, 2012 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, march
Aly has written a touching volume about how little we can know about the many, many people who perished as part of the Holocaust. At times sad -- the Samuel family had nearly everything taken away from them, including, in the end, each other -- and at times miraculous, with the amount of information Aly was able to discover about this one little girl and her probable fate.
Mar 27, 2008 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An easy but memorable read. If I'm remembering correctly (ha), the author randomly chose a name from a list of thousands of unknown Holocaust victims and vowed to research and write about the person. He picked a 12-year-old. Fascinating and so sad.
Mar 09, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is part of research I am doing on Auschwitz. It is beautifully written and gut wrenching all at once
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Götz Haydar Aly is a German journalist, historian and social scientist.
After attending the German School of Journalists, Aly studied history and political science in Berlin. As a journalist, he worked for the taz, the Berliner Zeitung and the FAZ.
Presently, from 2004 to 2005, he is a visiting professor for interdisciplinary Holocaust research at the Fritz Bauer Institut in Frankfurt am Main.
More about Götz Aly...

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