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3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  169 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews

A cobblestone road. A sunny day. A soldier. A gun. A child, arms high in the air. A moment captured on film. But what is the history behind arguably the most recognizable photograph of the Holocaust? In The Boy: A Holocaust Story, the historian Dan Porat unpacks this split second that was immortalized on film and unravels the stories of the individuals—both Jews and Nazi

ebook, 272 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 561)
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The photo on the cover of this book is probably the most recognizable Holocaust photo in the world, and arguably one of the most recognizable photos in history. The child's terrified little face has captivated many people, not the least author Dan Porat, who became obsessed with uncovering the identities of the people in the picture and the stories of their lives.

I had heard that the boy lived: that he survived the war, became a doctor in Boston, and had that picture framed and on display in his
Patricia O'Sullivan
Of all the photos taken of the Holocaust, none was more haunting to historian Dan Porat than one taken by a Nazi photographer during the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto. At the center of the photo is a young boy with his hands raised in surrender. Nazi officers stand behind the boy. On the other side of the boy is a group of people also with their hands in the air. Professor Porat kept seeing the photo at Holocaust museums and heard from several curators how the young boy in the photo survived ...more
This is an interesting book, but the title is somewhat misleading, or at least the jacket description is misleading.

The book is mostly concerned with tracing three people who were in the Warsaw Ghetto during the uprising. One Jewish woman and two Nazis. Porat does a good job of showing the history.

The only reason why I am giving it three stars is my personal bias aganist the use of imgination in history. I don't like it. But it is my hang up, not Mr. Porat's.

The book is worth reading simply for
Dec 02, 2011 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will have to join other reviewers in calling the title of this book a bit of a cheat. It is only about the boy in the photo in an abstract way; the bulk of the book deals with the lives of people on both sides of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. On one hand, we follow the experiences of a Jewish woman who survived the ghetto and narrowly escaped ending up in Treblinka. On the other hand is Jürgen Stroop, who oversaw the liquidation of the ghetto, and Josef Blösche, one of the soldiers in the iconic ...more
Daniel Meek
Feb 13, 2012 Daniel Meek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3rd-quarter
This fascinating novel keeps the reader on the edge of their seat from beginning to end. As a World War II fanatic, I was intrigued by this book the moment I started reading it. It gave me a different perspective on the terrifying journeys taken by Jews during the era of religious persecution. I felt that this book well demonstrated the terrors of World War II. Porat did a outstanding job writing this story from different viewpoints. Having been told from different views, the story allows the re ...more
Connor G.
Nov 02, 2012 Connor G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Boy: A Holocaust Story" by Dan Porat provides an in-depth look into the harsh holocaust times in Germany. Through authentic language, photos, and Porat's imagination, it book is very informational yet intriguing. There is a continuing theme of hope, redemption, and love that is portrayed through the book. The documentation of the hard times and struggles of those in Germany during the time triggered me, as the reader, to be constantly hoping for solutions to their many problems. Perhaps, th ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Monica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Boy” is much more a historical novel than it is historical non-fiction. I say this simply because, though filled with a lot of historical information that seems well documented, the author takes a lot of liberty in presenting personal character narratives that may or may not be accurate. We can well understand the fear and terror that enveloped so many people during that time but unless actual thoughts and words are coming from the diary of someone the author has written about, we can never ...more
Like another reviewer, I think the title is a bit misleading. The book isn't really about The Boy, but about one Jewish woman and several SS officers. Some of the details were horrific. However, I felt like the book was rather dry. Yes, I cried. But the facts were presented as more of a list than a story. The author tried to fill in details when presented with holes in the historical accounts but it is not clear what exactly was fiction and what was fact.

I don't know how to review this book. I g
Mary Farrell
Aug 27, 2015 Mary Farrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, adult, nonfiction
If you are interested in WWII or the Holocaust, you will want to read this book. No it is not an easy book to read. But it moves quickly and is well-writing. I highly recommend it.

From the publisher:
The Boy presents the stories of three Nazi criminals, ranging in status from SS sergeant to low-ranking SS officer to SS general. It is also the story of two Jewish victims, a teenage girl and a young boy, who encounter these Nazis in Warsaw in the spring of 1943. The book is remarkable in its scope
Christopher Louis
Not exactly the story I was anticipating, but still a worth while account and investigation into the lives of several Jewish residents of the Warsaw Ghetto and some of the Nazi officers who worked to liquidate it.
Judy Chessin
I was interested in the story of the people, but didn't feel that the boy "story" was tied together. Also, PLEASE label the pictures.
Jul 29, 2015 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Serendipitously, I had Shabbat dinner with Dan and his family two weeks ago. Prior to dinner, Dan was sharing with us some very interesting details about the book, especially related to his research and the personal bridges he crossed putting this beautifully written story to life. As soon as the book was passed to me, I began reading it, not put it down while finishing the first chapter as we all began singing songs before the Sabbath meal. The book kept pulling me in with a gentle force, that ...more
Gayle Gordon
Jun 03, 2015 Gayle Gordon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The title does tend to mislead somewhat, because this book is not strictly about the boy in the photograph, although it does include some really fascinating stories. Only one of the people in the photograph is a main character in the book. The others include someone who thought he was the boy, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, and two other Nazis that were close associates of the one in the photo.
I gave the book four stars because it was very well-written and I got caught up in the lives
Dec 28, 2015 Ginger rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book about a supposedly iconic Nazi era photograph and the story of some of the people in the photo. I am by no means a WW II or Holocaust expert, but I do consider myself somewhat knowledgeable on the subject and do not recall ever seeing the photograph before. the photo shows a young boy, 4 or 5 years old, with his hands raised, standing next to a long line of people, also with their hands raised. Close-ups show the fear on his face. Also in the photograph are several N ...more
Mike Clinton
Jul 09, 2012 Mike Clinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Porat uses a famous picture of a boy during the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 as the catalyst for a narrative that weaves together the personal stories of victims and perpetrators meant to prompt reflection about the Holocaust and the complexities of historical memory. The author roots the book in substantial historical sources but admittedly employs historical imagination - sometimes inventing interior reflections, for example, or filling in blank spaces with composite historical ...more
As many others have said, the book was misleading. It's not about the search for the boy in the picture and not about the boys story. The book is about a woman survivor story and the story of two SS men. At the end is when you learn briefly how the photograph of the boy on the cover is related to this book. The book has many pictures, but they are not labeled so you don't know who or what is in the pictures sometimes.
Jun 03, 2016 Suzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shocking and moving. It reads like a story, but it's not historical fiction. Don't be put off by the depressing stories in the beginning and middle of the book. In the end, the author shares what has happened to all of his leading characters once the war is over, and it brings some relief and happiness for those who survived and for those who were brought to justice.
Jeananne Edwards
This book is more for people who already have read several first person Holocaust biographies or is reading it for research. It was interesting but at times spent more time with associations than story. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to the right people, but it wasn't gripping like Boy on a Wooden Box, Boy in the Striped Pajamas or Book Thief.
Jan 13, 2011 Debbie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A real disappointment, this book. The author reconstructs the story and lives of the people in a famous photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto. What could have been a very compelling book is marred by authorial overreaching. Porat acknowledges that he has ascribed words and thoughts to people that they never said or had, but assures the reader that it's still history, not historical fiction. Most disturbing, the reader wouldn't even know about the liberties he's taken unless they carefully read the foo ...more
Monserrat Risco
Dec 11, 2015 Monserrat Risco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy interesante. Cuenta la historia de una de las fotos más emblemáticas del Holocausto a través de una narrativa excelente. Combina la investigación histórica con una buena pluma, lo que lo hace fácil de leer y comprender. Recomendado.
May 02, 2011 Doug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another reviewer said that the title was misleading. Maybe, but the story comes full circle to the boy in the iconic holocaust photograph. This is really a recounting of the events leading to the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and it's inhabitants. It is not as dramatic as Uris' Mila 18 or John Hershey's The Wall but it is riveting in it's own way. Rather unique, I thought, in that it presented a good deal of biographical information on several of the SS thugs who were participants in this atr ...more
Louise Silk
Nov 21, 2010 Louise Silk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I have read every holocaust book available and this is the latest one. It is excellent. Dan Porat explores the history of a photo from the Warsaw Ghetto of a little boy with his hands raised in response to Nazi soldiers. Porat writes the background history for the particular Nazis involved, the boy, and some of the other victims. It begins with each of their lives before the war and then takes each though to their deaths. It was particularly interesting and novel to have the Nazi soldiers includ ...more
Feb 25, 2013 Kerri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting take: telling the stories of people from a famous photograph. It was very informative, and while I liked the narrative as opposed to a massive avalanche of just fact after fact, sometimes it was hard to keep everybody straight and what exactly they had each done. Plus, at times I felt the author was attempting to make the telling More emotional, when the content already does that enough on its own.

It doesn't really feel right to say, "I liked this book!" but it was well w
Jen Wahl kilmer
Apr 24, 2014 Jen Wahl kilmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing, amazing book. I am dissapointed that they don't know for sure who he was but the book is still fantastic. Should be required reading...
Fred Charles
Feb 11, 2016 Fred Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
What was that about?
The Holocaust I think, at least that was the setting.
This is a very good example of what is often said, 'Don't judge a book by its cover.'
A more appropriate title would have been, 'Leica and the SS criminals'. However, changing the title would not have improved the quality of the writing.
During the final pages the author attempted to explain why the book was written in this manner, but that failed also.
A sensitive matter such as the Holocaust must be handled with respect and
Porat takes the iconic photograph of a young Jewish boy who is raising his hands up in terror during World War II and investigates the people in the photograph. Who is the boy? Who are the soldiers? Where did they come from and where did they end up? Porat uses photographs throughout the book, emphasizing the Nazi practice of documenting their own heinous actions. I have read many books about the Holocaust and World War II, but this one was sickening even in relation to many others.
Melenia Gibson
Sep 05, 2015 Melenia Gibson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Janette Mcmahon
Nov 03, 2013 Janette Mcmahon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting biography of the boy who is in one of the most recognizable photographs of World War II. The entire process of searching for the people in the photograph and learning their fate was also interesting. The writing was readable which is something that is important if the book is being marketed to general nonfiction readers versus academics. I would recommend to readers of Holocaust or even general readers of World War II nonfiction.
Margaret Sankey
Affecting microhistory tracking the six intersecting lives captured in an iconic photograph from the Stroop Report, a commemorative album of the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Porat recreates, as far as he can, the context and biographies, as well as the afterlife of the photos--as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials, as museum and archive displays, and as family history reclaimed by survivors and their families.
Luka De
Jan 16, 2011 Luka De rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Boy: A holocaust Story" by Dan Porat is a very descriptive book and it describes how the nazi armies took over all over Europe, but specifically over Poland and Austria because thats where the books is focused the most on. The book talks about different family struggles who interact with the dangerous Nazi soldiers who almost killed their children and who almost sent them to concentration camps in order for cremation.
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