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The Auschwitz Escape

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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.

©2014 Joel C. Rosenberg; (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

468 pages, Hardcover

First published March 18, 2014

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About the author

Joel C. Rosenberg

56 books2,552 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
Note: This is a different person than the fantasy author, Joel Rosenberg

Joel C. Rosenberg is the founder of The Joshua Fund and the New York Times best-selling author of THE LAST JIHAD (2002), THE LAST DAYS (2003), THE EZEKIEL OPTION (2005), THE COPPER SCROLL (2006), EPICENTER (2006) and DEAD HEAT (2008) with more than 1.5 million copies in print. THE EZEKIEL OPTION was named by the ECPA as the Gold Medallion winner of the "Best Novel of 2006." Joel, an evangelical Christian whose mother is Gentile and whose father is from an Orthodox Jewish background, previously worked with several U.S. and Israeli leaders, including Steve Forbes, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and TV shows.
He and his wife have four sons and live near Washington, DC.

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5 stars
7,903 (53%)
4 stars
4,693 (32%)
3 stars
1,544 (10%)
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339 (2%)
1 star
169 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,556 reviews
Profile Image for Lauren Hopkins.
Author 3 books182 followers
April 12, 2021

According to Joel C. Rosenberg, it's okay that 6 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis because not *ALL* of the Jews died. God got the Jews through it, just like he saw them through Egyptian slavery! Sure, he only managed to save like 10% max of those who went into concentration camps, but it's all good. Because he came through at the end! You know, after the Nazis had nearly finished what they set out to do, effectively wiping out Europe's entire Jewish population because those who did survive immediately booked it for Palestine and the U.S.

Even though I've never heard someone blame Christians for the Holocaust, Joel C. Rosenberg makes a hell of a lot of excuses for them and how even church-going Nazis weren't *real* Christians. No shit. But Christians across Europe are culpable in the fact that a very very tiny percentage of non-Jews in Europe actually did something to save the Jews. Denmark and the French city of Le Chambon were anomalies in terms of actual communities of people who worked together to save Jews, as were the individuals who made up various resistance groups, but the MAJORITY of Christians in Europe were not only apathetic, but were in fact COMPLICIT in the Holocaust, especially in Poland where most people threw morality and values out the window to turn in their Jewish neighbors to the police so they could be rewarded with loaves of bread. I don't blame these people - they did what they had to in order to survive, even if it meant culpability in systematic murder. But this book basically asserts that all Christians in Europe were saints because they loved Jesus so much and Jesus was Jewish. He spends less of the book on his weak plot and more on trying to get us to believe that Christians have literally zero responsibility for what happened. (He also seems to believe that Polish Christians were evangelical Protestants when in fact like 90% of Poles were Roman Catholic but I digress.)

It's so alarmingly offensive, I really don't even know where to begin. Aside from Rosenberg making excuses on every other page and aside from him making every character try to force their belief in God in the main character Jacob Weisz (who, SHOCKER, becomes a Christian and believes in God by the end of the book!), there are just so many problematic issues...I rolled my eyes at the less offensive nonsense but mostly gritted my teeth in rage.

Basically, the author is trying to say that Jews shouldn't have lost faith in God during the Holocaust because sometimes, he looked out for his 'chosen people' and even though it happened, God eventually ended it. I mean, come on, God. Too little too late, amirite? Of course, many Jews did hold onto their faith...but those who did lose faith had a pretty valid reason. They don't need some asshat who could barely do his research to come around 70 years later and explain why they should have all kept on praying.

There's a lot to hate about this book, but on top of everything the research done was abysmal. Two sentences in, a character quotes some made-up book. It's 1940 and the quote is "evil, unchecked, is the prelude to genocide." COOL, except the word genocide didn't actually exist in a wide scale vernacular until 1944, when it was coined and introduced by Raphael Lemkin. That one little factual error irked me to my core pretty much immediately, but I clearly didn't know what was coming. There are smaller errors as well, some intentional (i.e. changing the dates Mengele worked at the camp so it fit his narrative) but most not.

It's just a mess of a book. True god awful trash. I picked it up because of the high ratings, and then I remembered that most people are dumb and give this book a 5 because of Jesus and not because it's actually good. To be fair, without Rosenberg's obnoxious proselytizing, it moves quickly and tells a compelling story, but it truly is evangelical propaganda thinly disguised as historical fiction. If anything, it's religious fiction, and Rosenberg should be ashamed of himself for taking a Jewish tragedy and turning it into a Christian missionary tale. No, Christians were not responsible for the Holocaust; it was about racial makeup, not religion. I don't think anyone has ever blamed Christians for the atrocities committed. But at the same time, Christianity is not a solution to the suffering caused by the Nazis. Doing this is SO problematic because you're essentially saying that it's okay that Nazis killed millions of people because God eventually swooped in and saved a few. WRONG. GROSS AND WRONG.
Profile Image for Kat Dominitz.
18 reviews2 followers
October 12, 2015
I found this book to be poorly written; it reads like a 500 page synopsis. The author spells everything out for the reader, the book is almost solely comprised of cliches, and the depth in character development is very limited. Also, I didn't find the writing clever or witty. This book brings nothing new to the table; we've all heard the facts and know the story. I think what the author was trying to accomplish was to write a story about a mans journey to becoming a Christian during this dark period of history. I felt it was very lacking. The author tried to share Jacob's story and insights, but I didn't find it very honest and thought it needed more depth. There were some moments where the book touched on really interesting ideas, but the author quickly skipped over those. The authors attention was completely misplaced. So, perhaps the concept of the book was actually good, the execution fell short.
Profile Image for Lori Elliott (catching up).
725 reviews1,763 followers
February 7, 2017
I have read many fantastic novels centering around WWII... unfortunately, this was not one of them. It was evident in the lack of depth in the characters and some dialogue issues that this was a departure from Rosenbergs usual writing genre. I do realize that this was a very personal novel for Rosenberg and I commend him for his efforts. Good story, but bad execution. Honestly, I just became bored about 3/4 of the way through. Bummer... emoji sad face.
Profile Image for Betty.
16 reviews10 followers
February 24, 2015
Another nail-biter by one of my favorite authors! I loved this book! I just simply couldn't put it down! I read it in less than a week! I kept thinking that it was a true story. It was truly a work of history and suspense. A hard book to write I'm sure! The author did a marvelous job taking true facts and weaving a fictitious character into them without sacrificing the true history. I love World War Two, and this book did not disappoint! It was heart wrenching and accurate. I am looking forward to more books by Joel C. Rosenberg in the future! Thank you, Mr. Rosenberg for all the hard work you put in, to make this book enjoyable to a history buff like me! I never once had to be frustrated with this work of historical fiction! We can never forget what happened in the Holocaust as long as we have authors like this!
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,121 followers
May 22, 2015
"Where books are burned, they will, in the end, burn people too."

After a failed attempt by the freedom fighters to release the captured Jews from the disgusting cattle cars, young Jacob Weisz finds himself locked inside and on his way to the dreaded hard labor camp of Auschwitz where within its evil barbed wire, he thinks of nothing but escape.

As he witnesses the brutality, sees the emaciated walking skeletons and learns the true secrets of the death factory it is, he questions his faith in God as he struggles to survive from exhaustion and starvation.

As the story continues, Jacob eventually meets Pastor Jean-Luc Leclerc, a true believer in the Christian faith (yet savior to many Jews) and the two become unlikely friends during a daring escape attempt to contact and reveal the awful truth to allied forces.

This novel wastes no time getting into the meat of it and kept my attention right through to the end. Fast read!

Profile Image for Skip.
3,249 reviews393 followers
May 24, 2014
Less than 150 people escaped from Auschwitz. Rosenberg has meticulously researched the facts about those escapes and used the one by Rudolf Vrba, hiding in a pile of wood outside of the electrified fences and waiting for searches to end after three days, as the method for the protagonist, Jacob Weisz, to get free along with a Christian pastor (Jean-Luc LeClerc), who helped Jewish refugees fleeing Vichy France. Their mission was timed to warn of the plans to eliminate all of the Hungarian Jews at Birkenau. Great characters, believable descriptions of the horror of the Nazi death camps, and a story of hope for mankind. Read it, not a dull moment throughout, you will not be disappointed.
Profile Image for Alicia Ruggieri.
Author 12 books122 followers
July 22, 2018
I've been curious about Joel C. Rosenberg's books for about a decade or more; I think it was time I finally read one, don't you? :-) I found The Auschwitz Escape at my local library, and I'm so glad that I did end up taking it out!
Though Rosenberg's writing is not "poetic", it is fast-paced, matter-of-fact, and bare-bones-but-enough, if that makes sense. I flew through this book, finishing it in less than 24 hours, and actually finishing the last page at 2 in the morning. After a certain point, I just couldn't stop reading, breathlessly waiting to see what would happen next and how it would happen, as well as how these two main characters would end up escaping together, since you know from the title and description that that will need to occur. :-)
I loved two things most of all about this novel: First, the reiteration of the theme that, despite appearances, God had blessed the nation of Israel and would bless those who blessed her - that He would preserve a remnant of His people in the midst of the Holocaust. And, two, the responsibility of Christians to love and care for the Jews in a special way.
This book depicts prison/death camps during the Holocaust, so there's definitely some grim and grisly descriptions involved, but I actually felt that Rosenberg handled this aspect of the story really well. Without dwelling on the horrors, he finds a way to show the depth of evil. Having said that, this book is not for the severely squeamish, as no historically-accurate book about the Holocaust will be.)
If you're interested in this book, I'd also recommend: Night by Elie Wiesel and The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.
Profile Image for Plethora.
281 reviews166 followers
April 11, 2016
Rosenberg has written an outstanding novel that was able to move me to tears, as if I was reading a memoir written by an actual escapee of Auschwitz. The Auschwitz Escape opens in the small, quiet community of Sedan, France on May 13, 1940. Historically speaking, Sedan, was ground zero for the German Panzer armies advancing into France. So much for thinking the Meginot Line was impenetrable and that Germany would not venture through the Ardennes Forest, protecting France. Germany circumvented the Meginot Line and marched through the Ardennes Forest and stormed through Sedan.

"Evil, unchecked, is the prelude to genocide." This opening line is a statement remembered by the first character we meet, Jean-Luc Leclerc, a Protestant assistant pastor. Powerful words mark the beginning of this story, he remembers reading them in a book, which is of no importance, it is the words that haunt him. Jacob Weisz, the next major character we meet is a young seventeen-year-old Jewish boy. He is having a flashback to late 1938 when his uncle Avi is trying to teach him the importance of knowing how to survive, protection methods and to understand that being Jewish was no longer safe. As fate and misfortune throws Jean-Luc and Jacob together, can Jacob work with Jean-Luc, a Gentile to escape Auschwitz?

Rosenberg has done a superb job of sprinkling historical events throughout the novel that support the story being told. Auschwitz is not known for people leaving alive prior to January 27, 1945 when it was liberated. This tale pays homage to the 144 people that managed to escape. Rosenberg has achieved an enthralling historical fiction account that painstakingly keeps the history in the story and does not take gross liberties with changing things to fit his needs. An excellent opportunity for someone to brush up on details like Executive Order 9417 or do you know Heinrich Heine's (German Jewish Poet) statement about book burning?

FTC disclosure: I received an unedited advanced reader copy of this book to review from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. I was not financially compensated in any way. (via Edelweiss)

From my original review posted at Plethora of Books Blog, see full review on blog.
Profile Image for Chuck.
855 reviews
July 6, 2014
Mr. Rosenberg, about whom I've become a big fan, snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat with this one. I've complained before about his amateurish writing style and I could complain again with this one but I've learned that if you just stick with him the quality of his story telling will overcome. The title of the book tells you about all you need to know about the main plot but the characters you meet make it special and once you read the Author's Note at the end you realize
this is historical fiction at a high level. Our primary protagonist is a young Jewish man and a parallel story line is his struggle with his faith. The circumstances of his young life have shaped him into an agnostic at best; he partners up with a French Protestant pastor and I found their relationship fascinating.
Profile Image for Stil de scriitor.
499 reviews46 followers
March 20, 2021
O carte despre ororile prin care au trecut evreii la Auschwitz, dar si lupta lor pentru libertate. Evadarea pare imposibila, dar se pune intrebarea: cum supravietuiesti dincolo? Ramai fara cuvinte dupa ce citesti o asemenea carte. Dura, realista, dar captivanta. Recomand!

Profile Image for Wendy.
2,318 reviews40 followers
April 24, 2014
As a fan of Joel C. Rosenberg's novels, his latest book "The Auschwitz Escape" is not only one of his finest achievements but one of the most explosive and chilling stories I've read. Set in War II, the Nazi machine under Adolph Hitler has begun sweeping through Europe leaving bloodshed and devastation in its wake. But for non-Aryans caught in the crosshairs of the war, a worst fate awaits them in the ovens of the Auschwitz death camp.

This is the story of Jacob Weisz, who after the death of his parents joins the resistance to help save the Jewish people, but in a raid is accidently trapped in a train car headed to Auschwitz with all those tagged for extermination. It is also the story of Jean-Luc Leclerc, a pastor who in trying to protect escaping Jewish refugees is earmarked for death by the Nazi regime. Together these two men will forge a friendship and hatch a plan to bring the atrocities at Auschwitz to light, to try and save millions from the chimneys of the death camp.

Founded on documented information, the narrative is well-written, fast-paced and emotionally intense. Joel Rosenberg weaves a story that explores the dehumanization of the Jewish people and other non-Aryans under the brutality of the Nazi regime. It is starkly realistic contrasting the inhumanity and injustice of Nazi thugs with the humanity of those willing to sacrifice their lives to save those destined for extermination, and to bring the atrocities to light in a world blinded by ignorance. As in all of Joel Rosenberg's novels faith is central to the plot. Even in the darkness of so much evil, violence and brutality faith shines and not only brings hope to those facing death and torture, but surfaces in the heart of a freedom fighter who has trouble, in the madness of the war torn world, believing in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

With skilful dexterity Joel Rosenberg creates characters that are unforgettable, with all their strength of will, courage and fortitude. Seventeen year old Jacob Weisz, the eldest child of a German professor is proficient in languages, kind, gentle and obedient. After the death of his family his hatred for Adolph Hitler's regime takes on new meaning as he joins the Resistance wanting to help save his people from the pogroms that will see them exterminated. In the nightmare of the camp, his personality develops as he becomes smarter, more discreet and courageous. Jean -Luc Leclerc, a man of strong faith highly respects Jewish habits, customs and traditions and will willingly sacrifice his life to ensure they survive. Although amiable and gentle, Jean's competence, his methodical and detailed planning skills, his focus and trustworthiness are prized by the camp's resistance.

Add to these two main characters Leszek Poczciwinski, a taciturn and overly confident infiltrator from the Polish intelligence; Avi Weisz, an astute and perceptive resistance leader; Max Cohen, a good-natured, self-sacrificing and devote Jew as well as his clever and faithful sister Abigail. But it is the cold, demonic brutality and the heartless cruelty of Nazi murderers and rapists like Colonel Klaus Von Strassen, Gerard Gruder and Fat Louie that enhance the dark, pervasive and chilling atmosphere of the plot. And these are only a few of the personalities that add depth, dimension and passion to this riveting story.

"The Auschwitz Escape" is one of Joel Rosenberg's finest works, an exciting page turner from beginning to end and I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Sarah.
619 reviews48 followers
March 21, 2014
"Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good." Epic in scope, Joel Rosenberg’s “The Auschwitz Escape” is a work of historical fiction that is both breathtaking and heartbreaking. Young and naïve Jacob Wiesz, guided by his beloved Uncle Avi, joins the Resistance movement in Belgium after he is forced to flee his native Germany. Meanwhile, Jean-Luc Leclerc, an assistant pastor in Vichy France, answers God’s call to love his neighbor and the Jewish people by helping as many of them escape to safety as possible. Unfortunate circumstances land both men in the Auschwitz death camp, and while their approaches differ, they end up interacting in an unexpected and potentially dangerous way. Jacob has never been religious and cannot fathom how a loving God could allow such widespread genocide, and he makes it his mission to survive and try to help his people in any way possible, while Jean-Luc never questions his faith in God or his calling to help the Lord’s chosen people. Together, can the two men make a difference in this place of hellish devastation? With “The Auschwitz Escape,” Rosenberg crafts an incredible thriller that readers will not be able to put down. Despite its sordid subject matter, Rosenberg handles the story with grace and clean language, drawing upon true accounts and several historical figures. The narrative focuses mostly on Jacob and his experiences, and despite the plethora of Holocaust books already published, this one is unique in its focus and approach. It teaches that even in the darkest hours, there is hope and a place for miracles. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction, Holocaust and WWII literature, and heart-pounding suspense will find “The Auschwitz Escape” a must-read.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,673 reviews12.8k followers
November 28, 2014
Rosenberg's latest novel is both a non-stop thrill and a desolate reflection on one of history's greatest ignorances. Jean-Luc Leclerc, a pastor from France accused of harbouring Jews, and Jacob Weisz, a Jew in Germany who joined the Resistance, are sent to the Auschwitz death camp for their respective acts after being caught by the Nazis. Neither is resentful for their actions, though their fear mounts when they learn more about what the Nazis have been doing in the depths of Poland and how their larger plan will eliminate Jews across Europe. During their time in the camp, both Leclerc and Weisz are able to form a loose relationship and join a covert group to ensure the world learns of the atrocities taking place. They are chosen to attempt the impossible, escape from thee camp and ensure the Allies know what is going on, as the Nazis have succeeded in keeping it all under wraps up to this point. The story follows their harrowed times within the camp, the horrific actions Hesse and other SS officers enact on the Jews and political prisoners, and the tests facing the protagonists: determination, patience, and religious foundation. Rosenberg touches the reader with a powerful story, full of action, sorrow, and wherewithal like never before. A sentimental and well-researched novel that may not open eyes with new revelations, but highlights just how ignorant the Allies were, while innocent people perished.

Rosenberg has a flair with words and uses the extensive research he undertook to create a wonderful novel. As long as the reader can sift through the Christian inculcation, anyone can sit down to an eye-opening experience, where the Nazis' atrocities take centre stage. Full of wonderful nuances and detailed dialogue, the reader can almost feel as though they are in queue for tasteless soup or digging trenches for the camp expansions. There is no time to stop and catch one's breath or process the true evil that took place, though after completion, any attentive reader might need a moment to process all that has been laid at their feet. No doubt one of the great novels illustrating the worst of the worst death camps of the Nazis, which only goes to show how the world chose to spin tales while the black smoke billowed from the ovens.

Kudos, Mr. Rosenberg for this awkward yet essential piece of work. I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I needed to parse the conversion attempts throughout.
Profile Image for Laura.
819 reviews240 followers
August 11, 2015
This book started really well but by the end I had lost focus. It was very informative of what was happening in the concentration camps but in comparison to other WWII books I've read, this one lacked the intensity. It's still shocking what the Jews went through and this book definitely brings all that to light. I would recommend this to a reader that wants to know more about the concentration camps but doesn't want too graphic details or inappropriate language used in the text. The author is very cautious and to me writes more in general terms instead of very specific details. Might be a good read for a high school student wanting a historical fiction book.
Profile Image for Marilyn.
449 reviews
September 26, 2014
I read this on the recommendation of a friend, but I was very disappointed. The subject matter, Auschwitz death/concentration camp, was gripping but the plot is full of holes and the story and ending is predictable. The characters ring pretty flat, too. The writing was amazingly bad ("his leg hurt something terrible"). I won't be reading this author again.
Profile Image for Stacy.
1,004 reviews91 followers
October 17, 2016
Even though I know the book was fictional, I know countless true stories really happened like this, and the people who endured such inhumane evil still found the courage to try to do what they could to undermine the Nazi government-- that is truly inspiring. Mr. Rosenburg has again created a masterpiece. I always enjoy his writing, and this is destined to be a classic. He crafted a thrill ride of a read, that makes you feel as if you are there-- a silent witness to the characters' heroism and persistence. This a definite read again for me.
Profile Image for Kat Perry.
42 reviews2 followers
January 14, 2015
The book and storyline fell flat for me and there was definitely a strong agenda pushed by the author around Christianity which I did not like, it completely detracts from the essential historical context which is the Jewish genocide. The characters were one dimensional and disinteresting. It failed to draw the reader in and i lost any interest about the outcomes for those characters. Very poorly executed in comparison to the wealth of superior literature set in this context.
Profile Image for Jerry.
4,631 reviews56 followers
October 28, 2015
A Quickie Review

Longtime author Joel C. Rosenberg tries his hand at historical fiction by delving into one of the darkest times of the twentieth century: the Holocaust. Though the subject matter may be rather dark, Rosenberg does a great job of telling a captivating story. Fans of the genre or of his other works will definitely enjoy this.

Score: 4/5
Profile Image for Stefanie.
754 reviews58 followers
September 12, 2018
The Auschwitz Escape by Joel Rosenberg was no easy read and what I mean by that is the true, historical value this book has hurts to read. What happened during World War II are not easy tales and facts to hear. It’s devastating and heart-breaking. It’s horrific and gut-wrenching.
The Auschwitz Escape details the life of Jacob Weisz and the harrowing story as he fights in the resistance and lives through the horrors of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.
The details are gruesome and hard to stomach, I will testify to that; but the information, facts, and details that pour from this book will leave you constantly turning the page and evoking strong emotions as deep down you will the need for retribution and justice.
Joel Rosenberg wrote a story that will leave you breathless to say the least and give you an insight into one of history’s most horrific moments.
Profile Image for Freda Malone.
378 reviews59 followers
October 24, 2018
Anytime I read a Holocaust story, true or fictional, I am thankful that I did not live in that time or anywhere close to the area where genocide was happening. The more I read about this, the more I realize there were too few heroes who made the choice to change an outcome. Whether it be harboring the Jewish people, sneaking them out of the country, raising money for a resistance, or bombing the train tracks. It was never enough and never quick enough. In this particular fictional story, I was appalled at the lack of assistance with my own country, the US of A. Politics and protocols have always seemed to get in the way of saving lives, and I am just disgusted with it all.

Of course this is the past, but my strong sense of empathy helps me stay more aware of how I treat others, anywhere, anytime.
95 reviews
March 26, 2014
Another great novel by Joel Rosenberg

My dad served in WW11 & I was born in the late 40s. how many years has it taken for us to truly recognize the atrocities that took place under Hitler's rule? I'm grateful that Rosenberg has so clearly documented what occurred at Auschwitz and that there were indeed those that escaped and tried to tell the world...May we never forget. Rosenberg has written another winner. Bring a Kleenex.
Profile Image for Negin.
596 reviews151 followers
November 13, 2016
This is historical fiction about two men who manage to escape from Auschwitz. Despite the horrific subject matter, it was a beautiful read. I’m sure that the story and the characters will remain with me for quite some time.
Profile Image for Aaron.
345 reviews
August 21, 2017
A fantastic & important piece of literature that was thoroughly enjoyable in audio version. The narrator put in appropriate and believable (at least to an American's ears) accents for the vast array of European characters.
The numerous horrors and tragedy of Hitler's Final Solution brings us too many true stories to ever need worry about historical fiction filling in the gaps. But this fact must also be kept in mind when you read about the daily atrocities and the magnitude of it all. This really happened and we must not forget!
I've read a number of Holocaust stories and watched a range of movies from "Schindler's List" to more obscure foreign language ones. I will say without hesitation that my eyes fill with tears and my heart breaks at the utter disregard for humanity exhibited. This is not something I ever want to change and I hope other readers share my sympathies. So be sure to read these stories with the proper historical mindset. The Holocaust happened and it was worse than mere words can express, no matter how well put onto paper.
Joel C. Rosenberg does a superb job of setting the story within its historical context and giving the characters life and substance. An underlying current of God's provision & love runs beneath the surface but is not overplayed or credited with more than feasible.
Unless your family has thoroughly discussed the topic of the Holocaust numerous times, this book, because of the inhuman themes, not language or sexual content, should be kept to high school age teens and older. The brutality of the Nazis is not something to be hidden or glossed over, but younger readers can find much more appropriate books to introduce this subject.
Profile Image for Delilah.
192 reviews12 followers
January 9, 2016
It's not even possible to review this book and give it the justice it deserves. Just read it, everyone should. The fact is, very few people (around 100 or so) successfully escaped Auschwitz. This is a historical fiction based on facts of a small group who did just that. Their purpose of escape wasn't to survive themselves but to save future lives by exposing the truth of the atrocities taking place at this notorious death camp. They wrote the Auschwitz Protocol (fact) to spread the word to the Allies. What I could not believe was how long it took for people to believe them and liberate the camps. We all think of the "what ifs" in retrospect to Hitler and the Holocaust. But the glaring truth is we (the U.S.) took WAY too long to intervene. We ignored eye witness. Ignored Churchill's pleas. We turned away Jewish refugees and sent them back to Europe, for God's sake. It's scary how close this resonates to current events. We must all read, learn, experience the Holocaust. Visit the camps (I've visited Dachau)....history must never ever repeat itself. Ever.
Profile Image for Anne .
438 reviews346 followers
April 14, 2019
Beware: cliches and two-dimensional characters are the rule. Very much "holocaust lite." I listened to the audio version. The narrator's dramatic inflections throughout made me feel like he was reading to an audience of children. I found that very irritating. It's not the first time that the holocaust has been used to tell a story of suspense. In fact, I think all holocaust memoirs of survivors are just that, though this story has a different slant - the protagonist escapes from Auschwitz. Too bad that this was so poorly written because it is based on a true story and every survivor deserves their story to be well-told.
Profile Image for Marialyce (absltmom, yaya).
1,940 reviews722 followers
November 15, 2014
As always, tales of what occurred and the strength of the human spirit awe and inspire those who look back at history as a warning about what can happen in the future. It is a harrowing tale and oftentimes as I listened to this book, I had to stop and think about the inhumaneness of humans.

Less than 150 people escaped from the hell that was Auschwitz and this story is based on one of them who did. It is a story that engenders hope and a belief in God that one often has a purpose in survival, one that they need to explore as they wonder often why God chose fit to spare them. It was a wonderfully told story and one that continues to need repeating over and over again as we watch today an anti Semitic sentiment growing steadily around the world. We always have to believe that the words never again will hold true, but there are times when looking at the persecution of people that one wonders if never again could be again.
Profile Image for Bon Tom.
856 reviews56 followers
December 8, 2017
I'm not sure I have anything to contribute.

The only thing I would change, I would add some poetry to the moments they revisit Auschwitz years later. I could have almost seen words being written before my eyes.

This is great read. Heartbreaking because it can't be anything else.

Whoever loved The One Man by Andrew Gross, will love this one too.
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