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Death March Escape: The Remarkable Story of a Man Who Twice Escaped the Nazi Holocaust

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  107 ratings  ·  40 reviews
In June 1944, the Nazis locked eighteen-year-old Dave Hersch into a railroad boxcar and shipped him from his hometown of Dej, Hungary, to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, the harshest, cruellest camp in the Reich. After ten months in the granite mines of Mauthausen's nearby sub-camp, Gusen, he weighed less than 80lbs, nothing but skin and bones.

Somehow surviving the relentle
Published January 11th 2019 by Frontline Books
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Title : Death March Escape

By : Jack J Hersch

Genre: Nonfiction :
Biographies & Memoirs ,
Pages: 253

book synopsis :

In June 1944, the Nazis locked eighteen-year-old Dave Hersch into a railroad boxcar and shipped him from his hometown of Dej, Hungary, to Mauthausen Concentration Camp, the harshest, cruellest camp in the Reich. After ten months in the granite mines of Mauthausen's nearby sub-camp, Gusen, he weighed less than 80lbs, nothing but skin and bones.

Somehow surviving the relentless horrors of
Zohar -
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
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Death March Escape: The Remarkable Story of a Man Who Twice Escaped the Nazi Holocaust by Jack J Hersch is a biography of Dave Hersch, the author’s father. This is Mr. Hersch’s first non-fiction book.

After his father passed away, the author realized what many other children of Holocaust survivors found out – they didn’t ask enough questions, or pried for more information. Frankly, it’s not his fault the during the book he
In June 1944, David Hersch, the author’s father, was sent to KZ Mauthausen, the most brutal concentration camp run by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Enduring extremely harsh conditions and starvation rations, somehow Dave kept up his spirits and manage to escape from not one but two death marches at the end of the war. Finally liberated by the Americans in 1945, Dave weighed just half what he had the year before.

Jack had heard his father’s stories his entire life, especially during the Seder m
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An incredible story of survival from two concentration camps:
The author's father, Dave Hersch was transported into a railroad boxcar in June 1944, by the Nazis in his hometown of Dej, Hungary, to Mauthausen Concentration Camp. At the time, Mauthausen was one of the harshest, cruelest camps the Nazis ever built. After ten months working in the mines of Mauthausen's nearby sub-camp, Gusen, he weighed less than 80 lbs, just skin and bones. After surviving the horrors of both camps, David was forced
Angela H.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, netgalley
The author is the son of a Jew survivor of the concentration camp. The survivor is his father who escaped twice from the Nazis, which is very rare.

I really enjoyed the book; however, I was seeking for specific details. The author tells the story of father and retraces his father's story to walk where his father walked. Throughout the reading, I can feel how much he honors his father.

What I got out of the book was how honorable and brave his father was in enduring the suffering that fell upon h
January Gray
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A true and incredible story about the struggle to survive during the Holocaust. Amazing how the human mind and body can survive such a journey and tale.
Crystal Hunter
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Should be on the bookshelf of anyone who has an abiding interest in Holocaust accounts.
Death March Escape (Frontline Books) by Jack J. Hersch is the true, unimaginable story of his father, David Arieh Hersch, who twice escaped death marches during the Nazi Holocaust. It’s the story of David’s countless ailments, emotional torture, other unexplainable horrors and remarkable escapes from the concentration camps.

But it also is the tale of how Jack, having long heard his father’s story of survival and escape, came upon a photograph of his father on the Mauthausen Concentration Camp Me
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jack Hersch's father Dave was a prisoner in WWII concentration camp. Jack's father shares his story with him while growing up. It is not until his father's death that Jack travels to Austria and writes about his father's life. The story is well written and the reader will learn a lot about the mean things that went on in this concentration camp. I felt sad for the son who seems to keep the spotlight more on his emotions, thoughts, worries, and travel while investigating his father's life. It had ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Death March Escape: The Remarkable Story of a Man Who Twice Escaped the Nazi Holocaust
by Jack J Hersch
When Jack Hersch discovered his father had a past that he did not fully understand, he also discovered that he had a past he had never known about, as well. There were parts of his life that David Hersch had kept from his son, like a trip back to the scene of the crime, Austria, so that he could revisit his Holocaust experiences. When Jack’s Israeli cousin called him to tell him that there was a
Bookish Devil
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death March
A death march is a forced march of prisoners of war or other captives or deportees in which individuals are left to die along the way.

Eighteen-year-old Dave Hersch was one among the thousands of Jews who were coerced to make the 30 mile 'Death March' to a concentration camp by the ruthless Nazis in the early 1940s. True to its name, the march was yet another devious scheme invented by the Nazis to minimize the Jew population by subjecting them to a walk, long enough to drain the
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is rare that I read nonfiction. It is even rarer that I review it. I do make an exception for anything written about WW2 and the Holocaust. When I was approached by the publisher to review Death March Escape, I accepted without hesitation.

This book was haunting. Excellent but haunting. The author did a fantastic job of telling the story of his father’s escapes from 2 different points of views. The first being his father’s point of view. The second being his. Jack’s story was intertwined with
Katya Vinogradova
The full title reads - Death March Escape: The remarkable story of a man who twice escaped the Nazi Holocaust.
I would say “remarkable” is an understatement in this context. There have only been a handful of recorded cases of prisoners escaping from concentration camps during WWII and not all of those who managed to escape, ever made it to freedom. Many were hunted down, found and killed; many perished on their own, without food and shelter.
Which is why the story of David Hersch, a man who escap
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Written by his son, Jack, this book starts with Jack visiting KZ Mauthausen to retrace the steps of his father, Dave, in 1944 when he entered the camp as a 160lb, 18 year old. How had this search begun? Jack's Israeli cousin, Vivian, had called Jack in 2007 to inform him that his dad was on the Mauthausen website.

Unlike many other survivors, Dave (David) like to tell his story but did he tell it all? He was a man of many smiles and jokes. Jack, however, had never seen the picture of his father o
Donadee's Corner
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone of this genre
Recommended to Donadee's Corner by: Author
Death March Escape - Written by Jack Hersch
Facing death how could you not try to escape anyway, anytime possible!!!

Dave often told his story of survival and escape, and his son, Jack, thought he knew it well. But years after his father’s death, he came across a photograph of his father on, of all places, the Mauthausen Memorial’s website. It was an image he had never seen before – and it propelled him on an intensely personal journey of discovery.

What did I like? I was very touched by this book
Helen Edwards
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most gut-wrenching books I have read. It is the biography of David Hersch who twice escaped death marches and survived to tell the tale. The author is his son who is given a photo of his father by a cousin and is determined to find out what really happened during those dark days. It becomes evident as the son traces his father's footsteps that he never heard the whole story and never pressed his father for more details. It is unlikely that he would have learned much more. In ...more
Sandra Stiles
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy from Netgalley. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I have never been able to read a book about Holocaust survivors without getting emotional. As an eighth grade English teacher we have a unit that touches on the Holocaust. When I taught ninth grade English we read Night and other stories about the Holocaust. I have over the years met only one survivor. The only part of her story that stuck with me was the death march she was taken on. To me this is more terrifying
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is with great reluctance that I give this book only 3 stars. I have great respect for the story, the author’s dedicated research and the desire to share such an incredible tale of survival. I believe that the holocaust cannot be documented enough, too few stories of survivors exist – and every year that passes, every survivor that dies, the stories become, most regrettably, lost to time. With that being said, the construction and arrangement of the 2 accounts in the book made it difficult to ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jack Hersch is the son of a Jewish survivor of Mathausen, David Hersch.

On June 1944, David , an athletic, handsome , and healthy 160 lb 18 year old, enters KZ Mauthausen for the first time. KZ Mauthausen is one of the harshest, cruelest labor camps in the entire Third Reich. To end up here is more or less a death sentence. Day after day, however, David survives.

10 months later, a starving, sick, and deathly weak David, weighing only 80 lbs is forced onto a "Death March" to KZ Gunskirchen, whi
Charlotte Lynn
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 star review

I love to learn more about WWII and am always looking for more books to read. Usually, I read fiction books with the history of that era weaved into the story. This is a firsthand look at a man’s journey in life through WWII and the Nazi rule.

Death March Escape is a personal story that shares the facts of two men. One man lived through WWII, lived in concentration camps, walked death marches, and shares the story with his son. The other man is the son, who after his father passe
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“No matter how bad things are, it beats the alternative."

Death March Escape is a truly inspirational tale of Dave Hersch, a gentleman with an incredible "Will" to live. I found it difficult to put the book down, and I can easily picture this title on a World War II bestseller list. The author, Jack Hersch, mentions that his father was a natural storyteller; well, Jack is certainly the same, telling this tale in a personal, conversational mode. Definitely one of the best WWII memoirs that I have
This was a story of a son following in his father's footsteps. He did his best to follow the same paths his father followed and to visit all the places he hid.
The father has an amazing story of having escaped two Nazi death marches. At the time of rescue he was 80 pounds and suffering from several terrible ailments. The fact that he lived to tell his son the story is a miracle.
I appreciate the son sharing his story. The story was hard to read as it was broken into sections skipping between fath
Bay Jordan
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that is definitely worth reading. It certainly depicts times and incidents that show humanity in a very poor light, and that make for uncomfortable and disturbing reading, but is probably better for doing so and countering the holocaust deniers. What is perhaps even more pertinent is that although the hero was Jewish, the book describes how others who disagreed with the Nazi philosophy or who weren't Aryan enoug, received the same treatment. Yet, despite the dark and dismal despai ...more
Sarah Stirrup
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story told in this book is a remarkable one that deserves so much recognision.

In 1945, David Hersch escaped a Death March not once, but twice. The journey he went through during that time was one of remarkable courage and hope. This is a story that deserves so much more recognition than it has.

The story was well written and had a lot of detail, though I feel at some points there was a bit too much unnecessary small details and anecdotes that took away from the rest of the story and would h
Donna Pingry
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Riveting story of one man's journey to understand the father who chose to share only the highlights of his escape from the Nazi's during World War II. Initially I thought the author was going to be content to retell his father's story. That would have been interesting enough but later the reader comes to realize that there was so much more to the authors father that he didn't know, that he hadn't asked, that he was afraid that he could never measure up to. Yes, the circumstances were unique. The ...more
Leigh Hurd
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great story - this is the third holocaust book I’ve read this year and while i really enjoyed and was very drawn to the other too (the tattooist of auschwitz was one) - I didn’t feel like they had the emotional connection that was warranted. They didn’t connect the stories to the suffering in a way that this story did. I really appreciated the son’s self reflecting on how he’d just not dug in with his father when he had the chance. It was so honest. And his fathers survival story is no ...more
Lin S.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story was amazing. This is probably the most information I have ever learned about that horrible period of time based on facts not fiction. The father describes his time in the concentration camps to his son and then time goes by and he passes away. The son matures and begins to realize that he wasn't attentive enough and is left with many unanswered questions and now it's too late. He decides to research and travel to fill in the blanks about his father's journey.

To those who are interest
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Yeah, another WWII story. (Probably bcuz it's the only thing I'm allowed to bring into the house rme.) But this one was a different perspective - a son tracing his father's steps from Hungary to various mines and forced labor camps and making discoveries not only about his father but himself along the way.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story

This is an interesting story of a Jewish man’s will to survive at a time when death surrounded him. I found the author’s personal story that runs concurrently slow and repetitive. I felt the writing suffered at these times and detracted from the quality of the story being told. I would recommend it if the reader can see passed these flaws.
Diane Mueller
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story of a young Jewish man who escaped the Nazi death march. Over sixty years later his son was able to visit and learn more about what his father went through during wwii.
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