Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps” as Want to Read:
Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,787 ratings  ·  303 reviews
Award-winning author Andrea Warren presents a life-changing story of a young boy's struggle for survival in a Nazi-run concentration camp. In this Robert F. Silbert Honor Book, narrated in the voice of Holocaust survivor Jack Mandelbaum, readers will glimpse the dark reality of life during the Holocaust, and how one boy made it out alive.

When twelve-year-old Jack Mandelbau
Paperback, 146 pages
Published September 17th 2002 by HarperCollins (first published March 1st 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Surviving Hitler, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Kelly The father died a month before the camps were liberated.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,787 ratings  ·  303 reviews

Sort order
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This history of one boy who survived the Nazi death camps is inspirational. What he went through was a living nightmare but he survives by learning not to hate. He felt hate would take his last remaining energy and destroy his soul. Never forget so we can prevent it from ever happening again.
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
There's always room for another book telling the story of a Holocaust survivor. This is a particularly nice one for young adults. It isn't too long or graphic, but still doesn't pull punches in sharing the experiences of 15-year-old Jack Mandelbaum.

Jack survived his time in concentrations camps for several reasons. He made good friends who gave him good advice and who helped him to laugh and keep his optimism going through his darkest days and moods of despair. His family was also a huge factor.
N_maryellen Rosenblum
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: info-bios
The book begins in pre-war Poland, with a fourteen-year-old Jack Mandelbaum living a very comfortable life with his family in the small town of Gdynia. The story takes us through the transformation of Poland from a peaceful European country to a place embroiled in the second World War. Jack changes from a happy-go-lucky teenager into a prisoner desperately trying to stay alive in multiple concentration camps. We vividly see the struggle for survival that Jack goes through on a daily basis.

The b
Lauren Hopkins
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't realize this was like, a young reader book, or whatever you want to call it. That's not why I rated it lower than I otherwise might have, because young readers should read about the Holocaust too. But I rated it a bit lower because I don't think Wikipedia existed when this came out but it basically reads like a Wiki entry with very little color or heart. The author interviewed Holocaust victim Jack Mandelbaum, and then just described his story in the most basic of ways, quoting Mandelba ...more
Mrs. Romaniuk
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
The story is about Jack Mandelbaum who grows up in Poland, on the Baltic Sea, with his parents, older sister, and younger brother. He enjoyed a joyful, rich childhood, full of adventures. This quickly came to an end as Hitler rose to power. His father sent the entire family to live in a small village with relatives, hoping this would help them stay safe while he took care of the family business. As further restrictions are imposed on the Jewish population, Jack begins to lose his fun-loving atti ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
surviving hitler is jack mandelbaum's story, a man who recollects his time at various concentration camps during world war 2 and how he made it out alive. it's written for younger readers, probably from grades 5-9, and so does not go into graphic detail for the most part. there are photos inside that show children in poland before the war, enjoying their childhood and having fun, and then photos of them inside the camps behind barbed wire fencing, peering out. it's devastating. all of it. there' ...more
Amanda Sweden
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was written in a well organized style. I have read many books that tell the stories of many who suffered and survived this horror, and yet every individual experience is so different and horrific still.
Margaret McGrath
a must read and if you have kids to its a perfect one for the kids to read to understand about the holocaust
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww11, holocaust
This book was targeted for the younger generation - 10 years old and up. I qualify. It's an easy and quick read about 140 pgs and double spaced. However, it is a darn good story thru the eyes of a teenager that survived - barely - the Nazi Death Camps.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Jack Mandelbaum is living the life of a carefree 12 year old boy in 1939 Poland when the Nazi occupation begins when he is separated from his family and sent to the Blechammer concentration camp.

This is a great non-fiction YA telling of the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps during WW-II. It is not overly graphic, but also does not pull any punches about the horrors the prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps suffered.

Jack survives his time in the camps in several ways.
The condition of
thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
"First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me"
- First They Came, Pastor Martin Niemoller

A poignant memoir of Jack Mandelbaum, a Holocaust
Eva Leger
I recently ordered this not knowing that it's intended for grade-school aged children. When I received it and started reading I was a little shocked. I can't imagine reading this myself at that age. I think if I were to hand this to a child in that age range it would have to depend on the child very, very much.
For a book aimed at children, this is certainly not hiding anything. I can't call it 'graphic' because it's not but it's startling nonetheless. The pictures, what Jack Mandelbaum saw and
Anne Hawn Smith
This is the story of an ordinary Jewish boy brought up in a town near the Polish border and caught up in Hitler's final solution. Early in Hitler's take over of Poland, he was given some very good advice which helped him survive. The most important was that he could do whatever he had to do and to not give in to hate. During a large part of the early years of Hitler's plan, Jack Mandelbaum was was sole breadwinner for his family. His father was taken away and they never heard from him again. Man ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A moving story following a boy through Nazi occupied Poland and several concentration camps.
Hayden Davis
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the beginning, Jack lived in his country. He thought life would be an easy adventure but as it says on the cover he has to survive Hitler. He is in his country but he has to leave because his father heard rumors that Glynda was going to be bombed. So he made his whole family move except for him because he had to keep a job and send money to his family. So they left to go there, grandpas. After that, they went there uncles and it was infested with lice.
Jacks father never sent the money. So,
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read a number of first-hand accounts of the Holocaust and experiences in the death camps and concentration camps, I'm always amazed at the recall from memory that authors are able to recount years later. This book by Andrea Warren about Jack Mandelbaum's life before WWII in Poland, during the war in various camps, and his life after the war looking for family survivors is one more testimonial about what the Nazis did to Jews and other "undesireables" in work and death camps. Jack provides ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nonfiction is not my preferred genre, so it should be no surprise that it’s one of the last genres I need to finish for my 40 book challenge. I had this book in my classroom library, so I figured I would give it a try.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read about the Holocaust, but this felt like a necessary reminder. It pulled me in because it was told from the perspective of a boy named Jack and felt like one person’s story rather than an informational book. Every time I read about the Holocaust
Susan Jackson
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Good holocaust story.
Mason Margherio
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is really good because it has a lot of information about what does on in a concentration camp. I think the author gave a lot of details of what goes on in a prisoner of the camp's mind. The major topic that the author focused on was the life of one prisoner in a concentration camp. Just being focused on one prisoner and his life, all the other prisoners go through the same exact stuff as him. I think the author was also trying to say in her writing that if we think our lives ar ...more
Alissa Parker
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: Surviving Hitler
Author: Andrea Warren
Genre: Nonfiction, Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
Theme(s): Holocaust, World War II
Opening line/sentence: Until he was twelve, Jack Mandelbaum assumed his life would always be a carefree adventure.
Brief Book Summary: Jack was twelve when his family left the city for the country side to escape the invading Nazi’s, but eventually they are captured. Jack was separated from his family and was sent the Blechhammer concentration camp. Jack’s determination to li
Gianna Parisi
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I highly recommend this book for all able readers. This is a heart wrenching biography of a 12 year old boy living through the worst period of history. I love the first chapter which introduces each member of Jack's family. We get to personally know his younger brother Jakob, his older sister Jazdina, his mom and his dad. We learned that they were a well off family in Poland genuinely loving and enjoying life and each other.
Until of course Hitlers Nazis came for them and their family. The first
Jordan Davidson
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: english-355
Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps
Andrea Warren
HarperCollins, 2002

Summary: This book is the true story of Jack Mandelbaum, one of the millions of Jews incarcerated in Hitler’s concentration camps as a part of his “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem.” When the book begins, Jack is a normal and happy kid living with his wealthy family in the beautiful seaside town of Gdynia. His mother and father are raising him, his older sister, and his younger brother with a love that borders on
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
What I liked about the book is that no matter what he never gave up and still kept fighting tell the very end. One of the examples that I like about the book is that. He chose not to hate that take a lot of guts to do especially if it toward a person who killed so many of his people and separated his family apart knowing that he would most likely never see any of them ever again. The only thing that I didn’t like about the book is that it took awhile for me to actually get into the book. I still ...more
Sierra Webber
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jack started his life normal he was a rich city boy and the family had a comfortable house, a house maid, and they all loved eachother very much. But soon world war two starts at first they wore not very concerned for they wore not very jewish. They only went to church one day of the year. But after nazis wore coming and bombs might come to their home. They decided to go to the country with their uncle but the dad stayed to finish some things up then he would come back to the family. And his sis ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who like history book about World War 2
Recommended to Mikendra by: Mrs. Rubin

Surviving Hitler is a book about a boy named Jack who lives in Poland and is trying to stay alive and protect his family. All was well until Germany was going to invade Poland so Jack, his sister, his brother, and his mom had to move to their grandpa’s further away from the border. Jack dad stayed at their house to close it down and close down their store. Jack’s dad was going to send clothing, food, water, money, and other thing they would need soon. After a while he would come and live with th
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-report
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Verret
Jack Mandelbaum never thought of himself as a Jew. He thought of himself as Polish – after all, only his grandfather was Jewish. But the fact that Jack was only partly Jewish made no difference to the Nazis. To them, he was all Jew.

He was only twelve years old when the war started so, although he was ostracized with the rest of the Jews and thrown into a ghetto, he was not required to do forced labor. Instead, he agreed to work shifts for the Nazis in place of the rich Jewish men who could pay h
Amanda Howell
Dec 04, 2013 added it
Shelves: libs-642
Junior Book Log: Informational
Recommending Source: Sibert Honor 2002

This book is a gripping tale of life or death for a young man who is caught up in Hitler's rein. He was dragged away from his family and placed in a concentration camp where he tries his hardest each and every day to survive. He fights for his life and knows deep in his heart that he will see his family again, no matter what the cost is. While he is trapped in the concentration camp he is forced to do grueling work and live in w
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I like the story because Jack never gave up. He didn’t let the mean words get to him and he played the game. He didn’t let Hitler win.
Jack Mandelbaum grew up in a Jewish home. When he was 14 he support his family by substituting for people who paid him to take their place in forced labor. After that Jack was send to the camps. His mom and brother Jakob didn’t go with him. After the war ended when he was 18, he decided to start over in America. He got married to Claudia and had seven c
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
Surviving Hitler by Andrea Warren
• Life story account
• Smaller black and white pictures with larger text.
• More shocking photos such as executions lining up, guns to the head of individuals.
• Dogs wearing muzzles accompanying stocky soliders that are patrolling the roads.
• Men kicking individuals and the hate in their eyes as doing so.
• Angelic Children in Auschwitz who look like a deer in headlights.
• Frail People who eat bread for seven days.
• Women being forced to work as hard as men cleanin
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • We Remember the Holocaust
  • Torn Thread
  • Run, Boy, Run
  • Tell Them We Remember: The Story of the Holocaust
  • Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust
  • Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Lost Childhood: A World War II Memoir
  • No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War
  • Survivors: True Stories of Children in the Holocaust
  • My Bridges of Hope
  • Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story
  • Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H. L. Hunley
  • Thanks to My Mother
  • Action Jackson
  • Lafayette and the American Revolution
  • The Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea
  • We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust
  • Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries
“I have known many survivors for whom the holocaust is the central them of their lives. They have no other. I have tried to live with tolerance and forgiveness as the theme of my life.

God have us the power to be good or evil. This is our choice. Because some pick evil, we must work together to recognize and stop it. But while we survivors may lead the change, we cannot do this alone. It must be the goal of all people. If we will join in this goal, then there is hope for humanity.”
More quotes…