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Remember Us: My Journey from the Shtetl Through the Holocaust
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Remember Us: My Journey from the Shtetl Through the Holocaust

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  896 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Remember Us is a look back at the lost world of the shtetl: a wise Zayde offering prophetic and profound words to his grandson, the rich experience of Shabbos, and the treasure of a loving family. All this is torn apart with the arrival of the Holocaust, beginning a crucible fraught with twists and turns so unpredictable and surprising that they defy any attempt to find re ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Skyhorse (first published May 20th 2008)
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 ·  896 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best Holocaust books I've ever read. The author, Vic Shayne, really was able to bring out Martin Small's experience. Instead of focusing on the horrors of the camps, as do most of the books in this genre, Shayne made a very good decision to bring us the feeling of what life was like in the shtetl. Without this perspective we never could imagine the depth of what was lost with the murder and ruination of the Jews of Eastern Europe.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the author,
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible book that I'd never heard of. I bought it on Bookbub for two or three dollars, and it is a bargain, to say the least. This memoir of the near-death and subsequent life of a mensch from a city that had disputed ownership over the centuries by Poland and Russia, is extremely moving and a factual account of how a person who considered himself "99 percent dead" after time in the Mauthausen concentration camp was able to survive and become a heroic person, no longer afraid of de ...more
Randell Green
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Intense memoir capturing the horrors of the Holocaust. Overcame one tragedy after another and contains one unbelievable and remarkable twist. 🇵🇱 🇵🇱 🇵🇱
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A tough read but a story that had to be told.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-biography
What an amazing book. The first 1/3 of the book is happy memories from Mr. Small's childhood. I learned more about Jewish life and customs from this book than I have any other sources.

The second third of this book is absolutely heartbreaking. It tells of his family's murder and his experiences running from the Nazis and surviving the hell of Mauthausen concentration camp. I had to put the book down in the middle and ground myself, it was so awful - he says he left out the brutal details, I can't
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a different kind of Holocaust Survival story. Yes, Mr. Small discusses some of the awful things that happened to him and his family during the Holocaust, but this book was more than that. This book was really broken into three parts. Before, during, and after the Holocaust.

The before section included wonderful descriptions of his town/Shtetl, his religion, traditions, family, friends. This part really gave the reader a glimpse of things lost. For Mr. Small it serves as documentation for
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost unbelievable.

I struggle with what to say about this book. Difficult to read, yes, but very good. I will be thinking about it for a long time, I’m certain. My main thought right now, having just finished it, is that I am so grateful Martin Small took the time to record his story. His descriptions of his childhood and adolescence in Poland were so vivid that I felt I could imagine the scenes. His miraculous survival and all that he went through during the Holocaust... simply mind-blowing. I
Carol Lieberman
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impact of the Holocaust Again

I was an American Jewish child during the great war. My relatives, all first generation immigrants from European Jewish homes, had enlisted in the armed forces. At home I went to Hebrew school, I was a Jew, but did not know all that as a 76 year old, I know now. I never fully understood the passion for Israel as I do know. Martin Small looms large to me and his story is so vivid I can never forget. It is a must read for any Jew at least in this current Israeli turmoi
Rose Gipp
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unique perspective

I have read several bios of this time period, and this book is quite a different view than I am used to reading. It was still good, informative, well written...just different.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never forget

I will never forget this book. it had a constant pull on me till I finished it. It gave me a great perspective on the Holocaust.
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a number of books about the Holocaust over the years beginning about the year 1960 when as a highschooler I had an opportunity to work part time at a Jewish community center located in northwest Detroit. As a young thoroughly educated Catholic girl, the Jewish culture was a source of constant humor and a sarcastic sort of optimism. As well, I had the honor of meeting several men and a woman who had survived the Holocaust and were willing, in guarded terms, to share some of their expe ...more
I read a lot about the Holocaust , but this was one of the best ever. The writing is beautiful and pulls you right into it. I love that a big chunk of the book was not about the Holocaust but the time before. It gives you a sense of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, before Hitler, when there was a stable rich culture and a tight knit loving community. It is important that we know what was lost as well as how it was lost.

The section actually about the Nazi take over, the concentration camps, etc is
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I have read a lot of books about the Holocaust mainly because I think it is important that we never forget that awful time in history. I picked this book up on Bookbub and am so glad I did.

Remember Us was about the personal journey of Martin Small who was a Jewish Holocaust survivor. I was rivited to his story from beginning to end and as I sit here writing I have an almost overwhelming feeling of sadness as I think about his story. To imagine how this man lived his life day in and day out with
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best, most emotional books I have ever read. We have all read or heard about both WW2 and concentration camps (or at least I hope so), but generally from an American perspective.

This is the first book I've read that focuses on a Polish Jew's life leading up to and following that horror. I think there were maybe 10 pages dedicated to Mauthausen.

There's an almost Forrest Gump quality to this man's life, and yet there was only another ten pages dedicated to his participation in
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Harrowing and rich in its depth; the book chose to portray the rich shtetl life, and then the deep horror of the killings by the Nazis and by the protagonist's family's Polish neighbors, some counted as friends for many years. The good people, the depths of human slime, the sudden saviors. It goes on to the unbelievable world of Mauthausen Concentration Camp; I read the daily life and remember in a badly recalled quote, "we should read not to understand, but to know that we can never understand. ...more
Linda Rollins
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the Top 10 Holocaust Memoirs In My Collection!

As a little girl, I read The Diary of Anne Frank, and I have not stopped reading every Holocaust story, book, memoir or material I could. If you finish reading one and there are no words, then you know that it is a good one. This book truly honored the victim's family in such a beautiful way. The tragedy is unimaginable. While not giving away any spoilers, the way the author crossed paths with liberators was nothing short of miraculous. His ac
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Based on his memories of a 91-year-old survivor of the Holocaust, Martin Small recounts his childhood in a loving Polish Jewish family that is destroyed by the arrival of Hitler’s armies. Martin ends up in a work camp, then escapes to take part in resistance the movement, then is caught and sent to Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The books also covers his life after the war in a displaced person’s camp, also horrific, and something I knew little about. Ultimately, Martin ends up in New York, wher ...more
helen francis
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Martin Small

An extraordinary book of a holocaust survivor. What does this mean ( holo - combining form) (caust - a burnt offering, destruction, or slaughter). I won’t give up any part of his story because you should all read it. Not only did Martin Small go through a hellish living nightmare, but he also helped implement a home for all Jews to live in peace without persecution. He is a hero that was meant to survive. READ IT.
Mary P. McGrath
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will remember

A book that cannot be closed. This story is one that should be on the Must Read list in every school, library, magazine and other periodicals. Mr. Smalls story must be read and understood to prevent another holocaust from happening. This must never happen again.
Dan Cotter
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the very moving account of Martin’s life. Three phases or periods are covered- growing up, the Holocaust and his harrowing experience, and his life after surviving. I don’t remember who recommended this book but it is such a powerful story and the way it is told. I highly recommend this book.
Thomas Osburn
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and touching story

This book shows us the amazing rich life torn apart by evil, driven by determination and rescued by bravery to pursue a new life. The horrors of the Holocaust will renew ones commitment to fight bigotry.
Karin Bright
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

From start to finish this story was so powerful. From a childhood filled with a rich cultural and Family heritage to an ending that was truly inspiring, Martin Small's story will never be forgotten by anyone who reads this incredible book!
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
We learn of one man's journey from a Hebrew scholar in eastern Poland through the Holocaust and into the modern era. We feel his pain for what has been lost and destroyed in Eastern European Jewish customs and life. As we lose the survivors this is one piece that keeps their memory alive.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal report on the Holocaust. Poignant. Horrific.

Beyond words. This account covers a wide range of Holocaust experiences. It’s well-written, easy to read but the sections on concentration camps are not for youth.
Abby Woods
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Even though this book was helpful in my research and helped understand the Shtetl life, it was a little difficult to read. I felt that the author was writing from a place of complete anger and frustration. I understand why this would be the case but the tone was distracting.
W. Douglas Schellig
S disturbing account of a most impossible survival life

Martin Smalls memories will touch the heart of all the tragic who read this. A remarkable story of survival of human spirit in the most hideous sort. A most readable document of courage .
jo c leightner
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. A very spiritual nugget at the end of the book.
Joan Clemente
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moving, personal story

Everyone should read this book. We need to remember. We need to never let something like this ever happen again. Current political trends are scary.....
Dana Hortick
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to put into words

A truly heartbreaking and incredible story of survival. From happiness to tears and back this story reminds us to never forget.
Sharon Parish
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a slightly different experience where it takes you through his life.
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“In the preceding pages, to paraphrase the words of Auschwitz survivor, writer, and Nobel Prize recipient Elie Wiesel, we share Martin Small’s personal journey not so that you will understand but so that you will know you can never understand.” 0 likes
“This last war had sobered us to certain realities. The Holocaust, if nothing else, taught us that we could never again allow others to define for us who we are. The Jewish people would at long last create an image built on strength, resolve, respect, and self-determination. For as long as we stayed in Europe, living in DP camps, refused entrance to nations all over the world, and living without dignity, we would remain Hitler’s victims. We were tired of being victims and survivors.We wanted to be creators and contributors, fathers and mothers. I” 0 likes
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