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Bread or Death: Memories of My Childhood During and After the Holocaust

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The war brought about scarcities of just about everything...except misery.
"Alle raise," (everybody out), the German soldiers screamed as they pounded on our door with the butts of their rifles. And thus began a 4,500-mile journey from Poland through Russia and Siberia and eventually to Uzbekistan in Central Asia, as the author's family used bribery and darkness of night
Paperback, 258 pages
Published August 14th 2014 by Fifth Generation Press (first published August 13th 2014)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  165 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, world-war-ii
After hearing the author speak, I read the memoir which reads much like he talks. His blunt, plain-speaking style makes the experiences even more horrific. Kleinberg is quick to point out that those who survive do whatever it takes to live through a war. Historical sidebars in most chapters put his experiences within the context of the bigger war. This book is clearly designed as a teaching tool with a teacher's guide, book club discussion questions, a timeline, and a glossary. Photos, many from ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a tough and eye-opening read for me. I remember reading "The Diary of Anne Frank" when I was around 10 years old so I jumped at the chance to read another personal account of the Holocaust. I was struck by how much Mr. Kleinberg and his family's survival depended on sheer chance and luck. He really has a gift with writing and the book reads as if he is sitting across from you talking and not through the written word.
There were quite a few times where I just had to stop reading and just
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had the opportunity to meet with the author and hear some of his story depicted in this book. The book filled a lot of holes and I gained a better appreciation for what I was already aware of. I can't begin to imagine what the author or any other person during that time went though, but am eternally grateful for those that are able to share their experiences to the world. It is partially due to these memoirs that the Holocaust and its victims are not forgotten.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely amazing read. I have actually met Mr. Kleinberg in person, and you would have no idea that he ever experienced such hardship. I found his story to be both heart-wrenching and incredibly educational. This is also a story that could very easily be translated to film, and I really hope we see that happen someday.
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, ww2
It took me a little while to get into this one, but once I did, I was glad I'd stuck with it. Kleinberg wrote this account of his and his family's experiences during World War II to answer questions for his grandchildren. I've read many Holocaust memoirs and there was a lot here I'd never come across anywhere else, so I was left feeling I'd learned something significant about both the history and the workings of human nature. Strangely, after reading some of the most heartbreaking and shocking ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it
First thanks very much to either the author or the publishing house for selecting me to be a winner of the giveaway and sending me this book for free.

I wanted to like it a lot more than I did, as connection and emotion are important to me in books, films and music. I felt no emotional connection to the author, his parents and not very much over his experiences despite the fact that they were horrific and no child or adult should have to endure such dehumanization, hungry, brutality and fear,
May 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2, biographies
No memoir from this time is easy to read and this is no exception. The author's story is terribly heartbreaking. His family didn't go through the worst of the Nazi horrors, but surviving Soviet Russia wasn't much easier.
He writes from the point of the child that he was, but with the knowledge he gained as an adult. It makes the story easier to follow. It is very well written.
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an average read. I was trying to step outside the box and read something a little different. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. And despite what I originally thought, this book didn't provoke a lot of emotion from me. It is a great historical piece.
I've read a lot of Holocaust memoirs but this would not be at the top of my list. I did learn a few new things about that horrible time, so for that, I am glad that I read this ebook.
Rebecca Hill
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The journey that Milton Kleinberg takes us is one of survival and danger. At a young age, he and his family were forced to relocate, simply because of their faith, during World War II. Born in Poland, he grew up knowing a life of hunger, fear, and fighting to survive from day to day.
As they journeyed through the Siberian landscape, their father left the train one day to look for food, and never returned. Milton's mother did the best she could, caring for three little boys, doing her best to keep
Mary Tuttle
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It is hard to give a "star" rating to a holocaust memoir. Someone's experiences can't be rated against other people's experiences. The story was compelling.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Great book with lots of lessons learned. Quite different in the early days. I really liked to see a happy ending.
Donald T Taylor
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not a difficult read grammatically. Emotionally, a different story.
Leah K
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I always have trouble rating and reviewing such books. How can I decide how good someone's personal experience and thoughts are about such a tragic part in history? Thumbs up for anyone who can share their experience and keep history alive, I say.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook
I love memoirs and this was truly sad at many times, yet so inspirational, but that's how life can be & the author was a survivor that wanted to tell his story for his grandchildren

It's not your typical story of Nazi Germany, but it's HIS story as a young Polish-Jewish boy at the time of WW II with his family heading to Russia & Russian labor camps

The family started on the journey from their home in Poland, when woken up in the night to start lining up for where they would be going.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such a gripping book! I could not put it down- so powerful. Thank you Milton for your story.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
I won Bread or Death from Goodreads giveaways and Concierge Marketing Book Publishing, so THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
First off my thoughts go out to anyone who was in the Holocaust, those whom have survived and those that did not. I am always fascinated by all the different stories of WWII, most people think of just the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Germans, I knew little of the other aspects to this war. The Soviet Union's part they played is one such thing I have never explore. That
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Bread or Death is Milton Mendel Kleinbergs memoir of his experiences as a Polish Jew during and in the aftermath of World War II. I have read a lot of stories about Polish Jews being rounded up by the Germans into ghettos and then deported to concentration camps. However, prior to reading this book, I did not realize that some Polish Jews ended up as prisoners of war in Russia. Mendels story shed a light on the
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of Bread or Death Memories of my Childhood During and After the Holocaust by Milton Mendel Kleinberg in exchange for an honest review. This book is a memoir that Milton Mendel Kleinberg, who began his life with the name Mendel Dawedowicz, wrote so that his grandchildren and future generations would know his story and never forget that the Holocaust happened. I am so glad he decided to share his story with others beside his family. His experience during the Holocaust was ...more
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I felt that this book did an excellent job of portraying the barbarity of war and of the Holocaust through vivid imagery and narrative. It became very clear throughout the course of the book the depths to which people could fall in times of desperation, so that an eight-year-old boy could end up in a situation where he could stab an adult man with a knife in order to save his friend. While at times the language
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Such a beautifully written book! I was lucky enough to receive this as a free First Read. I have always been interested in the Holocaust as we were Jewish descendants. Most of my relatives were killed and the few who survived were unwilling to talk about it.
Thank You for not letting anybody forget!
Truly gives a vivid picture of what true horrors that occurred under Hitlers regime.
I would suggest this book as a class room history and this did happen.
I can say I cried as the author described the
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is very readable, told in a conversational voice and from the viewpoint of a child - not an adult looking back. While not a whitewash of events, the various events are related in a gentle manner. Mr Kleinberg, after all, initially wrote it for his grandchildren. It can be shared with older children. I certainly plan to share it with my friends and their children.

Mr Kleinbergs childhood was upturned by the Nazis (may their names be blotted out). However, instead of spending the war
Cj Zawacki
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We often think As German Concentration Camp during WWII, yet many Jews were re-located to Russia at the start of the conflict. This is the story of a family taken from Poland and moved to a camp in Uzbekistan. It is the story of MILTON MENDEL KLEINBERG at the young age of three: removed from his family dwelling and sent on a three month train trip to Russia by Nazi soldiers. Escaping a more horrible existence then the Death Camps, but none the less losing much of his family, none the less.

Glorianne Roccanova
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
this is the second book that i won in a goodreads giveaway. i have read many books on the holocaust. i have friends whose parents were tattoed. my father was a witness. while this wasn't the best book i read about the holocaust. but i am happy to have another person write their story down, for the father always told me, don't believe when people say it didn't did....he saw it with his own eyes....
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mr. Kleinberg, a fellow Omahan, wanted his grandchildren to understand his childhood, so he wrote this book. He is Jewish, was born in Poland, and lived through the Holocaust. I don't want to give any more of the story away, but would encourage others to read it ... especially our privileged American children who can't conceive of this childhood.
Shannon Mcgarrity
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody
I received this book through Giveaways, and I am grateful.
I learned more about the holocaust than I previously knew. I was unaware of the Russian side of this terrible event. I am happy that Mr. Kleinberg wrote this book as it is a record of events that I have not before heard of. I could not put the book down and enjoyed reading it. It is very educating and moving.
Polly Krize
Aug 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Surviving unimaginable hardship and loss, Mr. Mendel writes of his family's desperate journey out of Poland into Russia and forced labor camps during World War II. A truly touching memoir, and a sharp reminder that we must never let this happen again, in any form.
Eileen Hall
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very harrowing memoir of the plight of a Jewish family during the very dark days of Nazi atrocities.
It is an account of their journey from their home in Poland, eventually ending up in Uzbekistan.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Concierge Marketing via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely amazing read. I have actually met Mr. Kleinberg in person, and you would have no idea that he ever experienced such hardship. I found his story to be both heart-wrenching and incredibly educational. This is also a story that could very easily be translated to film, and I really hope we see that happen someday.
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Milton M. Kleinberg is Chairman and CEO of Senior Market Sales, Inc., an Omaha-based insurance marketing company that provides insurance solutions for an aging America. The company was founded in 1982. Under his leadership, the company has thrived in an ever-evolving senior market by staying on the cutting edge of technology, developing products to meet a changing marketplace, and devising ...more

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