On May 13, 1939, the luxury liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, one of the last ships to leave Nazi Germany before World War II erupted. Aboard were 937 Jews—some had already been in concentration camps—who believed they had bought visas to enter Cuba. The voyage of the damned had begun.
Before the St. Louis was halfway across the Atlantic, a power struggle ensued between the corrupt Cuban immigration minister who issued the visas and his superior, President Bru. The outcome: The refugees would not be allowed to land in Cuba.
In America, the Brown Shirts were holding Nazi rallies in Madison Square Garden; anti-Semitic Father Coughlin had an audience of fifteen million. Back in Germany, plans were being laid to implement the final solution. And aboard the St. Louis, 937 refugees awaited the decision that would determine their fate.
Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts have re-created history in this meticulous reconstruction of the voyage of the St. Louis. Every word of their account is true: the German High Command’s ulterior motive in granting permission for the “mission of mercy;” the confrontations between the refugees and the German crewmen; the suicide attempts among the passengers; and the attitudes of those who might have averted the catastrophe, but didn’t.
In reviewing the work, the New York Times was unequivocal: “An extraordinary human document and a suspense story that is hard to put down. But it is more than that. It is a modern allegory, in which the SS St. Louis becomes a symbol of the SS Planet Earth. In this larger sense the book serves a greater purpose than mere drama.”
Painstakingly researched, the story behind the decision to send the Enola Gay to bomb Hiroshima is told through firsthand sources. From diplomatic moves behind the scenes to Japanese actions and the US Army Air Force’s call to action, no detail is left untold.
Touching on the early days of the Manhattan Project and the first inkling of an atomic bomb, investigative journalist Gordon Thomas and his writing partner Max Morgan-Witts, take WWII enthusiasts through the training of the crew of the Enola Gay and the challenges faced by pilot Paul Tibbets.
A page-turner that offers “minute-by-minute coverage of the critical periods” surrounding the mission, Enola Gay finally separates myth and reality from the planning of the flight to the moment over Hiroshima when the atomic age was born (Library Journal).
These agencies rank as two of the oldest and most powerful in the world, and Thomas's wide-sweeping history chronicles a century of both triumphs and failures. He recounts the roles that British intelligence played in the Allied victory in World War II; the postwar treachery of Great Britain's own agents; the defection of Soviet agents and the intricate process of "handling" them; the often frigid relationship that both agencies have had with the CIA, European spy services, and the Mossad; the cooperation between the British and Americans in the search for Osama bin Laden; and the ways in which MI5 and MI6 have fought biological warfare espionage and space terrorism.
All told, this is the story of two agencies led by men---and women---who are enigmatic, eccentric, and controversial, and who ruthlessly control their spies. Based on prodigious research and interviews with significant players from inside the British intelligence community, this is a rich and even delicious history packed with intrigue and information that only the author could have attained.
100 years old in August 2009, this is a complete and up-to-date account of the two oldest and still the most powerful, secretive intelligence services in the world: MI5, the security service, and MI6, the secret intelligence service. This is a story of spectacular triumphs, treachery, their frigid relationship, their untold work with the CIA, Mossad and the spy services of Europe, and their part in the fight against terror. It is also the story of two agencies led by men who are enigmatic, eccentric and controversial and who ruthlessly control their spies. From the unique partnership between Mossad and MI6, how MI5 and MI6 became a breeding ground for Soviet spies post-war, their exploitation of the collapse of the Soviet Union and their role in biological warfare, and including how both services monitor the spies of every nation based in London, it reads like fiction. But itÕs not.
Based on prodigious research and interviews with significant players Inside British Intelligence is packed with new and startling information.
Gordon Thomas is a bestselling author of 40 books published worldwide, a number dealing with the intelligence world, including GideonÕs Spies and Secrets and Lies (both JR Books). His awards include the Citizens Commission for Human Rights Lifetime Achievement Award for Investigative Journalism, the Mark Twain Society Award for Reporting Excellence, and an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Investigation. He lives in Ireland.
The Vatican has remained one of the last unexamined mysteries of the modern world. For centuries, pomp and pageantry have hidden from view the dramatic, sometimes sinister, realities that haunt the office of Supreme Pontiff and the men who make up his papacy. Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts now bring their tremendous investigative talent to this most secret of institutions, offering us an unrivaled portrait and day-to-day account of the lives, personalities, and relationships of the three most recent popes: an equally fine account of the hour-by-hour deliberations of the closely guarded conclaves at which two popes were elected in the fateful year of 1978; and a remarkable rendering of the concrete issues facing the institutional papacy—in foreign affairs, economic matters, and the human factor—the highly individual ambitions, loyalties, and hatreds that characterize the men and women who serve the Holy Father.
The result is a book that is ahead of the world’s headlines, a book that makes headlines of its own. Not only have the authors brought the world of the Vatican into the open, their sleuthing has uncovered several major news stories. Pontiff includes a day-to-day account of the assassination attempt by Mehmet Ali Agca upon John Paul II: Agca’s history and family, his right-wing political connections, his activities and jailing in Turkey, his escape from jail aided by the KGB, his movements through terrorist training camps in Libya and Syria, and a complete investigation of the Bulgarian connection that led to the shooting in St. Peter’s Square. Here, also, is the story of John Paul II’s involvement with the creation of Solidarity in Poland, and his almost-daily secret contacts with Lech Walesa, as well as the unprecedented letter to Brezhev threatening his resignation from the papal throne. In addition, owing to the authors’ intricate web of connections at the Vatican (including many cardinals), the book contains previously unknown information about the man entrusted with the Church’s money, Paul Marcinkus, and his relationship with the shadowy Michele Sindona. Pontiff is a fascinating revelation of a world previously unknown to us, and an intimate view of a few men in Rome trying to lead an increasingly unwilling world to their own vision of salvation.
The first complete book on the Tiananmen Square tragedy reveals how diplomats from the United States, Britain, and Europe knew exact details of the impending massacre of the students in Tiananmen. In a vivid narrative window into secret meetings in the Oval Office, CIA headquarters, and the private compound of China’s leaders, more than one hundred interviewees contribute to an untold story.
Chaos Under Heaven reveals America and the West’s betrayal of the children of China, who, for a brief moment in history, brought democracy to their homeland. In this stunning book, Gordon Thomas takes readers inside the tragic drama of those fifty-five days when the young people of China, crying out for freedom, rebelled against the old men of the Long March.
At stake were America’s and the world’s roles in the future of China. Once castigated by Karl Marx as a “carefully preserved mummy in a hermetically sealed coffin,” China has become the superpower of the Pacific. As the students’ demand for democracy escalated, the Western nations realized that their carefully cultivated ambitions for China were at risk. Their goal was to preserve the status quo.
In late April 1902, Mount Pelée, a volcano on the Caribbean island Martinique, began to wake up. It emitted clouds of ash and smoke for two weeks until violently erupting on May 8. Over 30,000 residents of St. Pierre were killed; they burned to death under rivers of hot lava and suffocated under pounds of hot ash. Only three people managed to survive: a prisoner trapped in a dungeon-like jail cell, a man on the outskirts of town, and a young girl found floating unconscious in a boat days later.
So how did a town of thousands not heed the warnings of nature and local scientists, instead staying behind to perish in the onslaught of volcanic ash? Why did the newspapers publish articles assuring readers that the volcano was harmless? And why did the authorities refuse to allow the American Consul to contact Washington about the conditions? The answer lies in politics: With an election on the horizon, the political leaders of Martinique ignored the welfare of their people in order to consolidate the votes they needed to win.
A gripping and informative book on the disastrous effects of a natural disaster coupled with corruption, The Day the World Ended reveals the story of a city engulfed in flames and the political leaders that chose to kill their people rather than give up their political power.
In the early morning hours of September 8, 1934, the luxury cruise liner Morro Castle, carrying 316 passengers and 230 officers and crew, caught fire a few hours out of the New York harbor on a return voyage from Havana. The fire spread with terrifying swiftness, transforming the ship into a blazing inferno. One hundred thirty-four people died that night—was it an accident?
Writers Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts prove that the disaster was no accident, but was planned, meticulously and deliberately, by an officer of the Morro Castle. His name: George White Rogers, chief radio officer. They also prove that Rogers was responsible for the death of the captain, who was poisoned several hours before the fire broke out.
Shipwreck is a spellbinding moment-by-moment account of the Morro Castle’s last voyage, and one of the most spectacular disasters to stir the Atlantic Ocean. Through interviews with survivors, rescuers, and investigators, the authors detail a desperate investigation and the search for a mass murderer. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the buildup of World War II, Shipwreck is a sweeping tale of personal heroism, tragedy, and murder.
- Mossad's secret meeting in 2013 with Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief to plan for Israel to use Saudi to attack Iran should the Geneva discussion fail to be honored by Iran.
- The attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor that will be the flight path to an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
- Mossad's new cyber-war unit preparing to launch its own pre-emptive strike.
- Why Mossad's former director, Meir Dagan, has spoken out against an attack on Iran.
- Mossad agents who operate in the "Dark Side" of the internet to track terrorists.
- Mossad's drone and its first killing.
- Mossad's role in the defense of Israel's Embassy in Cairo during the Arab Spring.
- An introduction to Mossad's new director, Tamir Pardo.
These and other stunning details combine to give Gideon's Spies the sense of urgency and relevance that is characteristic of truly engrossing nonfiction.
In the aftermath of the 1990–1991 Gulf War, Mossad agent David Morton has carte blanche to stop terrorist Khalil Raza from releasing a form of anthrax capable of wiping out millions in minutes.
A megalomaniac terrorist holds the world hostage, threatening to poison every major city with a deadly virus. He has the means—a lethal poison—and demonstrates its potency by adding a small vial of it to the drinking water in a small South African town, killing all of the inhabitants. With only seven days to meet his demands, the world’s leaders call on David Morton, a brilliant and ruthless Mossad agent. The result is a tense global chase, leading from China to Athens, London, Libya, South Africa, Tel Aviv, and New York, drawing good and evil closer and closer in a battle to the death.
Deadly Perfume penetrates the real world of intelligence-gathering to reveal its secret subculture, with its hidden loyalties and agendas. In David Morton, Gordon Thomas has imagined a world so terrifyingly real that it poses the question, Is it imagined at all?
It happened at 5:13 a.m. on April 18, 1906, in San Francisco. To this day, it remains one of the worst natural disasters in American history—and this definitive book brings the full story to vivid life.
Using previously unpublished documents from insurance companies, the military, and the Red Cross, as well as the stories of those who were there, The San Francisco Earthquake exposes villains and heroes; shows how the political powers tried to conceal the amount of damage caused by the earthquake; reveals how efforts to contain the fire actually spread it instead; and tells how the military executed people without trial. It also features personal stories of people who experienced it firsthand, including the great Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, the banker Amadeo Giannini, the writer-adventurer Jack London, the temperamental star John Barrymore, and the thousands of less famous in their struggle for survival.
From the authors of The Day the Bubble Burst, The San Francisco Earthquake is not only “gripping, can’t-put-it-down reading,” but an important look at how the city has handled catastrophe in the past—and how it may handle it in the future (Los Angeles Herald Examiner).
A riveting living history about Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929. Captures the era, the intoxicating expectancy, the hope that ruled men’s heart and minds before the bubble burst and the black despair of the decade that followed.
Accused of being "silent" during the Holocaust, Pope Pius XII and the Vatican of World War II are now exonerated in Gordon Thomas's newest investigative work, The Pope's Jews. Thomas's careful research into new, first-hand accounts reveal an underground network of priests, nuns and citizens that risked their lives daily to protect Roman Jews.
Investigating assassination plots, conspiracies, and secret conversions, Thomas unveils faked documentation, quarantines, and more extraordinary actions taken by Catholics and the Vatican. The Pope's Jews finally answers the great moral question of the War: Why did Pope Pius XII refuse to condemn the genocide of Europe's Jews?
In The Jesus Conspiracy, skilled journalist and novelist Gordon Thomas offers a thoughtful account of the life of Jesus in a gripping “you are there” fashion. By pairing current archaeological and anthropological discoveries, Thomas reveals a startling vision of Christ. This modern dramatization brings the social and cultural world of the first century to life for the contemporary reader and leads to some surprising conclusions.
Whether you are a spiritual seeker or a seasoned Christian, this book will enable you to know more about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.
David Morton and his new Hammer Force—an intelligence agency created by the United Nations after the carnage in Bosnia—have a formidable task. To avert a world crisis, they must win a deadly, invisible battle for control of the mind of the president of the United States. The weapon they must destroy is born of the technology that brought victory in the Gulf War and supremacy in space for an America that is no longer master of all it surveys. Created by the former Soviet Union’s most brilliant scientist, Professor Igor Tamasara, the weapon is designed to trigger responses in the president’s mind—responses that will bring the United States and Japan into conflict . . . and will lead to World War III. From that conflict, Tamasara’s new paymaster—China—will emerge as the superpower of the twenty-first century.
Set against the background of Washington, Beijing, and Hong Kong, this highly original and totally credible futuristic thriller builds to a climax of nail-biting suspense. Once more showing an astonishing command of the inner workings of international politics and the world of secret intelligence, Gordon Thomas has created a first-rate work of fiction featuring unforgettable characters. At center stage is David Morton, and in Voices in the Silence, Morton’s role as the “James Bond of the 1990s” is firmly established, as is Gordon Thomas’s reputation as a thriller writer of quality.
After the collapse of the Soviet Empire, a military troika is in power. Suspicious of the West and fearful of the Muslim fanatics in the East, the troika plans to ensure that the Republic of Russia emerges as a military superpower. In Rome, a very different plan preoccupies Pope Nicholas VI: to unite all the faiths and bring to the world a peace and stability it has never known. But Nicholas is dying from a brain tumor. It is to Julius Enkomo, South Africa’s first black cardinal, that Pope Nicholas turns, entrusting him with a crucial, secret mission.
In California, the pastor of the Church of True Belief, the reverend Edward Kingdom, uses his satellite to spread global hatred. But the threat of Wong Lee is the most sinister of all. Head of the world’s largest conglomerate, he is powerful beyond belief.
Using a mosaic of shard-like details, each meticulously exact, this extraordinary novel explores the dark, turbulent forces that Morton must overcome if he is to destroy the cynical alliance around him. Already compared to Ian Fleming and John le Carré, in Godless Icon, Gordon Thomas confirms his reputation as a novelist of stature.
“... Thank you for your very frank, very well written book. You have done a real service by letting the ones who are now silent and most forgotten speak ...With best regards and wishes, — A. Einstein.”
“This book is a horrifying, but necessary, reminder of one of the ugliest chapters in the history of human civilisation. Passionate, tormenting’”—New York Herald-Tribune
“It is a picture of utter hell”—Saturday Review of Literature
In 1943, with Lvov's 150,000 Jews having been exiled, killed, or forced into ghettos and facing extermination, a group of Polish Jews daringly sought refuge in the city's sewer system. The last surviving member this group, Krystyna Chiger, shares one of the most intimate, harrowing and ultimately triumphant tales of survival to emerge from the Holocaust. The Girl in the Green Sweater is Chiger's harrowing first-person account of the fourteen months she spent with her family in the fetid, underground sewers of Lvov.
The Girl in the Green Sweater is also the story of Leopold Socha, the group's unlikely savior. A Polish Catholic and former thief, Socha risked his life to help Chiger's underground family survive, bringing them food, medicine, and supplies. A moving memoir of a desperate escape and life under unimaginable circumstances, The Girl in the Green Sweater is ultimately a tale of intimate survival, friendship, and redemption.
—General Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Army, ret.; author of My Share of the Task
June 5, 1967. The nineteen-year-old state of Israel is surrounded by enemies who want nothing less than her utter extinction. The Soviet-equipped Egyptian Army has massed a thousand tanks on the nation’s southern border. Syrian heavy guns are shelling her from the north. To the east, Jordan and Iraq are moving mechanized brigades and fighter squadrons into position to attack. Egypt’s President Nasser has declared that the Arab force’s objective is “the destruction of Israel.” The rest of the world turns a blind eye to the new nation’s desperate peril.
June 10, 1967. The Arab armies have been routed, ground divisions wiped out, air forces totally destroyed. Israel’s citizen-soldiers have seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan. The land under Israeli control has tripled. Her charismatic defense minister, Moshe Dayan, has entered the Lion’s Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem to stand with the paratroopers who have liberated Judaism’s holiest site—the Western Wall, part of the ruins of Solomon’s temple, which has not been in Jewish hands for nineteen hundred years.
It is one of the most unlikely and astonishing military victories in history.
Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with veterans of the war—fighter and helicopter pilots, tank commanders and Recon soldiers, paratroopers, as well as women soldiers, wives, and others—bestselling author Steven Pressfield tells the story of the Six Day War as you’ve never experienced it before: in the voices of the young men and women who battled not only for their lives but for the survival of a Jewish state, and for the dreams of their ancestors.
By turns inspiring, thrilling, and heartbreaking, The Lion’s Gate is both a true tale of military courage under fire and a journey into the heart of what it means to fight for one’s people.
The Holocaust, in which 11 million people died, was the largest atrocity of the 20th century and perhaps the hardest to understand. Approximately 6 million Jews and 5 million others including Roma people, Poles, Russian prisoners of war, political prisoners, homosexuals, people of colour, Jehovah's Witnesses, and various other minorities were first persecuted and then murdered.
How, both morally and logistically, had this came to happen? From received sentiments of anti-Semitism at the beginning of the 20th century, through the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, to the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 and finally Second World War, the victimisation of these minorities intensified beyond precedent. With the complicity of a nation hatred became policy. Under the control of sadists, bureaucrats and even ordinary soldiers, irrational acts were then enacted on an industrial scale, and with the use of concentration camps, Western Europe witnessed its most shocking treatment of humanity in modern history.
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In January 1943, unable to flee Germany, the four members of the Arndt family went underground to avoid deportation to Auschwitz. Ellen Lewinsky and her mother, Charlotte, joined them; a year later, Bruno Gumpel arrived. Hiding in a small factory near Hitler’s bunker, without identification cards or food-ration stamps, they were dependent on German strangers for survival.
When Russian soldiers finally rescued the group in April 1945, the families were near death from starvation. But their will to live triumphed and two months later, four of the survivors—Erich Arndt and Ellen Lewinsky, and Ruth Arndt and Bruno Gumpel—reunited in a double wedding ceremony.
Survival in the Shadows chronicles the previously untold story of the largest group of German Jews to have survived hiding in Berlin through the final and most deadly years of the Holocaust.
Relayed to Barbara Lovenheim by three survivors from the group, the riveting story is a touching portrayal of the bravery of these seven Jews, and a heartfelt acknowledgment of the fortitude and humanity of the compassionate Germans who kept them alive.
Our Crime Was Being Jewish contains 576 vivid memories of 358 Holocaust survivors. These are the true, insider stories of victims, told in their own words. They include the experiences of teenagers who saw their parents and siblings sent to the gas chambers; of starving children beaten for trying to steal a morsel of food; of people who saw their friends commit suicide to save themselves from the daily agony they endured. The recollections are from the start of the war—the home invasions, the Gestapo busts, and the ghettos—as well as the daily hell of the concentration camps and what actually happened inside.
Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and this hefty collection of stories told by its survivors is one of the most important books of our time. It was compiled by award-winning author Anthony S. Pitch, who worked with sources such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to get survivors’ stories compiled together and to supplement them with images from the war. These memories must be told and held onto so what happened is documented; so the lives of those who perished are not forgotten—so history does not repeat itself.
Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. J. Simpson. We have also published survivor stories of World War II, memoirs about overcoming adversity, first-hand tales of adventure, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
The little-known story of the disasters that immediately struck when America pressured Israel to divide “God’s land.” Here is the record of America's treatment of Israel, and God's quick response.
• The American industrialist honored by Hitler for promoting American anti-Semitism.
• The Nazi camp in New York wiped out by God with a monster storm after a 40,000-person Nazi rally.
• The Jewish merchants who helped fund and supply the American Revolution at their own expense.
• The Jewish friend whom George Washington called for help, when one more battle would win the war, but the war chest was empty.
• The U.S. President who died suddenly after promising the Arabs there would be no State of Israel without their approval.
• The U.S. President who ordered, “Whatever it takes, save Israel!” and a massive military support operation was sent when Israel faced defeat by the Arabs.
• The four U.S. Presidents who betrayed Israel, and saw America immediately ravaged by increasingly costly disasters.
Each President, whether you love him or hate him, makes a decision regarding Israel . . . and there are consequences!
America’s future leaders (teens and young adults) must read this message, or make the same mistakes that have destroyed nations before them.
God always keeps His promises!
Jack and Rochelle first met at a youth dance in Poland before the war. They shared one dance, and Jack stepped on Rochelle’s shoes. She was unimpressed. When the Nazis invaded eastern Poland in 1941, both Jack (in the town of Mir) and Rochelle (in the town of Stolpce) witnessed the horrors of ghettoization, forced labor, and mass killings that decimated their families. Jack and Rochelle managed, in their separate ways, to escape into the forest. They reunited, against all odds, in the winter of 1942–43 and became Jewish partisans who fought back against the Nazis. The couple’s careful courtship soon blossomed into an enduring love that sustained them through the raging hatred of the Holocaust and the destruction of the lives they had known.
Jack and Rochelle’s story, told in their own voices through extensive interviews with their son, Lawrence, has been in print for twenty years and is celebrated as a classic of Holocaust memoir literature. This is the first electronic edition.
“A story of heroism and of touching romance in a time of fear and danger.” —USA Today
In the chaos following World War II, the U.S. government faced many difficult decisions, including what to do with the Third Reich's scientific minds. These were the brains behind the Nazis' once-indomitable war machine. So began Operation Paperclip, a decades-long, covert project to bring Hitler's scientists and their families to the United States.
Many of these men were accused of war crimes, and others had stood trial at Nuremberg; one was convicted of mass murder and slavery. They were also directly responsible for major advances in rocketry, medical treatments, and the U.S. space program. Was Operation Paperclip a moral outrage, or did it help America win the Cold War?
Drawing on exclusive interviews with dozens of Paperclip family members, colleagues, and interrogators, and with access to German archival documents (including previously unseen papers made available by direct descendants of the Third Reich's ranking members), files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and dossiers discovered in government archives and at Harvard University, Annie Jacobsen follows more than a dozen German scientists through their postwar lives and into a startling, complex, nefarious, and jealously guarded government secret of the twentieth century.
In this definitive, controversial look at one of America's most strategic, and disturbing, government programs, Jacobsen shows just how dark government can get in the name of national security.
This is the story of No. 22483, who had been shipped from Belgium to Buchenwald. This is an account of what No. 22483 saw and felt during his calvary from Antwerp to the Malin distribution camp in France and from there to the extermination camp of Buchenwald.
To say that this book contains the scenes of a twentieth-century Inferno may sound commonplace. Yet, every page of this book reminds one of Dante’s Inferno, with one exception: the Inferno the author writes about consumed the lives not of the sinful whom divine justice cast into the immortality of suffering.
This Inferno was thronged by millions, many of whom were babies and little children, mothers and young women who had hoped to become mothers. It was thronged with people who deserved their fates because they were men in the sense that God meant them to be. They were in Inferno because they were strong men and brave, the real heroes of our days. They were doomed because the Nazi super-race set up a different scale of values which regarded heroism as the greatest of sins and considered depravity the greatest of virtues. Reading this book one feels that the titanic Dante himself would have been staggered by the demented criminality the judges of the just displayed.
This is the story of No. 22483 of Buchenwald, one of the millions who were doomed and one of the few who escaped. Throughout, the writing is poignant, vibrant with humanity, a cry “de profundis” and a vow that it must never happen again. This book should be long remembered.
In 1944, on the morning of her twenty-third birthday, Isabella Leitner and her family were deported to Auschwitz, the Nazi extermination camp. There, she and her siblings relied on one another’s love and support to remain hopeful in the midst of the great evil surrounding them.
In Fragments of Isabella, Leitner reveals a glimpse of humanity in a world of darkness. Hailed by Publishers Weekly as “a celebration of the strength of the human spirit as it passes through fire,” this powerful and luminous Pulitzer Prize–nominated memoir, written thirty years after the author’s escape from the Nazis, has become a classic of holocaust literature and human survival.
This ebook features rare images from the author’s estate.
Jankiel Wiernik was a Jewish property manager in Warsaw when the Nazis invaded Poland and was forced into the ghetto in 1940. Despite surviving the horrors of the ghetto at the advanced age of 52, he was sent to a fate worse than death at the notorious death camp at Treblinka, which he immortalized in his memoirs.
“On his arrival at Treblinka aboard the Holocaust train from Warsaw, Wiernik was selected to work rather than be immediately killed. Wiernik’s first job with the Sonderkommando required him to drag corpses from the gas chambers to mass graves. Wienik was traumatized by his experiences. He later wrote in his book: “It often happened that an arm or a leg fell off when we tied straps around them in order to drag the bodies away.” He remembered the horrors of the enormous pyres, where “10,000 to 12,000 corpses were cremated at one time.” He wrote: “The bodies of women were used for kindling” while Germans “toasted the scene with brandy and with the choicest liqueurs, ate, caroused and had a great time warming themselves by the fire.” Wiernik described small children awaiting so long in the cold for their turn in the gas chambers that “their feet froze and stuck to the icy ground” and noted one guard who would “frequently snatch a child from the woman’s arms and either tear the child in half or grab it by the legs, smash its head against a wall and throw the body away.” At other times “children were snatched from their mothers’ arms and tossed into the flames alive.”
“Wiernik escaped Treblinka during the revolt of the prisoners on “a sizzling hot day” of August 2, 1943. A shot fired into the air signalled that the revolt was on. Wiernik wrote that he “grabbed some guns” and, after spotting an opportunity to make a break for the woods, an axe...”
When his parents were murdered in the Belżec death camp, he became the sole survivor of his entire family. After liberation, Henry volunteered for the Israeli Army and fought for Israel’s independence. He came to Canada in 1965 with his wife Hela and their two children.
His story is one of strength and courage. His survival is nothing short of a miracle.
The Lady in Gold, considered an unforgettable masterpiece, one of the twentieth century’s most recognizable paintings, made headlines all over the world when Ronald Lauder bought it for $135 million a century after Klimt, the most famous Austrian painter of his time, completed the society portrait.
Anne-Marie O’Connor, writer for The Washington Post, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, tells the galvanizing story of the Lady in Gold, Adele Bloch-Bauer, a dazzling Viennese Jewish society figure; daughter of the head of one of the largest banks in the Hapsburg Empire, head of the Oriental Railway, whose Orient Express went from Berlin to Constantinople; wife of Ferdinand Bauer, sugar-beet baron.
The Bloch-Bauers were art patrons, and Adele herself was considered a rebel of fin de siècle Vienna (she wanted to be educated, a notion considered “degenerate” in a society that believed women being out in the world went against their feminine “nature”). The author describes how Adele inspired the portrait and how Klimt made more than a hundred sketches of her—simple pencil drawings on thin manila paper.
And O’Connor writes of Klimt himself, son of a failed gold engraver, shunned by arts bureaucrats, called an artistic heretic in his time, a genius in ours.
She writes of the Nazis confiscating the portrait of Adele from the Bloch-Bauers’ grand palais; of the Austrian government putting the painting on display, stripping Adele’s Jewish surname from it so that no clues to her identity (nor any hint of her Jewish origins) would be revealed. Nazi officials called the painting, The Lady in Gold and proudly exhibited it in Vienna’s Baroque Belvedere Palace, consecrated in the 1930s as a Nazi institution.
The author writes of the painting, inspired by the Byzantine mosaics Klimt had studied in Italy, with their exotic symbols and swirls, the subject an idol in a golden shrine.
We see how, sixty years after it was stolen by the Nazis, the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer became the subject of a decade-long litigation between the Austrian government and the Bloch-Bauer heirs, how and why the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, and how the Court’s decision had profound ramifications in the art world.
A riveting social history; an illuminating and haunting look at turn-of-the-century Vienna; a brilliant portrait of the evolution of a painter; a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart of it, the Lady in Gold—the shimmering painting, and its equally irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined.
According to German wartime media, it was German citizens who were targeted for extinction by a vast international conspiracy. Leading the assault was an insidious, belligerent Jewish clique, so crafty and powerful that it managed to manipulate the actions of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. Hitler portrayed the Holocaust as a defensive act, a necessary move to destroy the Jews before they destroyed Germany.
Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, and Otto Dietrich's Press Office translated this fanatical vision into a coherent cautionary narrative, which the Nazi propaganda machine disseminated into the recesses of everyday life. Calling on impressive archival research, Jeffrey Herf recreates the wall posters that Germans saw while waiting for the streetcar, the radio speeches they heard at home or on the street, the headlines that blared from newsstands. "The Jewish Enemy" is the first extensive study of how anti-Semitism pervaded and shaped Nazi propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust, and how it pulled together the diverse elements of a delusionary Nazi worldview. Here we find an original and haunting exposition of the ways in which Hitler legitimized war and genocide to his own people, as necessary to destroy an allegedly omnipotent Jewish foe. In an era when both anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories continue to influence world politics, Herf offers a timely reminder of their dangers along with a fresh interpretation of the paranoia underlying the ideology of the Third Reich.
The history of Jews in the United States is one of racial change that provides useful insights on race in America. Prevailing classifications have sometimes assigned Jews to the white race and at other times have created an off-white racial designation for them. Those changes in racial assignment have shaped the ways American Jews of different eras have constructed their ethnoracial identities. Brodkin illustrates these changes through an analysis of her own family's multi-generational experience. She shows how Jews experience a kind of double vision that comes from racial middleness: on the one hand, marginality with regard to whiteness; on the other, whiteness and belonging with regard to blackness.
Class and gender are key elements of race-making in American history. Brodkin suggests that this country's racial assignment of individuals and groupsconstitutes an institutionalized system of occupational and residential segregation, is a key element in misguided public policy, and serves as a pernicious foundational principle in the construction of nationhood. Alternatives available to non-white and alien "others" have been either to whiten or to be consigned to an inferior underclass unworthy of full citizenship. The American ethnoracial map-who is assigned to each of these poles-is continually changing, although the binary of black and white is not. As a result, the structure within which Americans form their ethnoracial, gender, and class identities is distressingly stable. Brodkin questions the means by which Americans construct their political identities and what is required to weaken the hold of this governing myth.
In a landmark work of history, Nikolaus Wachsmann offers an unprecedented, integrated account of the Nazi concentration camps from their inception in 1933 through their demise, seventy years ago, in the spring of 1945. The Third Reich has been studied in more depth than virtually any other period in history, and yet until now there has been no history of the camp system that tells the full story of its broad development and the everyday experiences of its inhabitants, both perpetrators and victims, and all those living in what Primo Levi called "the gray zone."
In KL, Wachsmann fills this glaring gap in our understanding. He not only synthesizes a new generation of scholarly work, much of it untranslated and unknown outside of Germany, but also presents startling revelations, based on many years of archival research, about the functioning and scope of the camp system. Examining, close up, life and death inside the camps, and adopting a wider lens to show how the camp system was shaped by changing political, legal, social, economic, and military forces, Wachsmann produces a unified picture of the Nazi regime and its camps that we have never seen before.
A boldly ambitious work of deep importance, KL is destined to be a classic in the history of the twentieth century.
On October 14, 1943, six hundred Jews imprisoned in Sobibor, a secret Nazi death camp in eastern Poland, revolted. They killed a dozen SS officers and guards, trampled the barbed wire fences, and raced across an open field filled with anti-tank mines. Against all odds, more than three hundred made it safely into the woods. Fifty of those men and women managed to survive the rest of the war. In this edition of Escape from Sobibor, fully updated in 2012, Richard Rashke tells their stories, based on his interviews with eighteen of the survivors. It vividly describes the biggest prisoner escape of World War II. A story of unimaginable cruelty. A story of courage and a fierce desire to live and to tell the world what truly went on behind those barbed wire fences.
Despite the Nazi oppression of all Jews in the lands under their control, Judith Sternberg Newman and her family were hugely fortunate to have managed get permission to settle in Paraguay in 1940. However their escape was blocked by the German authorities who refused to provide an exit visa, from that moment on, as the author notes, “fate turned against us”. As the author relates in these horrific memoirs are the torments, brutality and death at Auschwitz; the treatment that left here by the end of the war as the only surviving member of her family. She emigrated to America in 1947 where she was able to practise at her chosen profession in nursing and raise a family.
Philip (Fiszel) Bialowitz, now an American citizen, relates his eyewitness story in “realtime” perspective, from his childhood before the war to his life in the Izbica ghetto, his six months of internment and resistance at Sobibór, and his rescue by courageous Polish farmers. He also recounts the challenges of life following the war as a displaced teenager and his eventual efforts as a witness to the truth of the Holocaust.
Raised in a devout Roman Catholic family in the Netherlands, Paul Glaser was shocked to learn as an adult of his father's Jewish heritage. Grappling with his newfound identity and stunned by his father’s secrecy, Paul set out to discover what happened to his family during World War II and what had caused the long-standing rift between his father and his estranged aunt, Rosie, who moved to Sweden after the war. Piecing together his aunt’s wartime diaries, photographs, and letters, Paul reconstructed the dramatic story of a woman who was caught up in the tragic sweep of World War II.
Rosie Glaser was a magnetic force – hopeful, exuberant, and cunning. An emancipated woman who defied convention, she toured Western Europe teaching ballroom dancing to high acclaim, falling in love hard and often. By the age of twenty-five, she had lost the great love of her life in an aviation accident, married the wrong man, and sought consolation in the arms of yet another. Then the Nazis seized power. For Rosie, a nonpracticing Jew, this marked the beginning of an extremely dangerous ordeal. After operating an illegal dance school in her parents’ attic, Rosie was betrayed by both her ex-husband and her lover, taken prisoner by the SS and sent to a series of concentration camps. But her enemies were unable to destroy her and, remarkably, she survived, in part by giving dance and etiquette lessons to her captors. Rosie was an entertainer at heart, and her vivacious spirit, her effervescent charm, and her incredible resourcefulness kept her alive amid horrendous tragedy. Of the twelve hundred people who arrived with her at Auschwitz, only eight survived. Illustrated with more than ninety photos, Dancing with the Enemy recalls an extraordinary life marked by love, betrayal, and fierce determination. It is being published in ten languages.
"If you can imagine that the Jew to the German was like a cockroach. In the United States, if you step on a cockroach . . . it doesn't mean anything to you. The same thing, exactly the same thing, the Jew was to the German--a cockroach. . . . One particular Shabbos (Sabbath), they shot twelve or thirteen people in my area. In other words, the German had the right, if he saw me, any Jew that he saw in the street, he could go over to you calmly, take out his revolver, and put it to your head, and shoot you down like a . . . roach. . . . It was a free-for-all."--Testimony of Sol Einhorn, cited in Holocaust Testimonies: European Survivors and American Liberators in New Jersey
A compelling story of two intertwined journeys: a Jewish refugee family fleeing persecution and a young man seeking to reclaim a shattered past. In the twilight of the Cold War (the late 1980s), nine-year old Lev Golinkin and his family cross the Soviet border with only ten suitcases, $600, and the vague promise of help awaiting in Vienna. Years later, Lev, now an American adult, sets out to retrace his family's long trek, locate the strangers who fought for his freedom, and in the process, gain a future by understanding his past.
Lev Golinkin's memoir is the vivid, darkly comic, and poignant story of a young boy in the confusing and often chilling final decade of the Soviet Union. It's also the story of Lev Golinkin, the American man who finally confronts his buried past by returning to Austria and Eastern Europe to track down the strangers who made his escape possible . . . and say thank you. Written with biting, acerbic wit and emotional honesty in the vein of Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, and David Bezmozgis, Golinkin's search for personal identity set against the relentless currents of history is more than a memoir—it's a portrait of a lost era. This is a thrilling tale of escape and survival, a deeply personal look at the life of a Jewish child caught in the last gasp of the Soviet Union, and a provocative investigation into the power of hatred and the search for belonging. Lev Golinkin achieves an amazing feat—and it marks the debut of a fiercely intelligent, defiant, and unforgettable new voice.
From the Hardcover edition.
Issued in London in 1917, the Balfour Declaration was one of the key documents of the twentieth century. It committed Britain to supporting the establishment in Palestine of “a National Home for the Jewish people,” and its reverberations continue to be felt to this day. Now the entire fascinating story of the document is revealed in this impressive work of modern history.
With new material retrieved from historical archives, Jonathan Schneer recounts in dramatic detail the public and private fight for a small strip of land in the Middle East, a battle that started when the Ottoman Empire took Germany’s side in World War I. The key players in this conflict are rendered in nuanced and detailed relief: Sharif Hussein, the Arab leader who secretly sought British support; Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist folks-mensch who charmed British high society; T. E. Lawrence, the legendary British officer who “set the desert on fire” for the Arabs; and the other generals and prime ministers, soldiers and negotiators, who shed blood and cut deals to grab or give away the precious land.
A book crucial to understanding the Middle East as it is today, The Balfour Declaration is a riveting volume about the ancient faiths and timeless treacheries that continue to drive global events.
The camp where I stayed for several years has received less publicity than the larger and more smoothly run DACHAU and RAVENSBRÜCK camps where mass extermination was carried out with cold efficiency.
Our camp was called BRZEZINKI, in German BIRKENAU. Some prisoners nicknamed it RAJSKO. In literal translation this means “HEAVEN-LIKE”.
In Brzezinki-Birkenau, mass murder was carried out on such a fantastic scale that the executioners had set up five crematories. Almost all the inmates were destroyed and only a few lived long enough to greet their liberators. Except for one book written by a Polish woman thus far, no report has been graved on flintstone by any of the liberated Polish Jobs.
I am not a writer and my story will be a plain and frank account of things which I have witnessed and experienced in nine prisons and in three concentration camps, from which I was miraculously saved by God. It is not my aim to evoke your pity, nor to arouse your wrath against the Germans. I wish only to help you to realize what happens when man rejects God and when his passions become his sole master. He will then commit every kind of inhuman crime, whereas if he follows the Golden Rule he will withstand the most ruthless pressure and even in the midst of inhuman sufferings will desperately cling to his faith.
I wish to stir the conscience of statesmen so that they may unify their efforts in preventing a repetition of the crimes committed in the name of an omnipotent and evil deity—the STATE.”-Foreword
Here are the fascinating and long-forgotten roots of the “Jewish difference”–the violence that greeted the Jewish Diaspora in first-century Alexandria. Wistrich suggests that the idea of a formless God who passed down a universal moral law to a chosen few deeply disconcerted the pagan world. The early leaders of Christianity increased their strength by painting these “superior” Jews as a cosmic and satanic evil, and by the time of the Crusades, murdering a “Christ killer” had become an act of conscience.
Moving seamlessly through centuries of war and dissidence, A Lethal Obsession powerfully portrays the creation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the fateful anti-Semitic tract commissioned by Russia’s tsarist secret police at the end of the nineteenth century–and the prediction by Theodor Herzl, Austrian founder of political Zionism, of eventual disaster for the Jews in Europe.
The twentieth century fulfilled this dark prophecy, with the horrifying ascent of Hitler’s Third Reich. Yet, as Wistrich disturbingly suggests, the end of World War II failed to neutralize the “Judeophobic virus”: Pogroms and prejudice continued in Soviet-controlled territories and in the Arab-Muslim world that would fan flames for new decades of distrust, malice, and violence.
Here, in pointed and devastating detail, is our own world, one in which jihadi terrorists and the radical left blame Israel for all global ills. In his concluding chapters, Wistrich warns of a possible nuclear “Final Solution” at the hands of Iran, a land in which a formerly prosperous Jewish community has declined in both fortunes and freedoms.
Dazzling in scope and erudition, A Lethal Obsession is a riveting masterwork of investigative nonfiction, the definitive work on this unsettling yet essential subject. It is destined to become an indispensable source for any student of world affairs.
From the Hardcover edition.
A compelling and readable account of the four thousand year history of a people that spans the globe and transcends the ages. From the ancient and simple faith of a small tribe to a global religion with adherents in every nation, the path of the Jews is traced through countless expulsions and migrations, the great tragedy of the Holocaust, and the joy of founding a homeland in Israel. Putting the struggle of a persecuted people into perspective, Max Dimont asks whether the tragic sufferings of the Jews have actually been the key to their survival, as other nations and races vanished into obscurity. Here is a book for Jews and non-Jews to enjoy, evoking a proud heritage while offering a hopeful vision of the future.
Bankers, philanthropists, scholars, socialites, artists, and politicians, the Warburgs stood at the pinnacle of German (and, later, of German-American) Jewry. They forged economic dynasties, built mansions and estates, assembled libraries, endowed charities, and advised a German kaiser and two American presidents. But their very success made the Warburgs lightning rods for anti-Semitism, and their sense of patriotism became increasingly dangerous in a Germany that had declared Jews the enemy.
Ron Chernow's hugely fascinating history is a group portrait of a clan whose members were renowned for their brilliance, culture, and personal energy yet tragically vulnerable to the dark and irrational currents of the twentieth century.
From their nomadic beginnings and the rise of Moses to the kings David and Solomon through the Diaspora and the unthinkable horror of the Holocaust—and culminating in the founding of the state of Israel—this is the sweeping tale of the Jews. Howard Fast, author of the classic Spartacus, displays his gift for compelling narrative throughout this eminently readable and well-researched saga.
In Fast’s telling, truth is stranger, and more inspiring, than fiction. “Here, I decided, was one of the most exciting and romantic adventures in all the history of mankind,” he explains in his introduction. “It had a continuity that spanned most of recorded history. It was filled with drama, passion, tragedy, and faith; and with all due reverence for the scholars, it pleaded for a storyteller to tell it as a story, indeed as the story of all stories.”
Fast’s accomplishment is required reading not only for lovers of great literature but also for anyone interested in the march of civilization. Barry Holtz, the editor of The Schocken Guide to Jewish Books hails The Jews as “an exciting and pleasurable [introduction] to a four-thousand-year epic.”
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Howard Fast including rare photos from the author’s estate.
Arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 for involvement in the resistance, the author spent three years in Birkenau. Severyna Szmaglewska (1916-1992) began writing this book immediately after escaping from an evacuation transport in January 1945, and it is the first account of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and an eloquent and important analysis of the individual experience of modern war. It was ready for print before the end of 1945, after several months of feverish work. In February 1946 the International Tribunal in Nuremberg included it in the material making up the charges against the Nazi perpetrators, and called upon the author to give testimony. Since 1945, Smoke over Birkenau has been reprinted frequently and widely translated. Critics, and three generations of readers, praised it for truthfulness, accuracy, and lasting literary merit: as memories of war-time genocide fade with the passage of time, Szmaglewska’s readers are able to stay in touch with extremes of experience which must never be forgotten. “Smoke over Birkenau is not a book about death or hatred,” one critic wrote. “It is a powerful act of the will to live and a profession of the noblest humanism. The victorious idea of life is woven through every page. Maintaining, cultivating, and instilling in oneself the imperative: You must endure! You must live! – a plan carried out unswervingly despite everything.”-Print ed.
Presented as a personal yet factual narrative, Out from Hiding includes six crucial topics that prove the existence of Sephardic Jewish roots among Latinos:
Historical and genealogical records
DNA evidence corroborating Sephardic Jewish roots among Latinos
Onomastics dealing with the Sephardic origin of surnames
Material evidence found within the Sephardic Latino community
Oral histories disclosing family secrets of thirteen Sephardic Latinos
Sanchezs professional observations and prognostications of the Sephardic Latinos future
Based on continued research, it has been estimated that there are tens of thousands of Hispanic/Latinos with Sephardic Jewish ancestry in America. The majority of these are not aware of their hidden Jewish roots, arent aware of their hidden backgrounds. Out from Hiding is his journey through history, family genealogy, and personal faith. Perhaps it may be your journey, as well.
On her fifteenth birthday, as the German army tightens its grip on Warsaw, Mary Berg begins writing her diary. She does not yet know that by the time she has filled twelve small notebooks she will have endured four years of Nazi terror and recorded in vivid detail some of the most important events of the twentieth century.
From the siege of Warsaw to the final, brutal suppression of the Ghetto Uprising, she documents the plight of the refugees, the lives of the nouveaux riches, the forced conscription, the deportations and the heroism of the resistance fighters who rose up against German oppression. Rescued with her family through an allied prisoner exchange, Mary smuggled out of Warsaw the diary she had begun four years earlier. In doing so, she brought to light one of the most incredible documents of the Second World War - the uniquely personal story of a life-loving girl's encounter with unparalleled human suffering, and an extraordinary insight into one of the darkest chapters of history.