Recently KGB files have been opened and many Communist crimes have been fully exposed. Yet there is still no evidence, apart from a handwritten note of doubtful authenticity, to support the Kremlin's claim that in 1947 Wallenberg, then thirty-five years old, died of a heart attack in prison. On the other hand there is abundant evidence - none of it conclusive, but much of it highly persuasive - that Wallenberg remained alive in captivity long after 1947, broken in body and spirit, somewhere in the vastness of the former Soviet Union.
Righteous Gentile is the first book to tell the full story of Raoul Wallenberg's shining wartime exploits and shameful post-war incarceration.
Eastern Europe, 1944: Three women believe they are pregnant, but are torn from their husbands before they can be certain. Rachel is sent to Auschwitz, unaware that her husband has been shot. Priska and her husband travel there together, but are immediately separated. Also at Auschwitz, Anka hopes in vain to be reunited with her husband. With the rest of their families gassed, these young wives are determined to hold on to all they have left—their lives, and those of their unborn babies. Having concealed their condition from infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, they are forced to work and almost starved to death, living in daily fear of their pregnancies being detected by the SS.
In April 1945, as the Allies close in, Priska gives birth. She and her baby, along with Anka, Rachel, and the remaining inmates, are sent to Mauthausen concentration camp on a hellish seventeen-day train journey. Rachel gives birth on the train, and Anka at the camp gates. All believe they will die, but then a miracle occurs. The gas chamber runs out of Zyklon-B, and as the Allied troops near, the SS flee. Against all odds, the three mothers and their newborns survive their treacherous journey to freedom.
On the seventieth anniversary of Mauthausen’s liberation from the Nazis by American soldiers, renowned biographer Wendy Holden recounts this extraordinary story of three children united by their mothers’ unbelievable—yet ultimately successful—fight for survival.
With unique personal photographs and documents supporting the text, this eyewitness narrative covers little-known topics and provides a revealing historical account of the period. The book helps clarify and render accessible the complexities and contradictions of conflict and genocide in wartime Yugoslavia.
Sam Pivnik is the ultimate survivor from a world that no longer exists. On fourteen occasions he should have been killed, but luck, his physical strength, and his determination not to die all played a part in Sam Pivnik living to tell his extraordinary story.
In 1939, on his thirteenth birthday, Pivnik's life changed forever when the Nazis invaded Poland. He survived the two ghettoes set up in his home town of Bedzin and six months on Auschwitz's notorious Rampe Kommando where prisoners were either taken away for entry to the camp or gassing. After this harrowing experience he was sent to work at the brutal Fürstengrube mining camp. He could have died on the ‘Death March' that took him west as the Third Reich collapsed and he was one of only a handful of people who swam to safety when the Royal Air Force sank the prison ship Cap Arcona in 1945, mistakenly believing it to be carrying fleeing members of the SS.
He eventually made his way to London where he found people too preoccupied with their own wartime experiences on the Home Front to be interested in what had happened to him.
Now in his eighties, Sam Pivnik tells for the first time the story of his life, a true tale of survival against the most extraordinary odds.
Cara Kramer was a typical Polish-Jewish teenager from a small town at the outbreak of the Second World War. When the Germans invaded, Clara's family was taken in by the Becks, a Volksdeutsche (ethnically German) family from their town. Mrs. Beck worked as Clara's family's housekeeper. Mr. Beck was known to be an alcoholic, a womanizer, and a vocal anti-Semite. But on hearing that Jewish families were being led into the woods and shot, Beck sheltered the Kramers and two other Jewish families.
Eighteen people in all lived in a bunker dug out of the Becks' basement. Fifteen-year-old Clara kept a diary during the twenty terrifying months she spent in hiding, writing down details of their unpredictable life—from the house's catching fire to Mr. Beck's affair with Clara's neighbor; from the nightly SS drinking sessions in the room above to the small pleasure of a shared Christmas carp.
Against all odds, Clara lived to tell her story, and her diary is now part of the permanent col-lection of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
To this day he remains a highly controversial figure, regarded by some as a traitor and by many others as a hero. He was accused of betraying the bulk of the Hungarian Jewry by hand-picking only those who were politically and personally dear to him, or those from whom he could benefit financially, and the judge of his post-war trial concluded that he had 'sold his soul to Satan'.
Rezso Kasztner tells his story - and also the story of a child who lived to grow up after the Holocaust thanks to him. A compelling combination of history and memoir, it is also an examination of one individual's unique achievement and a consideration of the profound moral issues raised by his dealings with some of the most evil men ever known.
This classic Australian biography is a tribute to one of Australia's most heroic women, who always spoke with great fondness of Queensland as her birthplace. In 2006, a Loch Memorial Museum was opened in the tower by the sea in Ouranoupolis, a tribute to the Lochs and their humanitarian work.
On September 23, 1939, Wladyslaw Szpilman played Chopin's Nocturne in C-sharp minor live on the radio as shells exploded outside—so loudly that he couldn't hear his piano. It was the last live music broadcast from Warsaw: That day, a German bomb hit the station, and Polish Radio went off the air.
Though he lost his entire family, Szpilman survived in hiding. In the end, his life was saved by a German officer who heard him play the same Chopin Nocturne on a piano found among the rubble. Written immediately after the war and suppressed for decades, The Pianist is a stunning testament to human endurance and the redemptive power of fellow feeling.
At the outbreak of World War II, Marianne Strauss, the sheltered daughter of well-to-do German Jews, was an ordinary girl, concerned with studies, friends, and romance. Almost overnight she was transformed into a woman of spirit and defiance, a fighter who, when the Gestapo came for her family, seized the moment and went underground. On the run for two years, Marianne traveled across Nazi Germany without papers, aided by a remarkable resistance organization, previously unknown and unsung. Drawing on an astonishing cache of documents as well as interviews on three continents, historian Mark Roseman reconstructs Marianne's odyssey and reveals aspects of life in the Third Reich long hidden from view. As Roseman excavates the past, he also puts forward a new and sympathetic interpretation of the troubling discrepancies between fact and recollection that so often cloud survivors' accounts.
A detective story, a love story, a story of great courage and survival under the harshest conditions, A Past in Hiding is also a poignant investigation into the nature of memory, authenticity, and truth.
In one of the most amazing rescues of WWII, the Swedish head of the Red Cross rescued more than 30,000 people from concentration camps in the last three months of the war. Folke Bernadotte did so by negotiating with the enemy — shaking hands with Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Gestapo. Time was of the essence, as Hitler had ordered the destruction of all camps and everyone in them.
A Forgotten Hero chronicles Folke’s life and extraordinary journey, from his family history and early years to saving thousands of lives during WWII and his untimely assassination in 1948. A straightforward and compelling narrative, A Forgotten Hero sheds light on this important and heroic historical figure.
A series of unlikely coincidences led to the appointment of Wallenberg, by trade a poultry importer, as Sweden's Special Envoy to Budapest in 1944. With remarkable bravery, Wallenberg created a system of protective passports, and sheltered thousands of desperate Jews in buildings he claimed were Swedish libraries and research institutes.
As the war drew to a close, his invaluable work almost complete, Wallenberg voluntarily went to meet with the Soviet troops who were relieving the city. Arrested as a spy, Wallenberg disappeared into the depths of the Soviet system, never to be seen again.
For this seminal biography, Ingrid Carlberg has carried out unprecedented research into all elements of Wallenberg's life, narrating with vigour and insight the story of a heroic life, and navigating with wisdom and sensitivity the truth about his disappearance and death.
Translated from the Swedish by Ebba Segerberg
The “friendly invasion” of Britain by over a million American G.I.s bewitched a generation of young women deprived of male company during the Second World War. With their exotic accents, smart uniforms, and aura of Hollywood glamour, the G.I.s easily conquered their hearts, leaving British boys fighting abroad green with envy. But for girls like Sylvia, Margaret, Gwendolyn, and even the skeptical Rae, American soldiers offered something even more tantalizing than chocolate, chewing gum, and nylon stockings: an escape route from Blitz-ravaged Britain, an opportunity for a new life in affluent, modern America.
Through the stories of these four women, G.I. Brides illuminates the experiences of war brides who found themselves in a foreign culture thousands of miles away from family and friends, with men they hardly knew. Some struggled with the isolation of life in rural America, or found their soldier less than heroic in civilian life. But most persevered, determined to turn their wartime romance into a lifelong love affair, and prove to those back home that a Hollywood ending of their own was possible.
G.I. Brides includes an eight-pages insert that features 45-black-and-white photos.
Frank Foley, a British spy whose cover was working at the British embassy in Berlin, took huge risks issuing forged visas to enable around 10,000 Jews to escape Germany before the outbreak of war.
Jane Haining refused to come back to Scotland and leave the Jewish orphans in her care in Hungary. When they were sent to Auschwitz she was transported with them.
Louise and Ida Cook were sisters from suburban London. They used their love of opera as a cover to take daring trips to help Jews escape Nazi Germany and Austria right up until the outbreak of war.
Ten British POWs hid and cared for young Hannah Sarah Rigler when she escaped from a death march, having been forced to leave her mother behind.
All those whose stories are collected here were ordinary people, acting on no one's authority but their own, who found they could not stand idly by in the face of such great evil.
Written by acclaimed Holocaust historian Lyn Smith, Heroes of the Holocaust is a moving testament to the bravery of those whose inspiring actions stand out in stark relief at a time of such horror.
Love and War in London: A Woman’s Diary 1939-1942 is rooted in the extraordinary milieu of wartime London. Vibrant and engaging, Olivia’s diary reveals her frustrations, fears, pleasures, and self-doubts. She records her mood swings and tries to understand them, and speaks of her lover (a married man) and the intense relationship they have. As she and her friends and family in New Scotland Yard are swept up by the momentous events of another European war, she vividly reports on what she sees and hears in her daily life.
Hers is a diary that brings together the personal and the public. It permits us to understand how one intelligent, imaginative woman struggled to make sense of her life, as the city in which she lived was drawn into the turmoil of a catastrophic war.
Poland suffered terribly under the Nazis. By the end of the war six million had been killed: some were innocent civilians - half of them were Jews - but the rest died as a result of a ferocious guerrilla war the Poles had waged.
On 1 August 1944 Andrew Borowiec, a fifteen-year-old volunteer in the Resistance, lobbed a grenade through the shattered window of a Warsaw apartment block onto some German soldiers running below. 'I felt I had come of age. I was a soldier and I'd just tried to kill some of our enemies'.
The Warsaw Uprising lasted for 63 days: Himmler described it as 'the worst street fighting since Stalingrad'. Yet for the most part the insurgents were poorly equipped local men and teenagers - some of them were even younger than Andrew.
Over that summer Andrew faced danger at every moment, both above and below ground as the Poles took to the city's sewers to creep beneath the German lines during lulls in the fierce counterattacks. Wounded in a fire fight the day after his sixteenth birthday and unable to face another visit to the sewers, he was captured as he lay in a makeshift cellar hospital wondering whether he was about to be shot or saved. Here he learned a lesson: there were decent Germans as well as bad.
From one of the most harrowing episodes of the Second World War, this is an extraordinary tale of survival and defiance recounted by one of the few remaining veterans of Poland's bravest summer. Andrew Borowiec dedicates this book to all the Warsaw boys, 'especially those who never grew up'.
Andrew Borowiec was born at Lodz in Poland in 1928. At fifteen he joined the Home Army, the main Polish resistance during the Second World War, and fought in the ill-fated Warsaw Uprising. After the war he left Poland and attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Cyprus with his English wife Juliet.
In May 1945, an eleven-year-old Hunt watched American troops occupy Hitler's mountain retreat, signaling the end of the Nazi dictatorship and World War II. As the Nazi crimes began to be accounted for, many Germans tried to deny the truth of what had occurred; Hunt, in contrast, was determined to know and face the facts of her country's criminal past.
On Hitler's Mountain is more than a memoir -- it is a portrait of a nation that lost its moral compass. It is a provocative story of a family and a community in a period and location in history that, though it is fast becoming remote to us, has important resonance for our own time.
Australian journalist Juliet Rieden grew up in England in the 1960s and 70s always sensing that her family was different in some way. She longed to have relatives and knew precious little about her Czech father's childhood as a refugee.
On the night before Juliet's father died, in 2006, Juliet's father suddenly looked up and said: 'The plane is in the hangar.' In the years after his death, Juliet comes to truly understand the significance of these words.
On a trip to Prague she is shocked to see the Rieden name written many times over on the walls of the Pinkas Synagogue memorial. These names become the catalyst for a life-changing journey that uncovers a personal Holocaust tragedy of epic proportions.
Juliet traces the grim fate of her father's cousins, aunts and uncles on visits to Auschwitz and Theresienstadt concentration camps and learns about the extremes of cruelty, courage and kindness.
Then in a locked box in Britain's National Archives, she discovers a stash of documents including letters from her father that reveal intimate details of his struggle.
Meticulously researched and beautifully told, this is the moving story of a woman's quest to piece together the hidden parts of her father's life and the unimaginable losses he was determined to protect his children from.