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The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World

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Great book describing the horror of Auschwitz camp and the extremes that the Nazi's went to with their cruelty towards other human beings. Auschwitz, 1940–1945: węzłowe zagadnienia z dziejów obozu [ Auschwitz, 1940–1945: Important Issues from the History of the Camp] (in Polish). Over Easter weekend, 1944, he and a fellow resistant, Fred Wetzler, lay in a hollow beneath a woodpile near the perimeter for three days, throwing Nazi dogs off the scent with tobacco soaked in petrol. At this point, it reads as if Freedland is moving the goalposts, as he adds more and more in his obsession to support his Vrba First thesis.

The setting is Geneva, Switzerland, and the luxury Hôtel de Verbier on its outskirts, where the Gala is being held. During our stay in Krakow we toured Auschwitz/ Birkenau and also saw what remains of Schindler's factory and it reminded me again of this book --a finalist for the prize this year. This is the story of a brilliant yet troubled man—a gifted “escape artist” who even as a teenager understand that the difference between truth and lies can be the difference between life and death, a man who deserves to take his place alongside Anne Frank, Oskar Schindler and Primo Levi as one of the handful of individuals whose stories define our understanding of the Holocaust. Andrey Pogozhev was born in 1912 at Dontsk in the Ukraine, and before the war he worked as a miner and mining engineer. Vrba and Wetzler manage to evade Nazi authorities looking for them and make contact with the Jewish council in Zilina, Slovakia, informing them about the truth of the unknown destination of Jewish deportees all across Europe.Cierer later shared his contacts with Lederer in the hope that his escape would be successful, and the two men planned together how to break news of Auschwitz to the outside world—a plan they concealed from Pestek until after the escape. Lederer, a former Czechoslovak Army officer and member of the Czech resistance, tried unsuccessfully to warn the Jews at Theresienstadt Ghetto about the mass murders at Auschwitz. How this Russian man was able to survive a Nazi Death Camp was beyond extraordinary and to stay sane among such treachery and cruelty is amazing.

Rudolf Vrba didn’t just survive Auschwitz, he escaped from it – he and his companion Fred Wetzler were the first Jews to do so.Though Vrba helped save two hundred thousand Jewish lives, he never stopped believing it could have been so many more. It’s the first time I’ve read anything of that period written from a Russian’s point of view which ended up in the camps along with others who had been captured.

I consider myself to know quite a lot about this period, (The Nazi treatment of prisoner side of things rather than military) but this book provided me with details of things that I never had an idea of.According to psychologist Ruth Linn, Pestek may have helped Lederer in an attempt to distance himself from Nazi crimes because his home in Bukovina had been recently occupied by the advancing Red Army. Bacon also said Pestek maintained confidential contact with Fredy Hirsch, a leader in the family camp until his death in the 8 March liquidation. He told Pestek he was wealthy and that his contacts in the underground would help Pestek and Neumann. SS men walked close by with sniffer dogs but thanks to the machorka – Russian tobacco soaked in petrol and dried – wedged in the timbers, they missed the scent of the pair hiding underneath.

AUTHOR: Andrey Pogozhev was brn in 1912 at Dontsk in the Ukraine, and before the war he worked as a miner and mining engineer. Rudolf Vrba's extraordinary testimony will deepen your understanding of the Holocaust - and compel you to think afresh about our own times, and the role of truth, denial and fragile memory. Ebooks fulfilled through Glose cannot be printed, downloaded as PDF, or read in other digital readers (like Kindle or Nook).Photograph: Keystone Press/Alamy View image in fullscreen Rudolf Vrba, centre, prepares to testify against former Auschwitz guards in Frankfurt, 1964. There was a warrant out for their arrest and they were surrounded by often hostile Polish peasants, but they had finally managed to get their story out to the world. Walter and another Auschwitz inmate, Fred Wetzler, do the impossible: they are the first Jews to escape. Vrbo was arrogant, unforgiving, ruthless in his criticism of surviving Jews who refused to disseminate the information they were given. Stars — A holocaust survivor, whose bone-jarringly harrowing, frightful and truly epic story and brutally compelling story of survival and ingenuity in the face of absolute evil truly rivals that of not only any human I’ve ever encountered or even heard of.

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