Monday, August 17, 2009

A Lucky Child A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy

I must first thank Anna Balasi of Hachette Book Group for allowing me the privilege of reading the remarkable story of Thomas Buergenthal. The following is how Hachette described the book:

Thomas Buergenthal, now a Judge in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, tells his astonishing experiences as a young boy in his memoir A LUCKY CHILD. He arrived at Auschwitz at age 10 after surviving two ghettos and a labor camp. Separated first from his mother and then his father, Buergenthal managed by his wits and some remarkable strokes of luck to survive on his own. Almost two years after his liberation, Buergenthal was miraculously reunited with his mother and in 1951 arrived in the U.S. to start a new life.

A lot of people might skip a forward or preface of a book because they want to get right "into the story". Don't you do it! The forward is written by writer, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel. His words have weight. As are those in Thomas' preface to the story of Tommy, the child. A child who one day will turn responsibility for his survival back to his mother as he returns to being a child. Not a vengeful child, but a thoughtful one.

"...I began to think it was important that individuals like Nansen and the rest of us who had been subjected to terrible suffering at the hands of the Germans treat them with humanity...simply because our experience should have taught us to empathize with human beings in need, regardless of who they were. ..."

Part of me was afraid to read this book. Afraid to see what horrors he had been subjected to. Mr. Buergenthal wrote his story in such a way that my fears proved groundless as he did not dramatize them. It was like he was telling me the story as he would his children. A story that needs telling, needs remembering, but does not need to give us nightmares.

A Lucky Child is a good book about a bad time but Thomas will hold your hand as he tells you of Tommy's life during those times.


D Swizzle said...

Looks sad!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about this book. I never skip the forwards/preface. Sometimes they are the best part of the book!

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf said...

I'll have to pick up this book. Thank you for posting the link to this review on my blog!