Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz

Cover image for Survivors club : the true story of a very young prisoner of Auschwitz
Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz
By Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017, 348 pages, Young Adult Nonfiction

In 1945, in a now-famous piece of archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother's arms. Survivors Club tells the story of how a father's courageous wit, a mother's fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved Michael's life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness.

This incredible true story is a must read for anyone interested in World War II. Told from the point of view of Michael Bornstein, who was too young to remember the early years of Germany’s occupation of Poland, much of the story is really told as the result of research and interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family. However, the number of amazing things that had to line up in order to allow such a young boy to survive in a Polish ghetto, and finally in a Nazi concentration camp, is staggering. This story is one that belongs alongside such classics as Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place and Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl.


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