“We’re out of time. Every day more and more Jews arrive from Hungary. Every day more and more of them are gassed and thrown into the ovens. What are we going to do? Wait another month?” Jacob asks Luc in Joel C. Rosenberg’s novel, "The Auschwitz Escape." At four hundred and eighty-one pages, this hardbound targets those intrigued with what happened to the millions of Jews imprisoned in German death camps during World War Two. With the use of the word hell to explain the horrific ordeal, the topics of physical abuse, mutilation, and painful death would not make the book apropos for immature readers. This reader wishes all pronouns related to God were capitalized for reverence. Best-selling author Rosenberg weaves a heart-wrenching but heroic tale of two men whose opposing religious paths intersect during World War Two. Young Jacob Weisz believes his father when he is told the Nazis would never harm Jews like them in the small town of Siegen, Germany. Only his uncle Avi, a member of the Resistance, warns them to flee to a safer area. Meanwhile, Frenchman Jean-Luc Leclerc is an assistant pastor whose heart reaches out to any non-Christian knocking on his door for shelter when Hitler invades Poland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, next eyeing France. As both men get caught up in protecting the Jewish race, they are captured by the Third Reich and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in Poland. Learning the lines of newcomers to the right produce a life of hard labor and the lines to the left enter the gas chambers, they do all in their power to stay alive. Hearing over a half-million Hungarian Jews will be sent to the camps, not only do the men have to prepare for the increase; they join an underground group of survivors bent on escaping so they can inform the world of the atrocities committed behind the barbed wire fences. With the helpful list of characters at the beginning of the book and the author’s notes at the end, the reader is immediately caught up feeling the angst, turmoil, and self-preservation of the tortured prisoners. Although these are fictional characters, one is forced to remember the horrific conditions, unbroken human spirit, and trust in God so many experienced years ago. A page turner, the book leaves the reader sad of the evil mind of man yet ever so thankful that there were individuals such as these who cared enough to escape and tell others. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.
The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg is a decent book, but it was too intense & gruesome for me at times. It is captivating, although it is a difficult subject to read about. It was frustrating to be introduced to characters who then disappeared out of the story for hundreds of pages. As a history major, I recognized some truth written into the story, but it is difficult to tell where the truth ends