“Faces in the Smoke: The story of Josef Perl” by Arthur Christopher Benjamin

" Sevek and the Holocaust, The Boy Who Refused to Die"

Sidney “Sevek” Finkel is the author of “Sevek and the Holocaust, The Boy Who Refused to Die”. This story is told from the perspective of eight-year-old Sevek, capturing the emotions of a boy who loses his home, his family and ultimately his humanity by the time he reaches the age of fourteen. This 2nd Edition includes a new chapter about Sevek's return to Buchenwald 66 years after liberation, as well as new-found information learned during this visit.

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“Surviving the Holocaust with the Russian Jewish Partisans” Jack Kagan and Dov Cohen

Two cousins relate their experiences with Bielski's partisan brigade in war-torn Russia during the Second World War. Natives of Novogrodek, part of present-day Belarus, they describe Jewish life before the Holocaust and furnish a most moving account of how a thriving and prosperous Jewish center was decimated by the Nazis and local collaborators. Initial joy when their hometown was taken over by the Soviet Union disappeared when the Germans ran the Russians out of town and started implementing policies to eradicate all Jews and anything Jewish.

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Dov (Berl), the elder of the cousins, whose account comprises the first section of the book, lost his immediate family in the early days of German occupation and escaped from ghetto life in November 1942 to join the partisans in the dense forests of the area.

He joined the Kalinin brigade and spent the rest of the war fighting the Germans and Russian sympathisers. Jack (Idel), seven years his junior, remained in the ghetto with the remnants of their once-large family. After a failed attempt in December 1942 to escape to reach the partisans – in an episode which nearly cost him his life – Jack joined an escape effort from the ghetto in September 1943, successfully reached the partisans as a member of Bielski’s partisan brigade and was reunited with his cousin. This second section features many original documents from Russian archives and elsewhere, about the partisan bands’ structure and their activities. The authors provide a unique view, not only of actual incidents, but of how two different people react to events and experiences. Updated in this second edition by a new preface and appendix, this is their story: a tale of tragedy, courage and triumph.

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“The Boys – Triumph Over Adversity”, Martin Gilbert

In August 1945, the first of 732 child survivors of the Holocaust reached Britain. First settled in the Lake District, they formed a tightly knit group of friends whose terrible shared experience is almost beyond imagining. This is their story, which begins in the lost communities of pre-World War II central Europe, moves through ghetto, concentration camp and death march, to liberation, survival, and finally, fifty years later, a deeply moving reunion.

Martin Gilbert has brought together the recollections of this remarkable group of survivors. With magisterial narration, he tells their astonishing stories. The Boys bears witness to the human spirit, enduring the depths, and bearing hopefully the burden and challenge of survival.

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“Chasing Shadows” Hugo Gryn

Chasing Shadows is an intimate, spiritual, often humorous portrait of holocaust survivor, radio personality, and beloved Rabbi Hugo Gryn, and the vanished world of his upbringing.

Published posthumously, Gryn describes his idyllic childhood in the once vibrant and tight-knit Jewish community of Carpathia, and the aftermath of Nazi-occupation as his family is forced into the Ghetto and then transported to Auschwitz.

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“Memories in Focus” by Pinchas Gutter

As ten-year-old Pinchas is deported from the Warsaw ghetto to the killing site of Majdanek and then to a series of concentration camps, he shuts himself off to the terrors surrounding him and tries his best not to be noticed, to become almost invisible. But after liberation, his photographic memory won?t let his past fade away, and Pinchas struggles to deal with nightmares and flashbacks while trying to raise a family and heal his emotional scars. Memories in Focus vividly retells Pinchas?s painful journey, describing the separation from his parents and twin sister, his struggle to stay alive under the cruellest of circumstances and the luck and moments of kindness that enabled him to survive.

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“Roman’s Journey”, Roman Halter

Roman Halter is an optimistic and boisterous schoolboy in 1939 when he and his family gather behind net curtains to watch the Volksdeutsch neighbours of their small town in western Poland greeting the arrival of Hitler's armies with kisses and swastika flags.

Within days, the family home has been seized, 12 year-old Roman becomes a slave of the local SS chief, and, returning from an errand, silently witnesses his Jewish classmates being bayoneted to death by soldiers at the edge of town. And then there begins the remarkable six-year journey through some of the darkest caverns of Nazi Europe, and the loss of every other member of his family and the 800-strong community of his boyhood. Roman tells his indelible story with a simplicity and grace that allow the facts of his suffering and survival to speak for themselves.

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“Ben Helfgott – The Story of One of The Boys”

This is not just the story of another Holocaust survivor. There is nothing about Ben Helfgott that is usual. After all, very few survivors would, just a few years after liberation, become Olympic athletes. He did exactly that. He was a boy growing up in a small Polish town, Pietrkow, when his whole life changed as the Nazis moved in during the first week of the Second World War. As a small child he was top of his class - everything he did was of a standard beyond that of any of his classmates. He learned languages so that he spoke and understood at least three of them before he was eight years old. He read newspapers and watched films that were beyond his years.

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His sister, the only other member of his family to survive, says that if she or anyone else needed a protector, Ben was the one to call in. Above all, he excelled in sports. He had a wiry frame and was small in stature, but no one else could match him in any game he played. When the Nazis came to Pietrkow, his mother and a sister were shot.

He and his father managed to live a kind of life in the ever shrinking ghetto in the town. Both worked in a glass factory and a woodwork plant. Before long, they would be transported to the infamous Buchenwald concentration camp where his father subsequently died. Taken to Thereisenstadt, a centre that had served as a kind of way station for Jews on the way to death camps, it was there that he was liberated by the Red Army. Before long, he was one of The Boys who came to England, which became his home. His sporting excellence was recognised when he was selected for two Olympic Games in which he represented Britain as a weightlifter. He became a successful businessman and retired early so that he could make a personal crusade of bringing together other survivors. He founded the famous 45 Aid Society, worked with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Holocaust Educational Trust. On the international scene, he, in his mid 80s, is a prominent figure in the Claims Conference, which has awarded billions of dollars to needy survivors. In a way, it is a controversial book. He is a great believer in reconciliation with both Germany and his native Poland and both nations have made him awards in recognition of his work. It is a story Michael Freedland tells after dozens of interviews with Ben himself, as well as with members of his family, fellow survivors and residents of his old home town in Poland.
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“David’s Story”, David Herman

A young man endures five Nazi concentration camps but survives against the odds and goes on to build a successful new life in England with “The Boys”. Told through the eyes of young David, this autobiography is initially set in Munkacs in pre-war Czechoslovakia, the “little Jerusalem” of Eastern Europe. His childhood is brought to an abrupt end as the Nazis take control of the town. He must rely on his most basic instincts to survive when he is transported to Auschwitz.

Forced as a slave labourer to build railways for the Nazi war effort, David is already starving when he is injured in an air raid. Struggling to go on, he is unexpectedly reunited with his brother. Together they help each other to survive the death march and are liberated at Theresienstadt. From an orphanage in Prague, David joins the 732 children (‘The Boys’) who start a new life in England. Later, he tells his story to the world and returns to Auschwitz after 50 years

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“A Detail of History: The harrowing true story of a boy who survived the Nazi Holocaust” Arek Hersh

How do you survive when you’re 11 years old and all your family have been taken from you and killed? How do you continue to live, when everything around you is designed to ensure certain death? Arek Hersh tells his story simply and honestly, a moving account of a little boy who made his own luck and survived. He takes us into the tragic world imposed on him that robbed him of his childhood.

The depth of the tragedy, strength of courage and power of survival will move you and inspire you. Contrary to assertions that the Holocaust years were a mere ‘detail of history’, Arek Hersh gives us a glimpse into the greatest catastrophe that man has ever inflicted on his fellow man.

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“We Stood Shoulder to Shoulder” Jack Kagan

This book serves as a historical guide, as an account of a much-neglected aspect of Jewish history - Jewish resistance - and a memorial to those Jews who fought, and those who fell, in the battle for freedom." Sir Martin Gilbert "This book is a document in itself as it is based on archival materials.

It is the first attempt of Belarusian scholars, in cooperation with Mr. Jack Kagan, a former Bielski partisan, to introduce the Jewish resistance in Belarus to researchers and to make it available to the English speaking reader." Tamara Vershitskaya, Director of the Museum of History and Regional Studies in Novogrudok and Jewish Resistance Museum, Belaru

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“The Road Back” by Kahn Minden

The Road Back is a chronicle of two years spent in Quare Mead, a convalescent home for tuberculosis boys, displaced after World War II. It is based on fact and only the personal names of the patients are used.

A group of 750 youths from Europe were brought to England soon after the war ended in 1945. They had been deported to concentration camps when they were approximately between the ages of 13 - 16. Of the 40 T.B. cases found among them, most had been cured by the time this story occurs.

In Quare Mead we meet the hardcore cases, those who were still ill four years after liberation. This book tells of twelve boys and one girl who, in years 1949 and 1950, finally found the courage to face normal life again, and returned to health. The way in which they were guided toward that goal, is illustrated in this book.

The Road Back is written in the form of letters, a kind of diary of daily life in Quare Mead.

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“Life Of Michael Novice” by Michael Novice

This volume is the story of our beloved Dad, Michael Novice, who survived the Holocaust. Part 1 is his "Autobiography", which summarizes his life from birth to about 1995. He describes his life before the war as well as his incredible and terrifying experiences during the Holocaust. Part 2 is an article called "Recollections", in which he describes his experiences, thoughts and feelings as he created a new life for himself after the war.

He was brought to England after liberation as one of a group of 732 young survivors known as "The Boys". Dad describes the kinds of medical, financial, educational and emotional support he received as a "Boy"" as well as several memorable experiences he had as he recovered from the horrific traumas of the Holocaust. Additional parts bring the reader up to date in 2017 at his 90th birthday celebration.

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“Memories” by Chaim Shane

This is the autobiography of Chaim Shane
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