A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy
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Buergenthal arrived at Auschwitz at age 10 after surviving two ghettos and a labor camp. Now dedicated to helping those subjected to tyranny throughout the world, Buergenthal writes his story with a simple clarity that highlights the stark details of unimaginable hardship.
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Thomas Buergenthal is unique. Rescued from the death camps of Auschwitz at the age of eleven, he became a judge at the International Court in The Hague. In his funny and heartfelt memoirs, he tells the story of his extraordinary journey - from the horrors of Nazism to an investigation of modern day genocide. At the age of ten Thomas Buergenthal arrived at Auschwitz after surviving the Ghetto of Kielce and two labour camps, and was soon separated from his parents. Using his wits and some remarkable strokes of luck, he managed to survive until he was liberated from Sachsenhausen in 1945. After experiencing the turmoil of Europe's post-war years - from the Battle of Berlin, to a Jewish orphanage in Poland - Buergenthal went to America in the 1950s at the age of seventeen. He eventually became one of the world's leading experts on international law and human rights. His story of survival and his determination to use law and justice to prevent further genocide is an epic and inspirational journey through 20th Century history. His book is both a special historical document and a great literary achievement, comparable only to Primo Levi's masterpieces.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||An understated and quietly powerful memoir ... A Lucky Child is not one to miss -- Libby Purves, Radio 4 Midweek What makes this memoir so rewarding is, in the darkness, the indomitable spirit of the child -- Genevieve Fox Telegraph A tour de force: simply narrated, at times almost naive - and even more shocking as a result -- Camilla Long Sunday Times News Review What Buergenthal has to say, both in bearing witness to the Holocaust and in describing his moral coming-to-adulthood, deserves our attention. He has serious things to tell us about forgiveness, justice and the curious effect of deep trauma on the mind. -- Sam Leith Daily Mail A very life-affirming narrative ... positive and uplifting New Books magazine A book that extends the boundaries of the genre ... Buergenthal demonstrates a great depth of compassion and humanity and this inspiring book becomes essentially a story of hope and a reaffirmation of the generosity of the human spirit -- Stephen J. Mckinney Expository Times Reminiscent of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel...Buergenthal [speaks] most eloquently for the millions of Holocaust victims who cannot. The Oklahoman Powerful ... The author's story is astonishing and moving, and his capacity for forgiveness is remarkably heartening. An important new voice joins the chorus of survivors. Kirkus Reviews Buergenthal's authentic, moving tale reveals that his lifelong commitment to human rights sprang from the ashes of Auschwitz. Publishers Weekly You think you've heard it all ... But this one is different. The clear, nonhectoring prose makes Buergenthal's personal story-and the enduring ethical questions it prompts-the stuff of a fast, gripping read. Booklist A Lucky Child does not wallow in the horrors nor does it shirk the darkest events. It is a clear-headed account of Buergenthal's experiences and how they determined his life. The Sydney Morning Herald
||Bertrams Star Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Thomas Buergenthal has devoted his life to international and human rights law. He has received degrees from New York University Law School and Harvard Law School and for ten years he was a judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague until his resignation in 2010. Co-recipient of the 2008 Gruber Foundation International Justice Prize, he lives in Washington DC.