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

A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy (Hardback)

By Buergenthal, Thomas

Thomas Buergenthal is a judge at the International Court in The Hague who was rescued from the death camps of Auschwitz at the age of eleven by Soviet and Polish troops. These memoirs present the story of his extraordinary journey - from the horrors of Nazism to an investigation ... read full description below.

ISBN 9781846681783
Barcode 9781846681783
Published 11 February 2009 by Profile Books Ltd
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (7 other possible title(s) available)
Out of print

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781846681783
ISBN-10 1846681782
Stock Out of stock
Status Out of print
Publisher Profile Books Ltd
Imprint Profile Books Ltd
Publication Date 11 February 2009
International Publication Date 15 January 2009
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Buergenthal, Thomas
Category Biography & Autobiography
World History: From C 1900 -
European History
The Holocaust
Number of Pages 256
Dimensions Width: 138mm
Height: 204mm
Spine: 27mm
Weight 380g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
NBS Text Autobiography: General
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 940.5318092
Catalogue Code 63002

Description of this Book

At the age of seven Thomas Buergenthal was imprisoned in Nazi ghettos and camps, being rescued by Soviet and Polish troops when he was eleven. Separated from his parents in Auschwitz and surviving the 'Death March' of 1945 he was miraculously reunited with his mother a year and a half later. The rest of his family and almost all of his friends were killed. 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 journey through 20th century history. Buergenthal gives his perspective - as a child - on life in the camps. And, uniquely, he shows how his past has informed his understanding of the modern day war-crimes he sees as a judge. His book is both a special historical document and a great literary achievement, comparable only to Primo Levi's masterpieces.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review 'an extraordinary story A... Heartbreaking and thrilling, it examines what it means to be human, in every good and awful sense' Elizabeth McCracken
US Review A powerful Holocaust memoir from an International Court Judge in The Hague.First published in Germany in 2007, the book revisits Buergenthal's youth in the late 1930s when he and his parents were forced by the Nazis to leave their home in Lubochna, Czechoslovakia, where they owned a hotel. After a short period in the Polish ghetto in Kielce, they were transported to Auschwitz in August 1944. The author was five when he was first uprooted in 1939, and he attributes the family's early survival to his parents' cunning and sheer luck in the face of the Nazi killing machine. Though his mother was stripped of her German citizenship because of her Jewish heritage, her ability to speak fluent German allowed her to pass through borders relatively obstacle-free. His father's knowledge of Polish, work in the ghetto Werkstatt (a workshop or small factory) and fair hair were also important factors in their avoidance of the SS. During the journey to Auschwitz, Buergenthal lost sight of his mother. At the camp, the boy witnessed horrendous violence, sickness and death, and survived by running errands for the Kapo who supervised the showers. Separated from his father - whom he never saw again - taken to the hospital camp and marked, he believed, for death, Buergenthal was befriended by a young Polish doctor who saved him. He endured the Auschwitz Death Transport to Sachsenhausen, where the Russians eventually liberated the survivors. Only 11 years old, he briefly joined a Polish scout company before being delivered to an orphanage in Otwock, Poland. A year and a half later his mother finally located him. 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)

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Author's Bio

Thomas Buergenthal is a leading law scholar with a doctorate from Harvard Law School. After taking up various appointments at Law faculties throughout the US he became the first US judge and later President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and a member of the UN Human Rights Committee before joining the International Court of Justice in the Hague. In 2008 he was awarded the Justice Prize by the Gruber Foundation. He is the author of more than a dozen books on international law and is the subject of a biography entitled Tommy by Norwegian humanitarian and founder of UNICEF Odd Nansen.

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