Thomas Buergenthal waited several years to tell his Holocaust story. After he and his mother immigrated to America, he studied law, taught law and became a judge at the Hague International Court. In the book’s foreword, Elie Wiesel had this to say about whether Buergenthal’s story was the same as other survivors:
At first glance, all accounts seem to tell the same story. Sometimes we may even wonder whether it was the same German tormentor who abused, tortured, and killed the same Jew six million times. And yet, each story retains its own identity, its own voice.
Thomas attributed his survival not to divine intervention, but merely luck. A clairvoyant told his mother that she predicted he would be a lucky child. Thomas remembers her saying it and his mother always believed it. When his family was sent off to a concentration camp, they were separated.
The story Buergenthal tells is somewhat different than others I’ve read. He always seemed to find a way to make himself useful and avoid the atrocities that other Jews faced. After his liberation it took almost two years for his mother to locate him. In 1951 they immigrated to America to begin a new life.
Given his life experiences, it is not at all surprising that Thomas Buergenthal has dedicated his life not only to the law, but human rights around the world. It’s a well-written and thoughtful memoir about a lucky survivor who overcame his early life experiences in Nazi Germany and continues to make a difference in the world.
Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!
© Sharon Hall (Digging History), 2014.