This was author Joel Rosenberg’s first work of historical fiction. I am a fan of his books, especially his political thriller series, and I was not disappointed with his latest book, Auschwitz Escape. He shares in notes at the end of the book that in many ways it was the most difficult book he’s ever written, a deeply personal project.
As far as Rosenberg knows, none of his relatives died at Auschwitz or the other death camps throughout Europe, but nevertheless it is an emotional journey to write about such a horrific period of history as a Jew. In 2011 he traveled to Poland and toured Auschwitz, a moving and life-changing experience no doubt. He purchased a book titled London Has Been Informed in the bookstore, from which the idea for this book eventually arose.
The story is centered on one young man, Jacob Weisz, whose family was murdered by the Nazis. He joined the Resistance and while attempting a daring rescue of hundreds of Jews on a train headed to Auschwitz, he was trapped in one of the train cars and taken there himself. From that point, Rosenberg crafts a story of how Jacob is able to survive by meeting, unbeknownst to him their true identity, members of another resistance group who were determined to get the word out to the world about what was really happening in the prison (death) camps.
During that period of harrowing and horrific history, there were some European Christians who reached out to Jews and sheltered them. In the book, Jean-Luc Leclerc is a French assistant pastor who was sent to Auschwitz for such activities and eventually met up with Jacob. Not all elements of the book are fictional – portions are taken from actual historical records and letters, all of which makes the book more interesting and intriguing.
If you are a Joel Rosenberg fan, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. If you’ve never read any of his books, I would highly recommend you check them out – you won’t be disappointed.
Have a GREAT day . . . someday it will be HISTORY!
© Sharon Hall (Digging History), 2014.