Diary of a Buchenwald Survivor and Rescuer
AUTHOR: Werber, Jack and Helmreich, William B.
PUBLISHER: Transaction Publishers
Also available at Amazon.com
This is a remarkable story of survival, resistance, and courage. Jack Werber spent five and a half years in Buchenwald, one of Hitler's most notorious concentration camps. More than 56,000 inmates were put to death there and, out of 3,200 Polish prisoners who entered the camp together with Werber, only eleven were alive by war's end. Of those, he was the only Jew.
But Werber did more than survive; he helped others survive. In what is truly one of the most amazing stories to come out of the Holocaust, Jack Werber helped to save the lives of some 700 Jewish children who had arrived at Buchenwald in late 1944. Shortly before that Werber had learned that his entire family his wife, daughter, parents, and seven brothers and sisters had all been murdered by the Nazis. "There was no reason to go on," he had thought, but seeing the children transformed his outlook. He resolved to do everything in his power to prevent them from meeting his daughter's fate.
Werber is one of the very few Jews to belong to the camp underground. Together with several other Jews, he made saving children his special mission. At great personal risk, he arranged for them to be hidden in various barracks and to be given false working papers. Incredibly, he and his group actually started a school where the children studied Jewish history, music, and the Hebrew language. These activities gave the youngsters hope that they might survive and ultimately most of them did.
This story of resilience and courage has never been told before, despite the thousands of books that have appeared about the Holocaust. In Saving Children, we learn how it was achieved. Werber describes in fascinating detail what life in Buchenwald was like, providing much new information about the daily struggle for existence that characterized life in the camp. Above all, he shows how it was possible to remain human and to act with compassion, even in the face of enormous cruelty and barbarism.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1/1/1996
CATEGORY: Biography & Autobiography, History