The incredible TRUE STORY behind the iconic photograph, taken at the liberation of a death train deep in the heart of Nazi Germany, brought to life by the history teacher who reunited hundreds of Holocaust survivors of this train and their children with the actual American soldiers who saved them!
THE HOLOCAUST was a watershed event in history. In this book, award winning author Matthew Rozell reconstructs a lost chapter–the liberation of a ‘death train’ deep in the heart of Nazi Germany in the closing days of the World War II. Drawing on never-before published eye-witness accounts, survivor testimony and memoirs, and wartime reports and letters, Rozell brings to life the incredible true stories behind the iconic 1945 liberation photographs taken by the soldiers who were there. He weaves together a chronology of the Holocaust as it unfolds across Europe, and goes back to literally retrace the steps of the survivors and the American soldiers who freed them. Rozell’s work results in joyful reunions on three continents, seven decades later. He offers his unique perspective on the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations, and the impact that one person, a teacher, can make.
PREVIEW THE BOOK here
~”A ‘Must-Read’. A real tribute to the survivors and liberators. I could not put this book down. Highly recommended as a required reading for anyone taking or teaching Holocaust History. Suited for high school / college / adult education settings.”– Rabbi Justin Schwartz
~”If you have any trepidation about reading a book on the Holocaust, this review is for you. [Matthew Rozell] masterfully conveys the individual stories of those featured in the book in a manner that does not leave the reader with a sense of despair, but rather a sense of purpose.”-Cassandra
~”One might think why this book should be read: there are so many books about the Holocaust and yes, we know it happened. But in no book that I have read up to this day, the story comes to life in such a personal way. How the lives of innocent people were impacted, what they went through and how they were formed by their experience. By zooming in on this particular event, you get to know what it was like – not only for the victims, but also for their liberators. Or, as quoted in the book: It is important to have the past in front of you – not in the ‘rearview’ as one moves forward.” -Amazon customer
~You are there! Brilliantly brought to life by meticulous research. A lesson for all about what tyranny can bring about. -Amazon customer
~”As an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker I am always looking for good stories; stories that move the heart as well as the mind. This book does that in spades. From the first page to the last it rivets you to the passion of the author’s journey and to the story of the people of whom he writes about. This story is a shining example of the good that people can do to help their fellow man. It is a story of a man who has followed his heart and mind to accomplish great things for others.”-Michael J. Edwards, Searching For Augusta (PBS)
About the Author
MATTHEW ROZELL is an award-winning history teacher, author, blogger and speaker. He has been featured as the ABC World News ‘Person of the Week’ and has had his work filmed for CBS News, NBC Learn, the Israeli Broadcast Authority, the New York State United Teachers, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Most recently, he is the recipient of the New York State Education Department’s Yavner Teaching Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching the Holocaust and Human Rights.
-Featuring testimony from 15 American liberators and over 30 Holocaust survivors
-10 custom maps
-73 photographs and illustrations, many never before published.
502 pages-extensive notes and bibliographical references
BOOK ONE-THE HOLOCAUST
BOOK TWO-THE AMERICANS
-From the author of ‘The Things Our Fathers Saw’ World War II narrative history trilogy-
- From the book:
‘I survived because of many miracles. But for me to actually meet, shake hands, hug, and cry together with my liberators–the ‘angels of life’ who literally gave me back my life–was just beyond imagination.’–Leslie Meisels, Holocaust Survivor–
- ‘Battle-hardened veterans learn to contain their emotions, but it was difficult then, and I cry now to think about it. What stamina and regenerative spirit those brave people showed!’–George C. Gross, Liberator–
- ‘Never in our training were we taught to be humanitarians. We were taught to be soldiers.’–Frank Towers, Liberator–
- ‘I cannot believe, today, that the world almost ignored those people and what was happening. How could we have all stood by and have let that happen? They do not owe us anything. We owe them, for what we allowed to happen to them.’–Carrol Walsh, Liberator–
- ‘[People say it] cannot happen here in this country; yes, it can happen here. I was 21 years old. I was there to see it happen.’–Luca Furnari, US Army–
- ‘[After I got home] I cried a lot. My parents couldn’t understand why I couldn’t sleep at times.’–Walter ‘Babe’ Gantz, US Army medic–
- ‘I grew up and spent all my years being angry. This means I don’t have to be angry anymore.’–Paul Arato, Holocaust Survivor–
- ‘For the first time after going through sheer hell, I felt that there was such a thing as simple love coming from good people–young men who had left their families far behind, who wrapped us in warmth and love and cared for our well-being.’–Sara Atzmon, Holocaust Survivor–
- ‘It’s not for my sake, it’s for the sake of humanity, that they will remember.’–Steve Barry, Holocaust Survivor
Can you even imagine what unfolds as liberating soldiers and the children they saved from death re-meet each other after 65, 70 years? The old GIs uniting with the ACTUAL people they saved, two generations on?
Watch the short ABC WORLD NEWS PERSON OF THE WEEK clip below.
And think about what it all means.
Hudson Falls, NY
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~”FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY”~