Stories of survival 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz

January 27 marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most atrocious concentration camp installed by the Nazis during World War II. 

Over time, different writers have reconstructed the facts through novels and chronicles about some survival stories and their own experiences. Through their work, they have brought millions of readers closer to what it meant to regain freedom.

Here are some reading recommendations:

Patricia Posner, author of the book The Auschwitz pharmacist (Ed. Planeta), recounts “vividly how anyone can fall prey to hatred against Jews and, in the process, lose their own moral compass. It is a book that not only pays tribute through its history to the victims of the death camp, but also serves as an intermittent critical alarm about the dangers of silence and apathy today.”

Victor Capesius guarded the Nazi stockpile of Zyklon B gas and provided drugs that were used by doctors to carry out gruesome and deadly experiments on pregnant women and children. He rummaged through the corpses of the Jews in search of gold fillings, and driven by greed, he dragged heavy suitcases full of that metal extracted from thousands of victims. The Auschwitz pharmacist cuenta su historia.

After an exhaustive investigation, the author recreates the story of Victor Capesius, from his time as a salesman for the pharmaceutical industry, his subsequent incorporation into Nazism, his rise as a sinister figure in the concentration camps and the tortuous process that led to his capture and conviction in the Auschwitz trials. Posner presents unpublished documents and testimonies that reveal the life and work of one of the most sinister and unknown assassins of the brutal machinery of the Third Reich.

For thirty years, Patricia Posner collaborated on twelve historical books with her husband, Gerald Posner. He conducted interviews, read thousands of pages of original documents, and worked on editing and early drafts of manuscripts. As a solo author, she has covered topics in the pharmaceutical industry and public health.

                Edith Eger, Born in Hungary, she survived Auschwitz and fled to Czechoslovakia, eventually ending up in the United States. There he received his doctorate in psychology. She has been the protagonist of documentaries, is a professor at the University of California and has a clinic in La Jolla, California. with his book The Auschwitz Dancer (Ed. Planeta), seeks to help all those whose traumas prevent them from living fully.

Eger was sixteen years old when the Nazis invaded her village in Hungary and took her with the rest of her family to Auschwitz. Upon entering the field, her parents were sent to the gas chamber and she remained with her sister, awaiting certain death. but dance the blue danube for Mengele it saved his life, and from then on a new struggle for survival began. First in the extermination camps, then in the Czechoslovakia taken by the communists and, finally, in the United States, where she would end up becoming a disciple of Viktor Frankl. It was at that moment, after decades of hiding her past, that she realized the need to heal her wounds, to talk about the horror she had experienced and to forgive as a path to healing.
His message is clear: we have the ability to escape the prisons we build in our minds and we can choose to be free, whatever the circumstances of our lives.

Auschwitz tattoo artist, (Ed. Planeta), de Heather Morris.

There are numerous books about the Holocaust, but none like this one. It is based on an incredible true story behind one of its most powerful symbols: the blue numbers tattooed on the arms of concentration camp prisoners. 

When Lale Sokolov was entrusted with the task of tattooing the numbers on the victims who – like him – were locked up in Auschwitz, he used the minimal freedom his role allowed him to exchange jewelry and money from murdered Jews for food to help others to survive. If caught, they would have killed him instantly. Lale made it his mission to live as full a life as possible under these dire circumstances. One morning, in the line of prisoners waiting to be tattooed, a trembling young woman caught his eye. For him it was love at first sight and he swore that, if he managed to leave the field, he would look for her until he found her. 

For four years, Heather Morris interviewed an elderly Lale Sokolov. Based on their meetings and abundant documents but with the power of the best of fictions, Auschwitz tattoo artist narrates those facts that remained almost unknown for more than seventy years. As tragic as the story is, it is a call to hope and courage. And, above all, an unforgettable story of love and survival.

EL viaje de Cilka, (Ed. Espasa), de Heather Morris.

At only sixteen years old, Jewish prisoner Cilka Klein was made the concubine of one of the Auschwitz-Birkenau commandants. She was saved from starvation, disease or in the gas chambers, but, after her release, she was accused of being a collaborator and spy before the NKVD, the brutal Soviet secret police. And so, for the second time in three years, Cilka finds herself crammed into a cattle train that will transport her to Vorkuta, the Siberian gulag located ninety-nine miles from the Circle where she will have to serve more than ten years of service. sentence of forced labor. Fortunately, Cilka manages to become an assistant in the gulag infirmary and there she meets Ivan Kovac, convalescing due to abuse and malnutrition, and little by little they fall in love. Cilka will discover her human capacity for love, generosity and survival, and will manage to keep hope alive in this terrible and desolate place.

The chosen one, (Ed. Planeta), de Andrew Gross.

Mission: rescue the scientist who will crush the Nazis with his discovery. Time: 72 hours. Success percentage: 0.

Heading to the end of World War II, the Allies need to complete a nuclear weapon before their rivals. For the Manhattan Project to be successful, the help of a Jewish physics professor is indispensable. Therefore, the US government tries to get the professor and his family out of Germany, but without much success. When they are finally taken in cattle cars to Auschwitz, like so many other Polish Jews, hope is almost lost that the scientist can collaborate with the Allies to win the war. 

Meanwhile, Nathan Blum, a young Pole who escaped the horror of the Warsaw Ghetto, works for the US government translating and deciphering enemy messages. Due to his skill, cunning and desire to avenge the death of his own, he becomes the right man to complete the mission. He must infiltrate Auschwitz unseen to rescue the professor, but he only has 72 hours to find him and escape before the plane that will land for a few minutes takes them out of that hell.

 Un thriller exciting that catches the reader with this suicide mission, against the clock and that seems to have everything against him.


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