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The Last Jews in Berlin Paperback – 28 Jul 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group (28 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786706872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786706877
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 811,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
This books vividly tells the tale of few of the Jewish survivors living in Berlin during the 2nd world war. After reading the book I was left with a feeling of amazement at the bravery and strong will to survive that makes mankind fight for the lives during the most horrible of times.
The book also reminded me about the horrible things men can do to each other.
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By Toni Osborne on 2 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an amazing account and the real-life story of some Berlin area Jews who managed to stay alive in hiding till the end of the war after the S.S. lightning roundup of all remaining Jews in Operation Factory. Such Jews were known as “U’Boats”. This book is based on interviews of the survivors conducted in 1967 and 1978 and is a powerful and gripping portrait of life during WW11.

The author fills in the backgrounds of all these survivors and we follow their travels and observe them under varied situation. Each story is broken into many pieces and the narrative weaves a suspenseful mosaic of experiences. This dramatization is solid and reads like a thriller.

The day to day struggle to stay alive is a harrowing and poignant experience which capped the essence of fear, hunger and desperation to a tee. Being hunted by the Gestapo, the SS and the Jews called “catchers” and still manage to hold your sanity and stay alive all that time is short of a miracle. Thanks to the good heart and courage of some German citizens and members of the Swedish church of Berlin few cheated the gas chambers and lasted long enough to see the Russian invasion and their liberation.

This book is so well-written and captivating it is hard to put down. I do agree with those saying this book is a tribute to the survivors as well as to their protectors.

This is an amazing read I highly recommend.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Open Road Integrated Media for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book
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Format: Paperback
Leonard Gross provides fascinating insight into a rarely covered subject. Written like a thriller and with an unlikely cast of helpers including Horst Wessel's sister, a pro-Nazi Field Marshal's son and a Prussian Countess, the book holds your attention throughout.

Known as die Taucher, the divers, they were also referred to as U-Boats. 11,000 Jews went underground in Berlin during the war years of 1939 – 1945. 1400 survived the war.

It's a tale of human decency, but also human weakness and selfishness.

The decency is represented by those Germans who stayed true to their pre-Nazi era political beliefs and conscience by helping Jews survive despite knowing that this could be at the cost of the lives of themselves and their loved ones. One story I wasn't aware of was the leading role played by the Swedish Church in Berlin in saving hundreds of Jews.

Weakness is shown by those that sold out to the Nazis especially those Jews who became “Jew catchers” in the hope that this would save their own and their families lives, one of whom survived the war and continued to live in Berlin.

Selfishness is portrayed by the infighting and the situations where stealing or informing would be used for personal gain.

The book reads like a thriller and despite the regular switches between the different characters, I found it easy to follow the individual stories.

Recommended for insight into this rarely written about aspect of Holocaust history.
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By Amanda Jenkinson TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
When Hitler seized power in 1933 there were 160,000 Jews living in Berlin. By the end of the war in 1945 only a few hundred were still there. This well-researched book chronicles the experiences of some of those few survivors. Based on first-hand testimony, Gross tells their stories in great detail and it makes for some harrowing reading. However, by reconstructing conversations and by imagining others I found a false note creeping in, and would have preferred if the author had kept to a straightforward narrative. We don’t need to hear the survivors’ own words – unless they did indeed have perfect recall of the words spoken at the time. The story is too important to make anything up. Secondly the author has chosen to chop and change the focus in each chapter so the reader constantly has to catch up with the narrative and remember what has happened to each person up to that point. So for me some of the impact was diluted, which is a shame as the subject is one that has not had much attention paid to it before, and it’s certainly an interesting and important one.
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