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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that reaches out, 8 Feb. 2007
By 
Steven Fligelstone (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is an extraordinary book and one from which almost any reader - irrespective of their level (or lack) or prior knowledge will acquire a deeper knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust and its continuing impact. In 1996, Holocaust authority (and Churchill biographer) Gilbert accompanied a group of students (mixed faith, mixed experience, some with considerable expertise of their own) on a tour of the death camps and killing fields of the Second World War (although going no further East than Poland). It was a punishing schedule by any standards - virtually every night spent in a different place - to say nothing of the emotional energy expended on visiting six death camps, key locations in Berlin, numerous Nazi-erected ghettos and the former domiciles of countless vanished Jewish communities. Approaching the subject through place - whether death camp, ghetto, town or rail track - and accompanying the two-week long trip with a wealth of apposite readings - recollections, historical accounts, political speeches and so on, most of them included in the book - lend the facts an immediacy not easily achieved with this subject matter. This immediacy is conveyed superbly in the book, through a combination of skilful writing, diary-like reconstruction of the trip, and occasional and poignant - but not overbearing - personal reflection. Contrasts with Gilbert's previous visit to some of the places in 1980, ongoing controversies and policy shifts over monuments, and conversations en route with people unconnected to the group add further interest to the book.

The book is equally valuable for anyone planning to undertake such a trip themselves, anyone who has already done so, or indeed anyone who has no such intention. Just as the members of the group were undoubtedly grateful to Gilbert for agreeing to organize the trip (it was not his idea) so I found myself profoundly appreciative of the fact that he took the trouble to write it up for the benefit of others.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting history/travel book, 1 Feb. 2007
By 
SJ SMART "Smartie" (London) - See all my reviews
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I first came across this book when I was on a tour of Krakow and Auschwitz on a history teachers tour. The Travel guide often quoted from it when we reached various sights in Krakow. I found it very interesting and when I returned to the UK I bought my own copy.

Its an interesting fusion of history and travel writing, in that we discover details of the holocaust as we travel across Europe with Gilbert's group.

As the other reviewers have pointed out its packed full of info about the holocaust and the camps and I found it very interesting and moving.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only the brave might read this; but everyone should., 31 Dec. 2010
By 
Philip Bedford (Henlow, Beds) - See all my reviews
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Martin Gilbert is a master historian; the chronocle of this journey with mature students, to the many famously infamous sites with their links to the holocaust that was wrought by Hitler's anger and the willingness of his supporters, is a remarkable piece of writing.

The movement between the present and the events of the actions taken against the Jewish peoples of Europe follow in seemless interchanges of tone and mood so as to lead the reader into those images and sounds that the author presents. A constant delight is the way we are told that such and such a person, or such and such an action was here; putting the metaphorical 'Kilroy was here' before the reader. References to the related acoounts accompany each narrative so that referrences can be checked, and the original accounts read.

Personal stories of Martin Gilbert's grandparents, and biographical accounts of the experiences of Ben Helfgott and his family are recounted with honest clarity. These are put into context by the nature of the trip's organisation. We start in London and are taken, sometimes in tears, to the far east of Poland. Nor is the present reality of anti-semitism glossed over as the group is confronted by modern attitudes both amongst local bus drivers and Polish youth.

Some of the extracts used by the teacher to inform his students are not at all for the faint-hearted. Anyone with a sense of moral understanding will find parts almost unbearably inhuman, and yet we cannot ignore the facts. Martin Gilbert set out to add the reality to the facts learned by his students in a heart-wrenching journey that some did not complete.

The addage that many holocaust survivors have brought with them from those awful times and fearsome places is, 'Tell them!' This book surely begins the telling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and moving, 20 Aug. 2010
By 
This is arguably the finest of all of Martin Gilbert's many books about the Holocaust. The unusual format of a travel diary enables him to bring out fully the history of each of the locations (in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland), supported by a powerful selection of readings which are reproduced here. It is also fascinating to discover the reactions of the members of the group and of the people they meet along the way.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking guide to the Holocaust, 10 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
This thought provoking guide of the experiences of those who suffered during the Holocaust in the style of a guided tour of the main places and routes which were central to the events which took place at that time, is a reminder of the impact which it had on the whole of Europe. Coupled with individual stories and experiences, this book makes for an interesting and compelling read and is highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When I was fortunate enough to live in Poland for a number of ..., 3 Jan. 2015
When I was fortunate enough to live in Poland for a number of years I took the opportunity to visit virtually all the Nazi Camps as I have a particular interest in The Holocaust. At the same time this excellent book was published by Martin Gilbert so naturally I purchased one of the initial copies and found it impossible to put down so read it cover to cover in a weekend.
My next use of the book was to take it with me to each of the locations I visited and quite simply sit in the centre of each Camp and read the appropriate text to soak in the atmosphere and see it through another person's eyes. I am so glad I did this as it enhanced the experience and the understanding of what had happened coupled with the horror of what it must have been like.
As a very intense photographer it was the only time I felt compelled to shoot in black and white as somehow colour was inappropriate for such a mission.
A truly excellent publication by Sir Martin Gilbert.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable book, 5 Feb. 2013
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This book has been around for a long time but I find it so fascinating, thought provoking and shocking to read. One of the best books I have read about the Holocaust. It should still be in print - I bought a used copy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST HOLOCAUST BOOK EVER WRITTEN, 13 Nov. 2008
By 
walter Scott "walter scott" (U.K,scotland,newton mearns) - See all my reviews
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Personally ive never read such an overpowering,factual,humbling and infomative book on the holocaust.The diary/journal and the site view was a brilliant way of delivering the deep hidden horrors that took place in Poland during the war years.On numerous occasions over the past twenty years ive wondered how the Germans were able to root out and murder over 3 million human beings of Jewish religion from such a large country as Poland .From all the large cites to its smallest villages they succeded.The best book ever written about the holocaust.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everybody should read this, 27 April 2013
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i cant find wors to describe how this book affected me. i still think about it. it is very very sad . it is very well written and informative. everybody should read this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One for serious Holocaust students., 13 Dec. 2014
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This sets out to be a diary from an educational trip. Sounds dull already, doesn't it. The holocaust has few secrets as it has been reported so widely and continues to be so. What makes this book different is the wider picture of nations who were involved. Thought provoking might be expected. Informing would be a bonus, but in this case it broadens the perspective. Educational but never dull.
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Holocaust Journey: Traveling in Search of the Past
Holocaust Journey: Traveling in Search of the Past by Martin Gilbert (Hardcover - 3 Oct. 1997)
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