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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome. A must for anyone who has struggled in thier life., 10 Oct. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Europa, Europa (History) (Hardcover)
Perel's story is amazing and will capture the reader from the very first page. Stripped of the dramatized scenes invented for the movie of the same name, "Europa,Europa" is a tower of strength and encouragment on its own. It is a must read for anyone who struggled in their life. Perel's account of his harrowing survival as a Jew deep in the Nazi machine of racial hatred is honest and sincere and makes no attempts to soften the truth or the pain of his situation. Perel led a double life to honor his parents and family and to keep their spirits alive through his own survival. He was inspired continually by the demand of his mother, "You must stay alive!" Perel's story telling is simple and unclouded. His doesn't need any fancy literary genre to accurately relate his compelling story. The plain, simple facts of his story are compelling enough on their own. Read "Europa, Europa." You will not be able to get the story out of your mind. It will touch your life in a positive way and
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different story of Jewish suffering in World War II, 8 April 2014
By 
Denis Vukosav - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Europa, Europa (History) (Hardcover)
'Europa, Europa’ written by Solomon Perel is an amazing story of survival of young Jew in Nazi Germany who instead of hiding from those who have been relentlessly persecuted people of his faith, decided to do just the opposite - join them hiding behind different identity.

The fact that today we read a book written by him confirms that Solomon in his incredible venture succeeded, while his adventures are in same time exciting and sad, emotional, though sometimes psychologically confusing for the reader, but the author himself.

Solomon Perel was born in 1925 and grew up in a small German town Peine in which his parents came as refugees after the revolution in Russia. Solomon was extremely attached to his family, parents, his two brothers and sister, and although after moving into a new environment they didn’t experienced overly warm welcome by German Jews, ordinary Germans have embraced warmly and family lived a quiet civil life earning with a shoe store run by father.

With the arrival of the Nazis to power, the situation for Jews literally begins to change day by day for the worse, and after several years of persecution, first in the form of psychological harassment and disruption of business, and soon after with the violence, the family decided to move to Poland.

Although it would seem that in this way they managed to save the family peace and happiness it was only for a short time because on September 1st 1939 Germans attacked Poland and soon occupied Lodz, the city where the family settled down after exile from Germany. As the fate of the Jews in the new German Empire became evident, Solomon parents decided on an extremely difficult decision - to send Solomon and his brother to the East, to Russia to at least two of them avoid a tragedy ahead of family and other Jews.

However, it seems that for the two brothers it was not meant to be saved in that way, having them separated by set of circumstances and each of them having to seek salvation in their own way. The story of that moment continues to follow only Solomon who, to save his life, decides on a bold, yet somewhat insane plan - he invents a new identity of Lithuanian ethnic German Josef Perjell in whose shoes he will first undergo a Eastern front in the German army, and after that, because he was too young, to be returned to Germany to become a member of the Hitler Youth, bred to serve the Führer and the German state.

While the reader from page to page with the author once again goes through all of what happened to Solomon and Germany the war years, the emotional scenes of the author's gradual doubling of personality to Josef, member of the German youth elite who is respected by his colleagues and teachers, as well as hidden Jew who asks himself what happened to his family, who is tortured by remorse and who wonders whether rescuing his own life is enough reason to hide all that you are, becomes the more intense...

In some countries original title of Solomon Perel book 'Europa, Europa' was translated in a way that is sure to attract a wider audience, given that the motive of Solomon's joining to the Hitler Youth is central motif of this incredible story in which a young Jew due to combination of circumstances, insane courage, and a little luck, manages to survive the war in a place where it is impossible to imagine that a Jew could survive one day in Nazi Germany.

The uniqueness of this book is that in several places the author himself admits that during his many years of turning over was not anymore sure who he really is - a Jew imprisoned in the body of a German or a German who, despite knowing that he is not that, asks whether because of his actions he deserves to be Jew any more. At times, Solomon falls into fully hopelessness, the decision to try to see his parents in the ghetto risks his disclosure to the limit, and then he is forced to move on again and again with the memory of his mother who sad to him and his brother when they were leaving that they must escape, they have to live on because that was the reason why their parents brought them into the world.

The novel is written in a way that makes it clear how Solomon Perel wrote it, the book is not divided into chapters but its action is presented in one part starting from the author's birth to his leaving to Israel after World War II. But despite it, this it is a very fascinating work that shows the story of one boy survival through the most difficult period of human history, especially because the main character is not the typical hero, but a character to who many things can be reproached. However, the reader will surely ask her/himself the question of whether she/he would act like him if they found themselves in Solomon's situation.

Therefore, the novel ‘Europa, Europa’ is one different story about Jewish suffering in World War II, devoid of ornate style and great life lessons, while at the same time Solomon Perel has succeeded to show how far one can go in order to survive.

In addition to full recommendation for reading this interesting book that examines issues of conscience and identity, to those who will enjoy the novel the information will be useful that based on it the movie adaptation was made in 1990 bearing the same name.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Saga of Duplicitous Existence, 12 Aug. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Europa, Europa (History) (Hardcover)
Solomon Perel's story is unique. His acceptance by the Nazis as an "ethnic German" leads to a double existence - a jingoistic Hitler Youth on the outside, and a pensive tortured Jew on the inside. It is this battle between "Jupp" and "Solly" that captures the reader; and it is quite clear that even Mr. Perel himself has yet to integrate these two contradicting personalities. Europa, Europa admirably describes the experiences of Solly Perel, and continually amazes with its remarkable developments and stunning coincidences. In the end, the story best illustrates the irrationality of racial hatred. While his Nazi acquaintances held Jupp in great esteem, the same individuals would have surely killed Solly without much thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Memoir, 21 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Europa, Europa (History) (Hardcover)
This was an exciting book. It went well but differed from the movie. I enjoyed reading the trials and tribuations that this young man endured. It was nice to a read a book that was from a different point of view. His struggles in life made him an interesting individual. I really enjoyed this book and I hope you do too. This was a sad story of course but I truely enjoyed the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good and interesting book., 27 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Europa P (Paperback)
As far as I remember I saw the film version of this book before I read it. I recommend that the book be read before watching the movie. This is a book I've read two times and it was definately worth the time. Unimaginable what it must've been like to be in his place. Survival was the driving force for Perel. Great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!, 6 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Europa, Europa (History) (Hardcover)
I saw the movie first, which got me interested in reading the book. Perel's story is amazing and his journey is inspirational. You hear so much about the other side of the story, the Jews who suffered under the Nazi forces. Now you hear about a Jew who joined them.
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Europa, Europa (History)
Europa, Europa (History) by Solomon Perel (Hardcover - 19 Jun. 1997)
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