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on 13 November 1998
"The Dentist of Auschwitz" is an outstanding and accessible nonfiction Holocaust memoir on a par with Elie Wiesel's venerable and moving novella, "Night." As a survivor of both labor and concentration camps during the Holocaust years in Europe, Benjamin Jacobs offers us two very unusual perspectives into the Nazi kingdom of death. First, he was already a young adult when he was incarcerated in a labor camp in Poland; he was not a child nor was he already a person advanced in age, and thus he brings a unique vantage. Secondly, Mr. Jacobs, now in his eighties, has expended the effort and anguish to reach back through the benefit of five intervening decades of time to relate his harrowing story and that of his family. "The Dentist of Auschwitz" is a very human account of an ordinary Jewish family in Poland whose lives were changed indelibly--and for his mother, father, and sister, ultimately extinguished. In a thoroughly engaging manner, Mr. Jacobs relates his thoughts, loves, passions, and challenges with God as he endured the daily fear and hunger, cold and pain of 4 years in the Holocaust universe. He is to be commended for sharing his life with us. Hopefully, we will listen.
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on 20 March 1999
I found this book wonderful.Other that being rich in detail the story gives you a clear picture of what life was like in Auschwitz.Overall I feel that this title is a mus have for any library.
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on 25 September 2011
I've recently become interested in the Holocaust and all things alike, and have bought several books set in this era to get an insight into life at that time. This book did not disappoint at all. It is a real-life account (written in first person) of the struggles of being a Jew in Nazi Germany, starting off with life in the Ghettos, to life in different concentration camps, including, as the title suggests, Auschwitz.
Reading this book is a great way of understanding the true horror of life in the concentration camps, of the evil of some people, and of the sheer will to survive of others. Although you can learn about concentration camps in other ways, this is surely the best way to really sympathise with the Jews point of view, and the harsh, inhumane conditions they faced. You have to keep reminding yourself that this all did actually happen, that every time you read an inmate being shot, that it was a real person, who really died at the hands of the Nazis. For anybody interested in getting a real-life perspective to concentration camp life, this is definitely the book to choose.
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on 19 October 2013
I have read a few accounts of survivors of concentration camps, and this one strikes me as a wonderfully clear and lucid account. I must say that I have gained much spiritual strength from reading these accounts, and appreciation of the things that we are given to possess. Also running through the account is the beautiful miracle of the strength of the Jewish faith. I am a Christian myself and was tremendously moved by the seemingly indestructible faith of some of the Jewish prisoners, especially the author's father. If the author is a rock, it is not hard to see the kind of upbringing that will have shaped him. One is reminded of the book of Job, and the account of the writer of Ecclesiastes. The Jews have never been presented with a very clear picture of salvation either in the Old Testament, nor since, as they have not had any new revelation, compared to what the Christians have had. When I behold the strength of their Faith inspite of this, I am astounded. I hope that the Jews always remain as pious as those of pre-war Poland, for it is a beautiful thing to behold. For I know that by doing so we glorify the same God. By the way, the book is available for free on the Nizkor project website. God bless
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on 28 November 2013
This is a very good book. I read it over three nights. The author came from a middle class family in Poland. When he and his father were sent to a camp, he took his dental tools with him. This later gave him the opportunity to be camp dentist in a series of camps. As camp dentist he generally got better treatment. He talks about the different people in the camps. The camps were a very odd world. One inmate had been in the Hitler Youth until they found out that he had a Jewish father. One guard at Fürstengrube tormented the author every day (which was allowed) but cleaned his finger nails using the sterilised dental equipment (which was forbidden) and resulted in the guard being moved from the camp; before he left he went and said goodbye to the author, just as if he were a friend. What impressed me most about the book were the descriptions of many acts of kindness, including by guards. People who are responsible for crimes against humanity, will sometimes do acts of goodness.
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on 15 August 1999
One of the best books I've read in years, I started it to kill time until the family returned from shopping, with every intention of spending the remainder of the day at the lake enjoying the magnificent 76 degree sunny saturday.
However it hooked me and I ended up sitting in my study well into the evening until I'd finished it. The authors prose is truly compelling, he breathes life into the pages of this book, his timing is impecable, the readers interest never falters.
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on 12 November 2011
A must read, if you like a full run down on what it must have been like to survive WW2 as a Jew in Occupied Europe.
How this man survived, and to be honest, was mainly luck is amazing. To end up in Auschwitz after so many camps, and
live to write this book, is a miracle in itself. I rate this book highly, and a must read for History Buffs of the camps, and the war in General. To think if he had not had any Dental training at all, he would have been gassed,
along with so many others, as this clearly saved him from that. Frightening.
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on 15 August 2013
One of the most interesting & readable books I have read on the subject of Auschwitz.
I found it very interesting & a compelling read from start to finish.
Be prepared to shed a few tears!
Llew (Bolton)
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on 30 March 1999
A very well-written first person account of the Holocaust, easily readable. This book can either introduce someone that has little knowledge of the Holocaust to its horrors or will add to the knowledge of those who already are well-versed in the brutal behavior of the Nazis. The fact that this book has the most in-depth account of the worst sea disaster in history (the bombing of the Deutchland, Cap Arcona, and Thielbeck) that I could find in the English language adds to its value.
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on 12 June 2013
A very interesting and detailed account of life in Poland before and during the holocaust. A moving and sad story, a must read for anyone with an interest in the holocaust.
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