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A Welsh Prisoner of War's Story,
This review is from: The Auschwitz Goalkeeper: A Prisoner of War's True Story (Hardcover)
This isn't just the story of Ron's time in Auschwitz, he also tells us of what his life in Wales was like before and after this terrible time.
Ron's poignant story is added to with testimonies and quotes from fellow prisoners of war. Joe Lovejoy has also completed Ron's story with facts, figures and other Auschwitz research to give us an overall feel of what happened in the hell that was Auschwitz and its aftermath.
Before reading this book, I had been totally oblivious to the fact that giant companies were working and treating POWs and Jews like slaves. The Jews who survived being selected for the gas chambers would instead be worked to death, the Nazi's were hiring out both POWs and Jews to companies such as IG Farben for slave labour. Ultimately, the path for the Jews led to the gas chambers, whether they went straight there or worked until they fell.
Ron Jones recognises that the POWs had it far easier than the Jews, but still... the POWs didn't know if they would be exterminated next, imagine fearing that day in and day out, and then there were the death marches across Europe as the Red Army advanced on Auschwitz and the other concentration camps.
What makes Ron's harrowing story even more awful is that Ron should never have been on the battlefield in the first place, let alone in a POW camp. Ron was in what was regarded as a `reserved occupation', but a simple error sent him into the battlefield and into the hands of the Nazis. That simple error changed Ron's life and could have seen him lose it.
Ron's story might be harrowing and compelling, but it is not self-glorifying. Ron has simply told his story as it was. Ron also questions the stories of other survivors and whether some events really could have taken place. He hasn't made himself out to be a hero, but a man that has endured what he has and survived to tell the tale, must still be someone special.
So what makes this prisoner of war story different to others? At 96 years old, Ron Jones wants to set the record straight once and for all and before it's too late. I wasn't there (Thank God!), so I can only take Ron and other POWs at their word, but Ron's story isn't fanciful and there's no obvious exaggeration. Ron has simply told it how it was. Nevertheless, Ron's story should be read and, with Joe Lovejoy's help, I've certainly learned a thing or two from reading it.
Let us hope history has been learned from.