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Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz Paperback – 30 Aug 1995

4.8 out of 5 stars 248 customer reviews

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  • Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor's True Story of Auschwitz
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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers; 2nd Revised edition (30 Aug. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897333764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897333764
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Thank you for your very frank, very well-written book. You have done a real service by letting the ones who are now silent and most forgotten speak... --Albert Einstein

About the Author

Olga Lengyel


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A realistic of the author's life and consience told in stark and unrelenting detail. The pangs of guilt as she persuades her Mother and son to join the ranks of the old and very young during the selection, believing them protected from brutal work only to make the shocking later discovery - their line led to death. The moral question of delivering live babies in camp - where a Mother was spared death only if the baby was declared stillborn. If not, both met their end immediately. Told with a calm sincerity. Memorable! A book worth reading- and reading again.
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By A Customer on 7 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
How did it happen? Your emotions run wild when you read this book. How this woman survived is amazing. The courage and determination comes out in every page. I had to put this book down quite a few times to wipe away the tears. My own little problems are certainly put into perspective now.
This book is brilliant but horrifying to know that it is true, and the end chapter, when you think the worst has happened, knocks you back. How did it happen and why?????
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is the story of a woman who spent about seven months in Auschwitz and survived to tell the tale. She wrote this book shortly after her ordeal, while her horrific experience was still fresh in her mind. It was definitely a mind numbing, life changing experience, as it saw the loss of her entire family, her parents, her children, and her husband. It should be noted that none of them, including Olga, were Jewish.
Olga Lengyel lived an upper-middle class existence in Transylvania, in the capital city of Cluj. Her husband, Dr. Miklos Lengyel, was a Berlin trained medical doctor and the director of a private hospital that he had built shortly before the onset of World War II. Olga had also studied medicine and was qualified to be a surgical assistant. She and her husband had two young sons. They were all surviving the war as best they could, with Germans an occupying force. They even had a German soldier billeted with them for a time.
Olga had begun to hear disturbing things about what the Germans were doing in occupied territories, but had discounted it. She felt that Germany, a country that had contributed so much culturally to the world, could not be culpable of some of the atrocities of which she was hearing. She felt the stories that she was hearing were too fantastical to be believable. Then her husband came under the cross-hairs of the Nazis, accused of having his hospital boycott pharmaceuticals made by the German Bayer Company. This was the beginning of the end for the Lengyel family. Shortly thereafter in May of 1944, he was ordered to be deported to Germany.
When Olga heard this, she insisted on accompanying her husband, as she thought that he would be put to work in a German hospital. She naively asked the Nazis if she could accompany her husband, and they had no objection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From almost after the 1st few pages, you find yourself actually there, and interacting with the Olga, when she is frightned about whats going to happen to her and her family you can feel it too, you cry and feel her sorrow and pain. She doesn't try to soften her words to discribe the autrocities she witnessed, nor does she ask for your pity. Well worth a read
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By A Customer on 30 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a book that will stay with me for life, it is written so you can smell what it must have been like for them all. It is the only book I have ever read that made me sob while reading. I would recommend it to anyone, it is a must read book, we must never forget what these people went through.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book literally left me feeling winded and slightly bewildered. I have read several books on the holocaust, but this one has upset me the most. This is not a book for the faint hearted as Olga describes many vulgar scenes in absolute details. Part of me wishes I had not read the book, as my utter disgust at what the Nazis did is eating away at me. The things they did to millions of innocent humans including babies and children is heartbreaking. To me the story felt fictional all the way through, I dont think I could allow my brain to believe this was real horror as oppose to made up horror. The suffering that is described in this book completely defies belief. I do urge you not to read the book if you suffer from nightmares or cannot take hearing horrors of war-it doesnt get any worse than this. To think Olga survived is unbelievable, my personal self I would not have wanted to survive after losing my entire family and having gone through what she did. A strong lady. My only criticism (which i will probably get crisiticsed for heavily) is that she followed Nazi orders which resulted in the death of children and women. Easy for me to sit on my soap box and say under no circumstances would I have aided the death of any of these innocent victims. A must read so you can make up your own mind. Thank god that the majority of us live in a civilized society and god rest the millions of jews and others that were killed in such horrific ways. Rest in Peace xxxx
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Format: Paperback
This book was first published in English in 1947. It presents life and death in Auschwitz in great detail, and offers an excellent overview of the concentration camp world. The author's own story is gripping and heart-wrenching. The early date, 2 years after WWII ended, ensures that the author's memories of the camp are still lucid and the details very precise. Olga Lengyel studied to be a physician, and her informed analysis of the treatment meted out to inmates make this book special. I view this book as a Holocaust Studies "benchmark" - other accounts often fall short of its quality and level of detail. It is also significant as an account of a woman's experience. Until recently, women's Holocaust experiences were a rather neglected area.
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