- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
The Mascot: The Extraordinary Story of a Jewish Boy and an SS Extermination Squad Hardcover – 7 Jun 2007
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Part thriller, part psychological drama, part puzzle with a strange twist, "The Mascot" is one of the most astonishing stories to emerge from the Second World War. It tells the remarkable true story of how Alex Kurzem unravelled the shocking secrets of his wartime past. With the support of Mark, his son, Alex began to recall how he evaded the German-led execution squad that decimated his village, but witnessed the murder of his Jewish mother and siblings. He scavenged amongst the trees and protected himself from wolves, before falling into the hands of a Latvian police battalion. The soldiers adopted him as their mascot and Alex accompanied the unit everywhere as it changed its identity and duties to those of an SS unit on the rampage. He even appeared in propaganda films and newspaper articles, riding into Riga in a military parade...yet he was Jewish. At the age of five, was Alex Kurzem a collaborator or just a lost little boy? Caught up in a world of war-crime hunters, former war criminals and security agents with unclear agendas, he has since been threatened by many who believe he has betrayed them.
From the Publisher
An astonishing and award-winning piece of history from the Second World WarSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Apart from one man in the unit, the others were obviously unaware of the boys Jewish origins. These tough men therefore took pity on him and having dressed him in a uniform similar to theirs, they made him their mascot and wherever they went, he now went too. This was a blessing, in disguise, but sadly, when this battalion became part of the dreaded SS it resulted in him witnessing unbelievable atrocities as they also went on the rampage! It is now certain, that had his identity become known, he would have been murdered, however despite all odds, his secret was safe with his guardian and he miraculously survived the war.
Many years later and now living in Australia, with nothing more in his possession other than an odd photograph or two, together with a small number of papers and no more than a few vague memories, Alex knew little of his birth family and it was not until 1997, when after some quizzing , that he eventually confided in his son, whom he now asked to assist him in tracing his routes and to help him discover the truth about his mysterious past.
It is at this point where this splendid volume begins. Alex's story is nothing less than remarkable and I am sure that the reader will find it as fascinating and as gripping reading as I did. The splendid text is backed up by no less than 30 excellent photographs and therefore, at under seventeen pounds for a hardback volume of this quality, it represents excellent value for money.
The narrative illustrates once again a familiar element of survivors of the Holocaust stories - namely that a huge slice of pure luck played a large part.
An amazing read.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews