Top positive review
on 20 June 2017
The story of Sam Pivnik is simply incredible. Sam is bravely matter-of-fact about what he has been through, but how could he not be, this was his life and this is what he suffered.
Some of the events Sam suffered before the close of the war were so surreal, that they would be farcical if they were not so horrifying: getting a 'backie' of a brutal SS camp commandant on his motorbike, and then living in his parents pigsty and spending an evening with his sister; being shot at in the sea by the RAF <i>and</i> the nazis; fellow inmates sifting through their own excrement for diamonds, believing it would offer them protection.
There is simply far too much to say, and a simple Amazon review could never do Sam, his book, or the nightmare of the war justice.
Sam's humility is admirable, and he is as honest as he is courageous. Survivor reads like a waking nightmare, and of course it was,a terror that thankfully so few people have to experience in this day and age.
If you are like me, you will read large amounts of this book open mouthed, and will finish it much quicker than you expect.
It is sad that Max Schmidt did not face the justice that Sam hoped for. If there is any comfort, no matter how unworthy and insufficient it is, is that many of his tormentors - police, soldiers, kapos (inmate supervisors), judenrate (council workers) - who no doubt deluded themselves they were 'just following orders guv', were tracked down and hunted to the ends of the world.
A huge 5 stars for a story that had to be told. I hope the telling of the book somehow closes a chapter of Sam's life, and brings some sort closure to the great man.