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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 16 September 2012
This is a story that had to be told. A terrible time in history. Parts of it beggar belief of how people can behave in the way the Nazis did. Puts paid to any holocaust revision and denial. Should be read by everyone.
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on 9 December 2012
wouldn't buy books anywhere else - always use Amazon. This was a gift and arrived quickly. Marvellous read. People complain about life today !!! - well, read this and stop moaning. The thought of suffering like this and surviving through it, inspiring.
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on 9 February 2013
Sam's story is incredible. how he survived so many close calls is itself amazing. The book is extremely well written and i couldn't put it down. I have the good fortune of spending time with Sam and his willingness to talk and write about his experiences is helping me heal from my own trauma, passed on from my father, also an Auschwitz survivor, but one who is unable to speak of the horrors. Thank-you Sam for finding the courage to do this. If only mankind could learn and stop repeating these horrors, but sadly we don't. Cambodia, Rwanda, Dafur.....
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on 2 June 2013
Miraculously there are a number of remarkable books written by survivors of the Holocaust. However, I strongly recommend reading this one because of its power through ordinariness. Sam Pivnik describes in almost detached prose how he moved from living a contented family life in a Polish town near the German border, to being part of a ghetto in that same town, through to surviving different Nazi death camps and then building a new life, first in Israel and then as an art dealer in post-war London. What is striking is how purely descriptive his account is. The book is largely free of judgement of values or ethics or indeed even emotion. The characters he encounters seem to have simply put on costumes to play their roles and are capable of frightening switches as circumstances require. One striking example is his fearsome Nazi guard who Pivnik later encounters in the role of the local farmer who offers him shelter.

Hence the power of the book: ordinary people transformed by circumstance, in a matter-of-fact way, to perform inhuman acts and most disturbing of all, to seemingly reintegrate seamlessly into daily life. Sam Pivnik is clearly a remarkable man, a survivor by his own justified book title. There appears to be little anger, despair or vengeance in him. What I could not discern is whether this is the result of a remarkable peace emerging from indescribable loss or an extraordinary and persistent ability to isolate himself from all that surrounds him. Whatever the answer, he has undoubtedly added a stunning account of the best and worst of the human condition when tested in the severest of circumstances.
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on 22 September 2012
A thoroughly absorbing read that vividly evokes Sam's personal experience of Auschwitz and all its horrors. It is also a very illuminating account of what it is like to live in a country under occupation, told from the perspective of a young boy.Survivor: Auschwitz, the Death March and My Fight for Freedom
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on 9 January 2013
The way this book has been written is absolutely riveting. It draws you in from the very beginning of the war and how it enters Sam's innocent carefree world. how it infiltrates his family, neighbours and friend's lives, and how it gradually ruins everything around him. He writes in a very matter of fact way and you are carried along on his horrendous journey. He went through Hell. It sounds as though he is a charming and cheerful man now, with God-knows-what sort of nightmares. My Dad was a Catholic survivor, and Sam's way of talking and writing reminds me very much of my Dad. It would be an absolute honour to meet someone like Sam and to be able to shake his hand. He is to be much admired for his inner and outer strength and I do pray that he now leads a happy and settled life. A really wonderful and thought provoking book.
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on 12 February 2014
I've read a few books about the concentration camps, but this is the 'best' yet, if you understand my use of the word. No self pity, but a truly absorbing, albeit horrific narrative of a Pole trapped for a long time in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

This is a testament to the title 'Survivor'.

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on 22 April 2014
Really got into this book quickly. could not put it down. As went to Auschwitz last year it has made it more real to read of a person who survived a camp as a prisoner. Thank you for your fast and great service
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on 16 November 2013
I purchased this book after my trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, as I found myself intrigued and wanted to hear more from someone who had been through the ordeal.
I found Sam's story capitvating as his story started in Poland, where he lived with his Jewish family. He was around 13 when the Germans took his home town and I found the early memories of the town being taken extremely interesting. His story develops from there, where his family were moved into the Ghetto nearby, until they were eventually taken to Auschwitz.
I found his story heartbreaking. He was painfully truthful, explaining his experiences in plain terms, not trying to change anything to enhance the reading experience.
I won't spoil the ending, but if you're interested in World War 2 history and enjoy reading the survivor experiences, Sam does a great job of relaying the situation in a factual manner.
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on 10 June 2013
This is a disturbing and shocking account of life in Auschwitz that's well written and compelling. Reading about these events from a personal perspective really helps you to grasp the scale of the brutality and cruelty. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about the holocaus.
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