Top positive review
Very much a great addition to any collection of books relating to such a time and topic of history without a doubt.
on 16 April 2017
I find it strange that this book, after reading and appreciating the content, is not available in hardback. I find that paperbacks beg to be read, man handled and abused while hardbacks last a lot longer and are preferable to some readers. I feel with the content this book provides a hardback reprint would be greatly welcomed and one I would add to my collection without a doubt.
I expected another account, as advertised on the cover, POW's account of his time at Auschwitz and instead got a whole lot more than I realised I was investing in, for the better. This book is split into five parts (Part 1 - Arthur's story, Part 2 - Other accounts, Part 3 - Snapshot from affidavits given under oath at Nuremberg, Part 4 - Responses to Arthur's story, Part 5 - The British governments treatment of survivors) and includes an Epilogue and a list of names of some, not all, British and commonwealth soldiers of whom witnessed the brutality of the "Final Solution."
I really would, after reading, consider this an informative account of not only Arthur's eyewitness account but also provides a greater depth of knowledge of the period in time surrounding the entire events also. Including the fact that Germany, post war, paid Britain on million pounds and not one penny was received by a "deserving recipient." It speaks of just how unprepared, as is said in the book by family members of British POW's, Britain was to deal with what the people that where returning to them had witnessed. It's said, across many books, just how unwilling the people back home where to listen to what the returning POW's and witnesses of genocide had to tell. I dare to imagine the sheer horror of having to endure such sights but then also not being able to talk about them not only through their own inability for one reason or another but also because no one wanted to witness, a great injustice. I thank only that through time we have arrived in our current year and have knowledge, in detail, about such times and are no longer prepared to shut out those of whom had to endure what they did. I feel appreciation also that those who, after enduring the aforementioned, are willing to re-tell their stories years on.
Things that stick out to me was the Allied bombing of Auschwitz that killed some British POW's in the air raid shelter. Also the fact Arthur escaped and bombed part of the complex, I did not note what part down although is included in the book, three nights in a row and then escaped gun fire on the fourth, or fifth night, when attempting to aid in the escape of Jews only surviving because the gunfire was aimed at the Jews on the other side and not the three men, Arthur being one, on the outside. An event he only got away with because the camp commanders realised that if the truth got out not only would heads roll on the British side but also that they'd be sent to the front line to fight. What you have to understand is that many ordinary German soldiers hated the SS officers at such camps because they had comfy and luxurious lifes away from the front line and therefore no threat to their life was posed. I dare to say that the only thing the SS feared where being sent to fight where the enemy could fight back, cowards, amongst other things, of the highest possible level. The detail of a British POW dressing in a striped uniform to push an SS officer 50 foot of the top of a construction building to his death, into cement, is another note that stuck out. The British POW did so because he'd witnessed the SS officer do the same thing to a tired, and near death, Jew.
Lest we not forget the sabotage, genius at that, attempts of the POW's to kill any aid given towards the German war effort.
I really enjoyed reading this to the point I took it out, and not often do I, in public because I didn't want to put it down. I realised not very long in at all that the style that this book is written in would have me gripped from page one until the end, and boy did it.
Thanks to Arthur for putting pen to paper and the author for including such depth of knowledge in one volume on a topic that could probably have a lifetime spent attempting to understand and acknowledge each and every detail. Very much a great addition to any collection of books relating to such a time and topic of history without a doubt. A steal for such a low price truth be told.