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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Scheisshaus Luck
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 13 December 2017
Absolutely s Utley brilliAntly written with some warped humour that helped the author get through such horrific times. The best book on the holocaust I have read. I recently visited Auschwitz-Birkenau & it's absolutely incredible that anyone could survive.
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on 27 March 2017
We,ll worth the read the guy holds no punches would recommend this book to all a must buy it makes you crie and some times it is funny
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on 15 June 2010
"Scheisshaus Luck" is a memoir by Pierre Berg with Brian Brock that is a fascinating and thoroughly engaging read that you will want to read straight through without putting it down. This is not a normal Holocaust survivors memoir, for Mr. Berg was not only a teenage French citizen but a gentile. The Gentiles consisted of over half of the people the Nazi's killed in these infamous death camps and there are very few accounts from a gentile that were incarcerated at Auschwitz-Mononwitz; this is the only one I am aware of from this particular camp.

Though you will want to continue reading this teenagers life as a political prisoner of the Third Reich be warned that the raw telling of this story holds nothing back. As you read his account it is hard to believe that one human could do such a thing to another....yet horrifying events seem to never stop. Only the country and the victim changes. And the book is appropriately titled, Berg's survival was mainly predicated by luck. Yes he had the ability to translate four languages and had some rudimentary electrical and mechanical skills. But it is obvious the role luck played on his survival. In the end notes we learned he was luckier than he even thought...for it was shown later in the German records of Auschwitz that the young Mr. Berg was recorded in the medical ward as being a Jew.

Do not get me wrong, this is not an enjoyable book but one that must be read and you will want to read once you start. Not only the horrible atrocities of the SS related but what the other camp prisoners did to one another. On the forced march as the Germans moved the prisoners from Auschwitz on what would be known as the death march you see how some of the prisoners cannibalized their own companions. It is humanity at its worst, basic survival and for Mr. Berg the greatest string of lucky breaks anyone ever had. And yet his arrest was just very bad luck of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. There is strong language, sexual content and violence yet it is all in context what transpired during this horrific period of human history.
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on 19 September 2008
In 1943, Pierre Berg, an 18 year old Frenchman, visited a friend at the wrong time and wound up spending the next 1 1/2 years at Auschwitz and Dora concentration camps. His memoir is heartbreaking to read, yet at the same time serves as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Berg's memoir is extremely frank in conveying the randomness of life and death in Auschwitz; however, it is also ladened with irony, irreverence and gallows humor. Scheisshaus Luck is not a book that a person who has an ounce of concern for their fellow man read's for enjoyment. It is a book that should be widely read to serve as a reminder of how the Holocaust affected us all, especially as we are rapidly approaching the time when there will be no living eyewitnesses to the Nazi's "Final Solution."
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on 11 January 2013
I already had this book on e-books on my iPad, had to buy a paper version for myself and to lend to freinds, what a fantastic true story, nothing is held back by the author, and being an avid historian and having visited auschwitz myself its a really moving book. A total must buy
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on 13 August 2014
very good & moving book, but for me spoiled by absolutely useless afterword by JR White, apparently a lecturer of Maryland University. Straight from the start he states that any reliable accounts on Auschwitz - Monowitz are rare, as 'most were contributed by Poles, in a few instances by prisoners allegedly complicit in the elimination of Jews". Auschwitz is no doubt a huge Jewish necropolis, but non-Jewish Poles were the second most numerous group of inmates killed there. Even, if there were individuals that behaved contrary to our current norms, whom we are to judge them in these circumstances and discredit thousands (70 000-100 000) other Poles killed there. Given the scale there were certainly many more Jews to mistreated their compatriots - Pierre Berg tells us about a Jewish policeman hacked to death by other Jewish inmates
I have seen other JR White statements that fully explain his scapegoating attitude and generalizations - explaining how 'unfeasible' was bombing the Auschwitz gas chamber or railway tracks transporting every day thousands of Hungarian Jews to their death in the last months of WWII. Any delay in death transports would have saved at that moment not less than 20 thousands of them a day from death - the chambers were operating at full capacity and Germans were not keen on leaving the tracks after themselves - would divert trains to other concentration camps instead of extermination camp Auschwitz II Birkenau.
I could match this alleged professor's audacity of discarding evidence of Polish inmates on the basis that "few" "allegedly" "were complicit" with an equally absurd thesis that Americans were guilty of many more human beings being mass murdered in Auschwitz by refusing to bomb tracks and facilities while it was perfectly in their range (several successful attacks in the vicinity) and after being alerted by the Polish underground representatives since 1941. Thanks to ignorant people like JR White in American press the German concentration camps are so often named "Polish" camps only because they were built in occupied Poland and they are being described as being run by "nazis" with no national connotations. At the end an average reader is left under impression that Poles must have been nazis, as there is not any naziland, while the camps were Polish. So much for a country that lost 1 out of every 5 their citizens in 6 years of WWII - for your information it is like losing 60 million people out of current USA population.

I am sorry for the digression - apart from the afterword the book was truly impressive
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on 23 February 2015
I was totally shocked how detailed this book was but found it so compelling. I knew these camps existed and heard of the torture there but not to the degree in which I read. Or how many camps existed. I have had my eyes opened and I will never forget what I have learnt whilst reading this book. It drew me to tears. I can honestly say I've read thousands of books in my lifetime but none will ever be in my memory as much as this one. I am so pleased Pierre berg wrote the diaries for without these and those of others we just would not know the terrors these human beings endured.a brilliant account of the lives of the people who lived and died during this terrible time. ThAnkyou.
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on 16 January 2015
I have read many books on the Holocaust from various camps and survivors but this is the first book that I have read from a non-Jewish perspective. This is an honest, frank, disturbing and sometimes funny book written very well from the memoirs of a young French prisoner who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend to anyone interested in this dark period of our history.
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on 7 June 2015
I found this to be a very interesting biography about a political prisoner's time in various concentration camps during the holocaust. When we think of the holocaust, we think mainly of the terrible atrocities carried out on the Jews and we tend to forget that there were other prisoners who faced the same horrors. My only comment being that Henri seemed to be a little bit too clever at everything, but a great story none the less.
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on 6 June 2014
I found this book to be more of a supplementary reading book. The author seems to be more interested in neatly compartmentalising Mr Berg's experiences into short chapters than develop a theme. On the whole an interesting book.which sadly highlights our intolerance towards each other.
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