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Escape From Hell

The True Story of the Auschwitz Protocol

Alfred Wetzler
Translated by Ewald Osers
Edited by Peter Varnai
Foreword by Sir Martin Gilbert
Introduction by Robert Rozett

292 pages,

ISBN  978-1-84545-183-7 $34.95/£19.95 Hb Published (Spring 2007)


Hb
 

“…a compelling read; a real thriller. It provides very vivid descriptions of daily life in the camp and recounts in details the miraculous escape and the escapees’ subsequent struggle to convince the unbelieving world of the happenings in Auschwitz-Birkenau.”  ·  British Czech and Slovak Review

"Alfred Wetzler was a true hero. His escape from Auschwitz, and the report he helped compile, telling for the first time the truth about the camp as a place of mass murder, led directly to saving the lives of 120,000 Jews: the Jews of Budapest who were about to be deported to their deaths. No other single act in the Second World War saved so many Jews from the fate that Hitler and the SS had determined for them. This book tells Wetzler's story."  ·  Sir Martin Gilbert

"Wetzler is a master at evoking the universe of Auschwitz, and especially, his and Vrba's harrowing flight to Slovakia. The day-by-day account of the tremendous difficulties the pair faced after the Nazis had called off their search of the camp and its surroundings is both riveting and heart wrenching. [...] Shining vibrantly through the pages of the memoir are the tenacity and valor of two young men, who sought to inform the world about the greatest outrage ever committed by humans against their fellow humans."  ·  [From Introduction by Dr Robert Rozett]

Together with another young Slovak Jew, both of them deported in 1942, the author succeeded in escaping from the notorious death camp in the spring of 1944. There were some very few successful escapes from Auschwitz during the war, but it was these two who smuggled out the damning evidence – a ground plan of the camp, constructional details of the gas chambers and crematoriums and, most convincingly, a label from a canister of Cyclone gas. The present book is cast in the form of a novel to allow factual information not personally collected by the two fugitives, but provided for them by a handful of reliable friends, to be included. Nothing, however, has been invented. It is a shocking account of Nazi genocide and of the inhuman conditions in the camp, but equally shocking is the initial disbelief the fugitive’s revelations met with after their return.

Alfred Wetzler


BISAC: HIS022000 HISTORY/Jewish; HIS027100 HISTORY/Military/World War II

BIC: JFSR1 Jewish studies; HBWQ Second World War



Contents

Foreword

Introduction

Chapter 1. Just for Work
Chapter 2. Work – German Style
Chapter 3. An Exalted Visit
Chapter 4. An Even More Exalted Visit
Chapter 5. The Ceremonial
Chapter 6. A More or Less Normal Evening
Chapter 7. Two Thousand Metres of Track
Chapter 8. To Die – or to Perish?
Chapter 9. ‘In the Name of Reichsführer SS’
Chapter 10. Danger: Live Ammunition!
Chapter 11. Two against a Regiment
Chapter 12. Death Lives on the Other Side
Chapter 13. ‘Did You See It with Your Own Eyes?’
Chapter 14. ‘But What about the Postcards?’
Chapter 15. There are Limits to Human Imagination

Appendix I: Photographs and Documents
Appendix II: Auschwitz Protocol (Vrba-Wetzler Report)

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