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On the run in Nazi Berlin : a memoir / Bert Lewyn ; with Bev Saltzman Lewyn.

By: Lewyn, Bert, 1923-.
Contributor(s): Lewyn, Bev Saltzman [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Chicago, Illinois : Chicago Review Press, [2019]Copyright date: ©2019Edition: New, revised edition.Description: x, 368 pages : illustrations, map, genealogical table ; 23 cm.Content type: text | still image Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781641601108; 1641601108.Subject(s): Lewyn, Bert, 1923- | Jews -- Germany -- Berlin -- Biography | Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Germany -- Personal narratives | Berlin (Germany) -- BiographyGenre/Form: Autobiographies.DDC classification: 940.53/18092 Summary: "Bert Lewyn was still a teenager when he and his parents were arrested by the Gestapo. It was 1942 in wartime Berlin. While his parents were sent to a concentration camp, Bert's youth and training as a machinist made him useful. He was sent to work in a weapons factory. He received one postcard from his parents, then never heard from them again. Through a combination of luck and will to survive, Bert fled the factory and lived underground in Berlin. By hook or crook, he found shelter, sometimes with compassionate civilians, sometimes with others who found his skills useful, sometimes in the cellars of bombed out buildings. Without identity papers, he survived in part by successfully mimicking German civilians--even masquerading as a German soldier or SS officer. He had several close calls with the Gestapo and was eventually captured. But Bert masterminded an ingenious escape and remained free until the end of the war.Before World War II, there were 160,000 Jews living in Berlin. By 1945 only 3,000 remained alive. Bert was one of the few who survived"-- Provided by publisher.
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Non-Fiction (NEST) 940.5318 LEW Checked out 09/12/2019

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

BERLIN, 1942. The Gestapo arrest eighteen-year-old Bert Lewyn and his parents, sending the latter to their deaths and Bert to work in a factory making guns for the Nazi war effort. Miraculously tipped off the morning the Gestapo round up all the Jews who work in the factories, Bert goes underground. He finds shelter sometimes with compassionate civilians, sometimes with people who find his skills useful and sometimes in the cellars of bombed-out buildings. Without proper identity papers, he survives as a hunted Jew in the flames and terror of Nazi Berlin in part by successfully mimicking non-Jews, even masquerading as an SS officer. But the Gestapo are hot on his trail... Before World War II, 160,000 Jews lived in Berlin. By 1945, only 3,000 remained alive. Bert was one of the few, and his thrilling memoir--from witnessing the famous 1933 book burning to the aftermath of the war in a displaced persons camp--offers an unparalleled depiction of the life of a runaway Jew caught in the heart of the Nazi empire.

"Bert Lewyn was still a teenager when he and his parents were arrested by the Gestapo. It was 1942 in wartime Berlin. While his parents were sent to a concentration camp, Bert's youth and training as a machinist made him useful. He was sent to work in a weapons factory. He received one postcard from his parents, then never heard from them again. Through a combination of luck and will to survive, Bert fled the factory and lived underground in Berlin. By hook or crook, he found shelter, sometimes with compassionate civilians, sometimes with others who found his skills useful, sometimes in the cellars of bombed out buildings. Without identity papers, he survived in part by successfully mimicking German civilians--even masquerading as a German soldier or SS officer. He had several close calls with the Gestapo and was eventually captured. But Bert masterminded an ingenious escape and remained free until the end of the war.Before World War II, there were 160,000 Jews living in Berlin. By 1945 only 3,000 remained alive. Bert was one of the few who survived"-- Provided by publisher.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Foreword (p. ix)
  • Part I Three Miracles
  • 1 Endings and Beginnings (p. 3)
  • 2 The Gestapo Arrives (p. 9)
  • 3 Deportation (p. 18)
  • 4 Gun Factory (p. 26)
  • 5 Motor Sales (p. 41)
  • 6 Use (p. 50)
  • 7 Marriage (p. 60)
  • 8 Factory Action (p. 73)
  • 9 The Drunk (p. 89)
  • 10 Refuge (p. 99)
  • 11 Kusitzky (p. 111)
  • 12 Black Market (p. 122)
  • 13 Basements and Bedbugs (p. 136)
  • 14 Communists and Blind Men (p. 149)
  • 15 Jewish SS (p. 160)
  • 16 Damn Yankee (p. 179)
  • 17 D-Day (p. 197)
  • 18 Car Thieves (p. 208)
  • 19 Pigeon Food (p. 215)
  • 20 Arrested by the Gestapo (p. 224)
  • 21 Escape (p. 233)
  • 22 Russians (p. 251)
  • 23 Beginnings and Endings (p. 257)
  • Part II After the Fall
  • 24 Alone No More (p. 267)
  • 25 Refugee (p. 279)
  • 26 Divorce (p. 297)
  • 27 End of the Line (p. 308)
  • Epilogue (p. 325)
  • Appendix I Apprenticeship (p. 359)
  • Appendix II Kristallnacht (p. 365)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 371)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

This remembrance of a teen's struggle to survive the Holocaust won't provide readers familiar with similar memoirs new insights. In 1942, the author and his parents were taken from their Berlin apartment by the Nazis and separated. Lewyn's experience as an apprentice in machine building and metalworking spared him for a time, as he was put to work in a munitions factory. A chance encounter with a non-Jewish coworker alerted him to the Germans' decision to send the factory's Jewish workers to a death camp, allowing Lewyn to escape the roundup. He spent the remainder of WWII dodging capture, aided by the occasional selfless stranger, his own resourcefulness, and lucky breaks-one of which was that he was saved from being shot by liberating Russian forces when one of them, who happened also to be Jewish, believed Lewyn wasn't a Nazi because he had read a textbook that Lewyn's Russian uncle had written. The book could be better organized; Saltzman Lewyn, the author's daughter-in-law, bafflingly places two sections of Lewyn's reminiscences in appendices, rather than chronologically within the main text. Despite this, this memoir will be informative for those who have not viewed the Nazi extermination of European Jewry from an individual's perspective. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

A detailed, horrifying, and ultimately hopeful account of a young Jewish man's efforts to avoid the Nazis in one of their principal cities.Thankfully, Bert Lewyn, who died in 2016, had the good fortune to have family who cared about his remarkable story. Through interviews, travels, and archival research, his son and daughter-in-law, who worked as a researcher at CNN, compiled and edited this account (first self-published in 2001) of his wartime evasions during his teen years. In one of history's darkest periods, the author suffered profoundlyseparated from his parents, he never saw them againand endured unspeakable deprivations. But he also benefitted from some courageous Berliners who hid him, fed him, and gave him hope. Lewyn was a technically skilled young man, proficient at metalworking and other machine skills, and these capacities enabled him not only to find occasional workincluding for the Nazis themselvesbut to escape from Nazi custody. He stayed with friends or slept in bombed-out buildings or in the countryside. But the Nazis eventually nabbed him, and the author provides a harrowing account of a prison break through an underground tunnel, an escape made possible by his knowledge of locks and keys. In addition to the grief he expresses for the loss of his parents, he tells about his quick marriage to a young mother. It was a marriage that helped them both survive but one that could not endure. The compiler and editor have done their best to enliven the narrative with verbatim dialogue and information derived from their journeys to key sites in Lewyn's story. They write that they have endeavored to verify everything that's still possible to verify, and their extensive backmatter and photographs of places and significant documents testify to their considerable effortsand to their fidelity.A grim and gripping story of survival in a most egregious time. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.