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A lucky child : a memoir of surviving Auschwitz as a young boy / Thomas Buergenthal ; with a foreword by Elie Wiesel.

By: Buergenthal, Thomas.
Contributor(s): Wiesel, Elie, 1928-2016.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Profile, 2009Description: xxi, 231 pages : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781846681783 (hbk.); 1846681782 (hbk.).Uniform titles: Glückskind. English Subject(s): Buergenthal, Thomas -- Childhood and youth | Jewish children in the Holocaust -- Poland -- Biography | World War, 1939-1945 -- Prisoners and prisons, German | Holocaust survivors -- United States -- Biography | Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Personal narratives | Holocaust survivors -- United States -- Biography | Buergenthal, Thomas Childhood and youthDDC classification: 940.5318092
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

At the age of seven Thomas Buergenthal was imprisoned in Nazi ghettos and camps, being rescued by Soviet and Polish troops when he was eleven. Separated from his parents in Auschwitz and surviving the 'Death March' of 1945 he was miraculously reunited with his mother a year and a half later. The rest of his family and almost all of his friends were killed.After experiencing the turmoil of Europe's post-war years - from the Battle of Berlin, to a Jewish orphanage in Poland - Buergenthal went to America in the 1950s at the age of seventeen. He eventually became one of the world's leading experts on international law and human rights. His story of survival and his determination to use law and justice to prevent further genocide is an epic journey through 20th Century history.Buergenthal gives his perspective - as a child - on life in the camps. And, uniquely, he shows how his past has informed his understanding of the modern day war-crimes he sees as a judge. His book is both a special historical document and a great literary achievement, comparable only to Primo Levi's masterpieces.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

As a boy at Auschwitz, Buergenthal apparently avoided its killing process because of administrative chaos but was separated from his parents. His story is especially interesting for its detail of his postwar experiences, reconnecting with prisoners who'd helped him, and living in an orphanage in Eastern Europe until his mother found him. Buergenthal regards the Holocaust as a moral compass for his life's path as a judge on the International Criminal Court in The Hague. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/09.]-Frederic Krome, Univ. of Cincinnati Clermont Coll. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Not many children who entered Auschwitz lived to tell the tale. The American judge at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Czechoslovakia-born Buergenthal, is one of the few. A 10-year-old inmate in August 1944 at Birkenau, Buergenthal was one of the death camp's youngest prisoners. He miraculously survived, thanks, among others, to a friendly kapo who made him an errand boy. Buergenthal's authentic, moving tale reveals that his lifelong commitment to human rights sprang from the ashes of Auschwitz. 16 b&w photos, 1 map. (Apr. 20) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Buergenthal was elected American judge at the International Court of Justice, The Hague, in 2000. He is a survivor of Auschwitz, one in a succession of several labor, prison, and death camps where he spent his 10th and 11th years. An excellent and evocative storyteller, he finds that the distance of time allows him to ask questions about how his experiences in a Polish ghetto, the fact that he was able to stay with his father during his early concentration camp months, and his reunion with his mother after liberation and before his 13th birthday shaped him, and also helped him to survive in the worst Holocaust scenarios. Illustrating the vivid word images he creates with snapshots of his prewar and postwar life (the former saved by a neighbor in spite of her fears that the Nazis would discover her Jewish sympathy), this is a well-constructed, warm, insightful visit with the man. He knows that he was both lucky and well served by the plasticity of a youth that really had no "ordinary" contrast against which he might have turned and lost hope, will, and the strength to keep alive emotionally and physically. In addition to being an excellent curriculum-support text, the fine writing and insights here make this book a powerful choice for teens looking for a mentor through emotional and political challenges of their own.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

You think you've heard it all: the roundups, deportations, transports, selections, hard labor, death camps ( That was the last time I saw my father ), crematoriums, and the rare miracle of survival. But this one is different. The clear, nonhectoring prose makes Buergenthal's personal story--and the enduring ethical questions it prompts--the stuff of a fast, gripping read. Five years old in Czechoslovakia at the start of World War II, Buergenthal remembers being crowded into the ghetto and then, in 1944, feeling lucky to escape the gas chambers and get into Auschwitz, where he witnessed daily hangings and beatings, but with the help of a few adults, managed to survive. In a postwar orphanage, he learned to read and write but never received any mail, until in a heartrending climax, his mother finds him. In 1952, he immigrated to the U.S., and now, as human-rights lawyer, professor, and international judge, his childhood's moral issues are rooted in his daily life, his tattooed number a reminder not so much of the past as of his obligation, as witness and survivor, to fight bigotry today.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2009 Booklist