(Review) The Last Jews in Berlin by Leonard Gross
Publisher: Open Road Media.
Genre: Holocaust, World War II, Berlin, Germany.
Source: Free copy from NetGalley, and Open Road Media in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.
Link @ Amazon: The Last Jews in Berlin.
Additional link to read more information on Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Adolf Hitler became the chancellor and later Fuhrer of Germany beginning in 1933. Hitler and the Nazi Party (National-sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) had become the political force. In 1933, there were 160,000 Jews living in Berlin. At the end of World War II, there were less than 1000 Jews living in Berlin. Leonard Gross interviewed and studied the testimonies of Jews who survived living in Berlin during the entire war. An important rule was the life stories had to be validated.
The Last Jews in Berlin answered two questions I'd had for many years: Were there Jews who survived living in Berlin during WWII? How did they survive?
They not only survived the Nazi's planned scourge, round-up, deportation, and death. They also survived the Jews who "worked" for the Nazi's to find and capture Jews who were in hiding. They survived starvation. They survived the bombings. They survived sickness. They survived their own fears and madness.
Several men and women's stories are shared. The chapters move back and forth between them. I did not have a problem keeping up with the rhythm of the writing.
The book is divided into sections pertaining to history. For example: Eastern Front (war on the Eastern Front with the Soviet Union) and Deliverance (the end of the war.)
The book has differing examples of survivors. For example: a young female seamstress, versus a tough-minded jewelry business man who has a young family.
I saw the background of historical and political events, and the everyday people who were dramatically affected by it.
Lastly, the people who stood-up in defiance against Nazism by hiding Jews. Often these rescuers were arrested and murdered.
The Last Jews in Berlin is an amazing compilation of survivor stories. I'm thankful to have been able to read and review this gem.