A riveting tale of the previously unknown and fascinating story of the unsung angels who strove to foil the Final Solution.

IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY

THE SECRET DEAL TO END THE HOLOCAUST

Beyond the well-known work of Oskar Schindler and Raoul Wallenberg, Wallace (The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Rise of the Third Reich, 2003) sets out to tell the story of the staggering network built by a Swiss-based rescue group.

This small band worked tirelessly, giving of their lives and fortunes to save the Jews interned by the Nazis. Working with and against unbelieving ministers of Allied countries, Zionists and anti-Zionists, Orthodox and secular Jews, Catholics, outcasts, and even some Nazis, they saved tens of thousands of lives. Desperate attempts to convince the Allies to help—even to bomb railway lines to Auschwitz—met with nothing but frustration, as they were told that the priority was to win the war, not save lives. Even the Red Cross claimed that the Nazi treatment of Jews was an internal matter. The mutual suspicion and traditional divisions between secular and religious Jewish communities provided rifts that unfortunately often undermined some of their valiant attempts. Though many of the names will be unfamiliar to most readers—Recha and Isaac Sternbuch, Gerhart Riegner, Jean-Marie Musy, Joel Brand, Rudolf Kasztner—their work was indispensable, and the author brings them to well-deserved light. From physically saving refugees in Switzerland to providing false passports and visas to Italy or China, even a few to Palestine, small efforts grew into a larger, wider, and more desperate movement. In Slovenia, organizers hatched a plan to ransom prisoners, and the connection of a Finnish osteopath brought them to Heinrich Himmler, the architect of the Holocaust. Himmler knew, as many Nazis did but were terrified to admit, that the war was lost. Himmler attempted to work with them to close the camps, but his fear of Hitler was palpable. Throughout, Wallace introduces readers to a host of inspiring heroes, most of whom were quiet and unassuming yet intensely dedicated to saving European Jewry.

A riveting tale of the previously unknown and fascinating story of the unsung angels who strove to foil the Final Solution.

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5107-3497-5

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

TOMBSTONE

THE EARP BROTHERS, DOC HOLLIDAY, AND THE VENDETTA RIDE FROM HELL

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more