Customer Reviews for

A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy

Average Rating 4.5
( 87 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 87 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 5
  • Posted September 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating memoir of survival

    Thomas Beurgenthal- born May 11, 1934 in Lubochna Czechoslovaka. His parents Mudek & Gerda Beurgenthal .

    Thomas and his family living in Lubochna are made to pack up and move out of their hotel, ending up in a small apartment in Zilina. Thomas's father found a job as a traveling salesman so that left Thomas and his mother home alone. One day the police came to the door and ordered them to pack their belongings. They were told that the Jews were being expelled from the country. Thomas's mother demanded to talk to the chief of police and told him that they were Germans, showing him her passport, which was a Germans drivers license. The chief ordered the police to escort them home.
    Deciding it was to dangerous to continue to live there, they decided to move to Poland.

    One day his mother came home very excited. She had visited a fortune teller who told her about her family and that her son was "ein Gluckskind" - A Lucky Child .
    But on their lucky day Hitler invades Poland and this is the start of Thomas's remarkable struggle to survival story begins.

    When reading his story, my stomach was in knots . I have a hard time reading about the Holocaust, such a horrendous crime. Thomas does a wonderful job , detailing his time in the camps, how he was able to survive day to day . I wanted to cry and hug him and make his hurt go away. It was a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    A Lucky Child

    This was a great read. If you want to learn a little more about the holocaust from someone's personal experience read this -

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A lucky child indeed

    When reading A LUCKY CHILD, I thought about the film LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, both seen through the eyes of a young boy. This memoir about Thomas Buergenthal's life in concentration camps during the Holocaust is truly unforgettable. How this young child survives through the horrors of such an ordeal is beyond me? He truly was a lucky child and to write it down for generations to read, we have become the lucky ones. This book details the losses he experienced, the travels through various 'work' camps, the liberation by the Russian army and the search for his parents afterward. His story is a remarkable one and to learn that he has devoted his adult life to international and human rights law shows what an amazing person he has become. This is a must read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    Interesting from the beginning

    I very much enjoyed Mr. Buergenthal's book. While I had never read any books about concentration camps and the human suffering and injustices found therein, I was certain that this book would be excellent having reviewed it online before purchasing. The author's style of writing was easy to follow and my interest was piqued immediately. I found tears in my eyes as he described some of his experiences but also enjoyed the lightheartedness found in one experience in the infirmary. Having read this book, I have found a new interest in learning more about individual accounts of time spent in concentration camps during World War II. Thank you, Mr. Buergenthal, for sharing your experience with the world and also for the very important work you currently do to address human rights.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    Great read!

    Awesome,inspiring read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Recommended, special for 2nd world war buffs

    Since I'm a 2nd world war child myself it brought back lots of memories, It is a long time ago but the fear and hunger memories you live through will never go away. The book is excellently written: not over dramatic but well expressed and believable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2012

    The publishers are wrong

    There is a market for books and memoirs about the holocaust; and this one was very well written. I personally am re-building my library of books and memoirs about the holocaust now that l own a nook. I wish Odd Nansen's books were available, l would have liked to read them as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2012

    Very good book

    Very good book. Hard to believe a child and his mother survived those horrible death camps.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    incredible story - a MUST read

    Some books are remarkable and moving; this is one of them. Buergenthal recalls his boyhood under Hitler; from Jewish ghetto to work camp to Auschwitz. His story is one that never should have been written since odds were against him being a young Jewish boy. How did a young boy of eight years survive a work camp, how did that same boy at 10 years old live through Auschwitz.... even after reading Buergenthal's memoir it's unfathomable but truth is stranger than fiction.

    The memoir continues through liberation by Soviet soldiers, time spent as 'mascot' to the Polish Army, a Jewish orphanage, reuniting with his mother at 12 1/2 years old and finally emigrating to America.

    Buergenthals' book is more than just a memoir; it's also a book about learning to let go of hatred. He writes "we were forced to confront these emotions in a way that helped Mutti and me gradually overcome our hatred and desire for revenge. ... I doubt that we would have been able to preserve our sanity had we remained consumed by hatred for the rest of our lives.... while it was important not to forget what happened to us in the Holocaust, it was equally important not to hold the descendants of the perpetrators responsible for what was done to us, lest the cycle of hate and violence never end."

    Thomas Buergenthal survived the Holocaust and has devoted his life to international and human rights law. He is currently the American judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Engaging, enlightening, and inspiring

    Beautifully-written and touching personal story of a Holocaust survivor with unique insights. Gripping as well;I read the entire book in one day. Not one word of self-pity or melodrama. Excellent in every facet!

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  • Posted April 9, 2014

    Great story that needed to be told. Excellent read. Highly recom

    Great story that needed to be told. Excellent read. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted September 13, 2013

    inspiring and filled with hope

    His story filled me such hope and awe at his over coming the hate he witnessed. I admire him very much and wish him many more days of health and healing and continued teaching of others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I picked up my grandson's school library book and was immediately fascinated by this true story. A great addition to WWII bigraphies, especially for boys.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    Good Read

    The book was well written and did a great job allowing the reader to walk with him as a child as a survivor. Good book. God bless and i will never forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Lucky boy

    I feel for this man and his story but the book lacked the 'omph' I was hoping for.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Truly a Miracle.

    The book A Lucky Child, by Thomas Buergenthal made me believe that miracles really can happen. Having been a child going through World War 2, being separated from his parents, Tommy had to watch his friends be killed, waiting until his day would come. It must have been a horrible experience. For example, at the first camp he visited, all children were to be killed, but when it was his time to be taken away, for some reason they let him stay. He never came to realize why that was. Also surviving through Aushwitz as an errand boy, a death march, being hospitalized with amputated toes, and those were just a few. What makes me believe the most is after the war; Tommy was able to reunite with his Mom who was the only one who had survived. He was truly a lucky child and he was a miracle.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Good

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  • Posted March 26, 2011

    good

    no i acutally hvent read it but my teacher at school has and she said its amazing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2011

    Thank you Thank you Thank you

    My hat is off to Judge Buergenthal for first having the courage as a very young boy to survive the brutality of the Nazi regime and second to have the grace to share it with us in such first hand and honest way. I too shed tears as I went through his most difficult times with him. A wonderful and moving read.

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  • Posted December 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended - You won't want to put it down!

    I recommend A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal because it shows the persistence of a little boy who endured World War II with a little help from friends along the way. You won't want to put this book down! As a 6-year-old, Thomas and his family moved into the Ghetto of Kielce where they lived for about four years before being transported to Auschwitz in August of 1944. Thomas was indeed "a lucky child" for he, among all the children in Kielce gathered by the SS officers to be killed, lived by saying he could work. His luck carried with him throughout the war. After separation from his parents in Auschwitz he was saved from death yet again by becoming an errand boy for the SS. At 10, Thomas miraculously survived Auschwitz, the Death March, and Sachsenhausen. Another lucky moment was when his life was spared by a kind gentleman named Mr. Odd Nansen who visited Thomas frequently in the "hospital." Nansen bribed the doctor to let Thomas live after he had two toes amputated because of frost bite he acquired during the Auschwitz Death March. 11-year-old Thomas was liberated in April, 1945 and was soon recruited by the Polish Army. One friend he made took him to The Jewish Orphanage of Otwock who helped him reunite with his mother and new step-father, Dr. Leon Reitter. Unfortunately, Reitter died shortly after their reunion. Thomas's mother, Gerda, married Jacob Rosenholz, another survivor from Kielce, a few years after Dr. Reitter died. At age 17, Thomas moved to America to live in New York with his aunt and uncle. He became a Judge on the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He now holds the position as Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at George Washington University Law School.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 87 Customer Reviews
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