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The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood

Average Rating 5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 16 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    intriguing

    unusual story of the experiences of a child during WWII. i have been recommending it to all my friends.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    Remarkable story of Holocaust survival

    Every story of survival from the Holocaust is incredibly unique and Mark Kurzem's The Mascot is no exception. I must say that once the author's father, Alex Kurzem, begins to unlock the memories--after over 60 years of silence--of escape from near certain death, his nurturing by would-be executioners, and ultimate search for his true identity, the book is nearly impossible to put down. The basic reservation I had about the book--which is presented in narrative form--is that whenever the story drifts away from its riveting father/son dialogue, the telling becomes a bit wordy and almost extraneously repetitive. I found myself doing a lot of skimming so as to get back to the meat of the story--the father's cathartic-like revelations. But, that said, the book is very worthwhile reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    WHAT PRICE SURVIVAL?

    There are many stories to come out of World War II, both told and untold, this is surely one of the most remarkable. It is a tale of survival but not without cost. As a five-year-old boy Alex Kurzem saw his mother and father as well as neighbors shot by the Nazis. For some inexplicable reason his life was spared and he ran to hide in a dense Russian forest. Amazingly he did not freeze to death during the unrelenting cold but existed by searching for food and taking the clothes of dead soldiers. When he is found by a group of Latvian SS soldiers they never imagine he is Jewish but believe he is Russian and more or less adopt him, making him a little corporal in the SS with his own uniform. Young Alex fears for his life, of course, and does as he is told, even to repeatedly watching repetitions of the same fate that befell his parents and starring in a Nazi propaganda film. What price survival? What he has done will haunt Alex for the rest of his days. He is so troubled by his past that he does not even tell his wife and only later reveals his entire story to his son, the author of this memoir, Mark Kurzem. The Mascot is not only a reminder of one of history's darkest times but testimony to the dramatic effects it may have on those who are not killed but sorely injured in their hearts and souls. - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2008

    A Must Read for anyone who is captured by tales of an indomitable spirit playing out on the backdrop of modern history

    This book is so inspirational and thought provoking. The back drop is WWII and it is the story of a child's physical and spiritual survival. If you like history and wish to understand more about WWII and what occurred in the Baltic states, you'll love this book. If you are fascinated by the ability of the human spirit to thrive after witnessing some of the most horrific evil acts of the past century, then this book is a window into the human soul and its undefeatable spirit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2008

    Highly recommended.

    This is an oustanding book. The story is compelling, intriguing, frightening, and inspirational. One of the best WWII books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Very well-written,

    Very well-written,

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    huighly recommended

    Mesmerizing. Page turner.Some readers ask why did he stay with the Latvians. He was omy 5 when he saw his family murdered. He grabbed on to whatever protection he could find. I grew up in Europe in WW11, being born in 1934 and read extensively about the war, This book is about the best one I have read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is a book for all generations to read. Not by the work of the author, but the compelling story of a child survivor of WW2,who captures your heart with a journey of personal nightmares from the age of six past 60.The ending provides the victim a source of resolution to his history, buried in despair,for more than five generations and across continents and family histories he knows nothing of. Truly a book that will touch your heart.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 17, 2010

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    Posted January 5, 2009

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    Posted July 31, 2009

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    Posted January 7, 2010

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    Posted August 4, 2011

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    Posted December 14, 2011

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    Posted October 16, 2008

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 16 Customer Reviews
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