23rd Psalm

Overview

In September, 1939, George Lucius Salton's boyhood in Tyczyn, Poland, was shattered by escalating violence and terror under German occupation. His father, a lawyer, was forbidden to work, but eleven-year-old George dug potatoes, split wood, and resourcefully helped his family. They suffered hunger and deprivation, a forced march to the Rzeszow ghetto, then eternal separation when fourteen-year-old George and his brother were left behind to labor in work camps while their parents were deported in boxcars to die in...

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Overview

In September, 1939, George Lucius Salton's boyhood in Tyczyn, Poland, was shattered by escalating violence and terror under German occupation. His father, a lawyer, was forbidden to work, but eleven-year-old George dug potatoes, split wood, and resourcefully helped his family. They suffered hunger and deprivation, a forced march to the Rzeszow ghetto, then eternal separation when fourteen-year-old George and his brother were left behind to labor in work camps while their parents were deported in boxcars to die in Belzec. For the next three years, George slaved and barely survived in ten concentration camps, including Rzeszow, Plaszow, Flossenburg, Colmar, Sachsenhausen, Braunschweig, Ravensbrück, and Wobbelin. Cattle cars filled with skeletal men emptied into a train yard in Colmar, France. George and the other prisoners marched under the whips and fists of SS guards. But here, unlike the taunts and rocks from villagers in Poland and Germany, there was applause. "I could clearly hear the people calling: "Shame! Shame!" . . . Suddenly, I realized that the people of Colmar were applauding us! They were condemning the inhumanity of the Germans!" Of the 500 prisoners of the Nazis who marched through the streets of Colmar in the spring of 1944, just fifty were alive one year later when the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division liberated the Wobbelin concentration camp on the afternoon of May 2, 1945. "I felt something stir deep within my soul. It was my true self, the one who had stayed deep within and had not forgotten how to love and how to cry, the one who had chosen life and was still standing when the last roll call ended."

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Elie Wiesel taught us long ago that Holocaust memories do not die. Sixty years after he survived the horrors of almost a dozen Nazi concentration camps in Poland, Germany, and France, George Salton tells his story. Born in southeastern Poland, young Lucjan Saltzman (he changed his name to Salton the day he landed in America in 1947) was the son of a middle-class Jewish lawyer. He was 11 when the Nazis invaded his village, 17 when the 82nd Airborne liberated his Wobbelin concentration camp in 1945. Separated from his parents and later from his brother, the boy learned to survive despite intolerable cruelty and subhuman conditions. His drive to live outlasted the Nazi drive to destroy him. In America, married and the father of three, Salton decided, "in raising my children, I would live as if the Holocaust had never happened. I would put the Past behind me..." But he couldn't; thus this powerful memoir. YA readers unfamiliar with the violence and death of the Nazi "final solution" may find this book wrenching, but they will also find it enabling because young Lucek kept fighting, kept working to stay alive, and, most importantly, kept the promise he had made to his parents "to live as a good and decent person, to be a mensch." KLIATT Codes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 232p. illus., Ages 15 to adult.
—Patricia Moore
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299179748
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 331,229
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

George Lucius Salton emigrated to the United States after liberation. He earned degrees in physics and engineering and had a successful career in the U.S. Department of Defense and private industry. He lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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