Jacob's Courage: A Holocaust Love Story

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Overview

"Jacob's Courage" is a beautiful love story set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. "Jacob's Courage" chronicles the dazzling beauty of passionate love and enduring bravery in a lurid world where the innocent are brutally murdered. In 1939, seventeen-year-old Austrians Jacob Silverman and Rachael Goldberg are bright, talented, and deeply in love. Because they are Jews, their families lose everything; their jobs, possessions and money, contact with loved ones, and finally their liberty at the hands of the Nazis. Jacob and Rachael "grow up"
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Jacob's Courage: A Holocaust Love Story

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Overview

"Jacob's Courage" is a beautiful love story set against the backdrop of the Holocaust. "Jacob's Courage" chronicles the dazzling beauty of passionate love and enduring bravery in a lurid world where the innocent are brutally murdered. In 1939, seventeen-year-old Austrians Jacob Silverman and Rachael Goldberg are bright, talented, and deeply in love. Because they are Jews, their families lose everything; their jobs, possessions and money, contact with loved ones, and finally their liberty at the hands of the Nazis. Jacob and Rachael "grow up" during the Holocaust. As teenagers, they survive the beatings, rapes, and murderous acts of the Nazis, enjoy the physical and spiritual pleasure of being in love and are able to become husband and wife in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, before being imprisoned in Auschwitz. Eventually Jacob and Rachael become Partisans to fight the Nazi enemy. While "Jacob's Courage" is a novel, the author, Charles Weinblatt, has based portions of the story on his mother's experience. Clara Volk Weinblatt was a childhood victim of pogroms in her Russian Jewish village. Much of Weinblatt's maternal extended family perished in the Holocaust. Great grandparents, great-aunts and uncles and many cousins disappeared into the void of Nazi annihilation. This book is dedicated to the 6,000,000 Jews who perished in the Holocaust. They have been lost, but will never be forgotten. "Jacob's Courage" is Holocaust literature for adult readers.
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What People Are Saying


Jacob’s Courage is a very well researched novel that vividly brings the realities of the Holocaust to life through the eyes of two people, Jacob, the title character, and Rachel, the girl he falls in love with as the war breaks out and eventually marries in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, only to be separated at deportation to Auschwitz. The gripping epic story follows each of their paths from their pre-war Jewish community to their expulsions, their ghetto life, their separation via deportations, their experiences in slave labor camps, in death camps, in the resistance, on death marches, and their liberations and miraculous reunification. In each setting, the vivid portrayals of the travails of the principals and the other characters in the novel bring the experience of the Holocaust to life on a personal level. The book depicts the brutality of the Nazis and their henchmen, exposing the demonic and cruel nature of too many human beings during that era. The characters are faced with hard choices of life and death, betrayal and loyalty. The events of the novel are gut wrenching and heart rending. The book could just as well been called Jacob and Rachel’s Courage as the parallel stories of each of their experiences during the Holocaust exhibit equal measures of courage in the face of depravity and adversity that seems too incredible to believe were it not an accurate depiction of the reality of what took place in the heart of 20th century Europe. It well fulfills the role of good historical fiction by giving the reader the experience of living through an historical event by depicting the many aspects of life at that time through the experiences of the central and secondary characters. First time author Weinblatt is very successful in this regard. His Holocaust is very real and very accurate in the descriptions of the locales and the conditions of existence of each setting. The people that populate the novel are not merely two dimensional archetypes or clichés but fully formed humans with frailties and shortcomings in addition to positive qualities. Although it is a novel, it is an excellent primer on the Holocaust. The reader will be left with a very accurate understanding of this cataclysmic time from a historical perspective, but with the additional emotions evoked that a dry history book cannot provide. Perhaps this is its greatest strength. Though the book is epic in length and scope, Weinblatt’s characters and characterizations compel the reader to read onward. At the end of the read one feels both hope and admiration for the human spirit that can endure and survive the ordeals of the various victims depicted, although fictional but not unlike experiences endured by actual survivors, and disgust and despair with the dark side of the human spirit because the historical facts of the Holocaust in which the novel is set are all too true. One unfortunate shortcoming is an excess of typos and word omissions representing significant editing shortcomings on the part of the publisher. --Hindea Markowicz, Director of the Ruth Fajerman Markowicz Holocaust Resource Center of Greater Toledo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789657344248
  • Publisher: Mazo Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Pages: 524
  • Sales rank: 827,446
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 14, 2012

    Really moving and a great read!

    I purchased this novel because I love reading about people who survive the Holocaust; whether it is a fictional story or real account. Reading about how someone can survive through brutal conditions and everything is just amazing and leaves me in awe. This story not only shows the true terror of the Holocaust but also constantly shows how two people could love each other so much in such a terrible time. The love shared between the two main characters is amazing and deeply moving. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about survival Holocaust stories. Yes, its over 500 pages but each page sucks you into the story and you honestly feel like you are right there with the characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Powerful Story

    Jacob's Courage, by Charles S. Weinblatt, mixes the atrocities of
    World War II and the holocaust with the hope and courage of a young
    couple in love. Weinblatt weaves such detail into his story that the
    reader comes away with a powerful sense of what life was like for the
    Jews during this horrible period in history. Weinblatt's knowledge of
    the slums the Jews were initially forced into, then the death camps
    that followed, is masterful. While the story can be incredibly bleak
    at times, Weinblatt uses Jacob and Rachael's intense love for each
    other to lift the mood and give us all something to hope for.

    Jacob's Courage may be a work of fiction but it shines a spotlight on
    the truth. Anyone interested in World War II, the Holocaust, Jewish
    history, or a love story, should pick up Jacob's Courage.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Finding the Courage to Live

    Imagine being seventeen years old. The world is before you and anything is possible. You come from a great family and have a wonderful relationship with your dad. Best of all, you are in love for the first time in your life and have been swept completely off your feet. You have met your soul mate and now the most difficult thing for you is to separate yourself from them while you go off to school to study medicine. Life is beautiful and your future is exciting.

    But life is not beautiful. It is 1939 and you are a Jew in Austria. Your future deteriorates quickly as the Nazis move into Austria and you are forced to move into a Jewish ghetto. Members of your family die one by one, you are shot in the leg and crippled for life, and the love of your life is raped and she becomes pregnant with her attacker's child. How would you maintain your will to live? What would keep you going?

    Not since I read Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place have the horrors of the Holocaust been brought to life for me in such vivid detail. Charles Weinblatt takes you to Nazi Germany through the lives of Jacob Silverman and Rachel Goldberg, two young people whose world is torn apart at a time in their lives when it should be blossoming. Weinblatt holds your attention as this young couple tries to make sense of what is happening and find a reason to live in spite of the madness that surrounds them.

    Reading the book had a dual impact on me. There were times when I couldn't put the book down as I read about their escape through a collapsing tunnel. Other times I had to set it down after reading about Jacob's mother dying in the gas chamber at Auschwitz. Weinblatt does a masterful job of touching your emotions throughout the book by placing you inside the lives of Jacob and Rachel.

    The events that took place in this story happened 70 years ago but we should never forget. I recommend you pick up a copy of this book and a box of tissues. Get ready for a good cry and a heart warming ending as Jacob and Rachel find the courage to live.

    - Rick Rodgers, CFP®, author of The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach to Retirement Planning

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Love in Action

    As I read 'Jacob's Courage", I was struck with how much it reminded me of one of the greatest books of the 20th Century.

    I can't add any more to the reviews here about how well Weinblatt has painted a picture with words of the horrors of the holocaust. He has done so in a haunting and evocative way. Even though he has done and excellent job of putting the reader in the shoes of Jacob and Rachel, much of their experience during the holocaust has been written before.

    So what's unique about Weinblatt's book? I'll tell you.

    In 1956, Viktor Frankl wrote a book called "Man's Search for Meaning" based on his experiences as a Nazi concentration camp inmate. In his book he describes his method of finding a reason to live - to believe in something beyond oneself - that kept him and others alive during a terror, that today, we could hardy imagine.

    "Jacob's Courage" is a personal, real life example of this method based on real people of Weinblatt's family that validates Frankl's beliefs.

    In his book, Frankl quotes from the Song of Solomon. "Set me like a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death." (Song of Solomon 8:6)

    The love that grows between Jacob and Rachel is what sustains them through the horrors of life in a Nazi death camp. They find the power of love - believing in something beyond themselves - their love for each other. We all could learn a lesson from these two teenagers coming of age and faced with the greatest existential threat to life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2008

    Jacob and Rachel's Ordeal

    'Jacob's Courage' is a graphic tale of the Holocaust. Weinblatt covers it in all of its disturbing and vivid detail. As such it isn't for light bedtime reading. You will have bad dreams. Interwoven in the overwhelming ordeal is a tender love story of two people tossed in the whirlwind. Rachel proves herself to be at least as courageous as Jacob as she fights starvation, Nazi lust and sadism. She and Jacob escape their concentration camp to join the partisans but Jacob, attempting to destroy a Nazi train, is quickly recaptured and sent to Auchswitz. Rachel fights alongside the partisans in her desperate efforts to save the man she loves. Ron Braithwaite author of novels--'Skull Rack' and 'Hummingbird God'--on the Spanish Conquest of Mexico

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    The author maintains a driving, relentless pace.

    If the unspeakable horror that was the Holocaust can be encapsulated in single moments, perhaps they would be similar to the terrible scenes in Weinblatt¿s fictional story of teenage Jacob Silverman and his family ¿ seeing lives snuffed out in the execution pit as bulldozers push dirt over the still-breathing, in the concentration camp showers as Zyklon-B engulfs screaming women and children, in the Auschwitz medical laboratory as internal organs are removed from the living without anesthesia. The author maintains a driving, relentless pace as Jacob and his beloved Rachael try to escape the madness of Nazi Germany while maintaining their humanity in the end, the visionary protagonist (Jacob sees his future in a series of prophetic dreams) comes to echo his Biblical counterpart who fled danger in his own country and saw a lifechanging vision in his dreams.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2013

    Worthwhile reading

    I find it difficult to review books of this nature, for to say that it is "great reading" or that "I enjoyed it" is not quite accurate, for how can anyone find a story about Hitler's deplorable treatment of his fellow man enjoyable? "Jacob's Courage" is the story of Jacob Silverman as he grows up and falls in love in Austria in 1939 and the years that follow. Charles Weinblatt's story re-opened my eyes to the horrors of that era and reminded me that life then, and many other times in history, has been needlessly cruel.

    Although I'm not quite finished, I can say that the story Weinblatt tells is both depressing and inspiring, and has been very well worth my time. On the technical side, the Nook version appears to have been prepared quickly as chapter titles frequently appear in the middle of paragraphs as if the headers from the printed book version were included right along with the text when it was re-paginated for the e-reader. But overall that's insignificant and easily ignored.

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Good account of the holocaust

    Very good story line but i felt the book was to long.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    Travesty Brought to Life!

    Not your childs book! If you have always wanted an up front and personal look at the war and the death camps from a Jewish perspective this is the book for you! Deeply DEEPLY moving. The characters are brought to life in all their Awesomeness! You have heard about the holocaust but here is your chance to experience the holocaust through a survivors eyes. Believe me the experience will leave you chilled to the bone at mans benovolence. I cannot understand how one human being can be so mean to another human no matter what their race, religion or sex, no matter a whole country against a whole race! Brutally honest. This book will keep you thinking long after you turn the last page.

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  • Posted July 9, 2010

    Jacob's Courage

    "Jacob's Courage" by Charles Weinblatt is a very good book. I gave it 4 rather than 5 stars because there are some spelling mistakes in the German words and some typos - the latter probably because it was written in English and published in Israel. Possibly the copy editor didn't know English too well. All this could be corrected in a next edition. But it is an excellent read; it concerns two teenagers who are madly in love but whose love is endangered when they both land in concentration camps. Obviously the time period is WW II and what happened to the Jews. Two concentration camps and the teenagers' experiences there are discussed and very well described (almost too well!). The partisans are also in the book and their life and activities are well described. The author wanted to create two "real" characters and their experiences and he has certainly succeeded. Both Jacob and Rachael are very much "alive" and so are their parents and the other people mentioned in the book. He has also very well succeeded in his description of both Theresienstadt (a.k.a. Terezin) and Auschwitz. It is terrifying to read but you want to know what happens. I can highly recommend this book - but it is not for faint-hearted readers, so be careful.

    Gabriele Silten

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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