Out of the Depths: The Story of a Child of Buchenwald Who Returned Home at Last

( 11 )

Overview

With a foreword by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel!

Israel Meir Lau, one of the youngest survivors of Buchenwald, was just eight years old when the camp was liberated in 1945. Descended from a 1,000-year unbroken chain of rabbis, he grew up to become Chief Rabbi of Israel--and like many of the great rabbis, Lau is a master storyteller. Out of the Depths is his harrowing, miraculous, and inspiring account of life in one of the Nazis' deadliest ...

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Out of the Depths: The Story of a Child of Buchenwald Who Returned Home at Last

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Overview

With a foreword by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel!

Israel Meir Lau, one of the youngest survivors of Buchenwald, was just eight years old when the camp was liberated in 1945. Descended from a 1,000-year unbroken chain of rabbis, he grew up to become Chief Rabbi of Israel--and like many of the great rabbis, Lau is a master storyteller. Out of the Depths is his harrowing, miraculous, and inspiring account of life in one of the Nazis' deadliest concentration camps, and how he managed to survive against all possible odds.

Lau, who lost most of his family in the Holocaust, also chronicles his life after the war, including his emigration to Mandate Palestine during a period that coincides with the development of the State of Israel. The story continues up through today, with that once-lost boy of eight now a brilliant, charismatic, and world-revered figure who has visited with Popes John Paul and Benedict; the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and countless global leaders including Ronald Reagan, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Tony Blair.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

The Chief Rabbi of Israel recounts a harrowing journey from child prisoner in Buchenwald to champion of Holocaust survivors.

The son of successive generations of rabbis from Poland, Lau was just five years old when he and his family were separated during the Nazi roundups of Jews in of 1942. His father was sent to Treblinka, never to be heard from again; the author and his mother and oldest brother, Nephtali (who had already escaped from Auschwitz and returned) were first interned in a Polish ghetto, then sent by train in 1944 to Buchenwald. On a split-second decision by his mother during the selections, Lau was cast toward his brother in the men's cars, as if she had understood that the women and the children were killed first. A baffling presence to the Nazis, the child was sheltered and protected by various prisoners—may of whom Lau later tried to find. His relegation to "block number eight" seemed to have saved him, and he was checked on by his brother, who was remarkably resilient and persevering. American troops liberated Buchenwald in April 1945; Nephtali and Lau, despite battling postwar illnesses such as typhoid fever and measles, finally made their way to Israel, where an uncle welcomed them and Lau began his long, rewarding journey to becoming educated and ordained as a rabbi. Alternating his Holocaust memories with more recent events such as visits back to the camps with dignitaries and heads of state, Lau inserts poignant details, such as first learning about the fate of their mother, while administering wedding services in the 1970s, by a woman who had known her in Ravensbrück. Lau addresses frankly the postwar silence about the Holocaust and the issue of Jewish submission. His deep knowledge of biblical scripture informs every page of this finely tuned work.

Uplifting story of peace, reconciliation and an incredible life's journey.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402786310
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Edition description: Translatio
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 162,400
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Lau is one of the world's most revered and charismatic Jewish leaders. Lau was born in 1937 in Poland, the son of his town's last Chief Rabbi. He served as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1993 to 2003. Currently, he is Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Chairman of Yad Vashem--Israel's official memorial organization to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. In 2005, Lau was awarded the Israel Prize (the country's highest honor) for his lifetime achievements and special contribution to society and the State of Israel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    A truly amazing story of a small child emerging from the depths

    A truly amazing story of a small child emerging from the depths of hell to continue his family legacy in becoming a great leader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    Must Read

    Rabbi Lau manages to tell about his life weaving in Torah philosphy, faith and trust. It is like you are with him during thses times and throughout his amazing life. I felt lifted up reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    Wonderful! Touching and insightful

    This book by the former chief rabbi of Israel begins with Yisrael Lau's journey of seeing the Nazis rise to power in Poland and having his childhood completely destroyed to his arrival at the highest rabbinic post in Israel. After seeing his father murdered and being separated from his mother by age 7, he is left to fend for himself in the Buchenwald concentration camp with help from his 14 year old brother. Through the courage of his brother, kindness of strangers and Divine Providence, Yisrael Lau survives. After a short stay in an orphanage in France, he arrives in Palestine to begin his life anew. His story, told with insight, foresight and retrospective tells the story of an entire generation of Jews who witnessed the Holocaust, the establishment of the state of Israel three years later, the victory of the 6 Day War, the sadness of the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the shock of Yitzchak Rabin's assassination. The people he meets along his journey remind you of "Forest Gump", they range from Fidel Castro to Kareem Abdul Jabal, and his experiences are unforgettable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Breath taking! Can't put down

    Breath taking! Can't put down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    i don't have words

    i don't have words

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Malon/nayru

    What?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Link

    He sits on a stmp

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

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    Posted January 20, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

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