Alex's Wake: The Tragic Voyage of the St. Louis to Flee Nazi Germany-and a Grandson¿s Journey of Love and Remembrance

Alex's Wake: The Tragic Voyage of the St. Louis to Flee Nazi Germany-and a Grandson¿s Journey of Love and Remembrance

by Martin Goldsmith

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Overview

Alex's Wake is a tale of two parallel journeys undertaken seven decades apart. In the spring of 1939, Alex and Helmut Goldschmidt were two of more than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany aboard the St. Louis, “the saddest ship afloat” (New York Times). Turned away from Cuba, the United States, and Canada, the St. Louis returned to Europe, a stark symbol of the world's indifference to the gathering Holocaust. The Goldschmidts disembarked in France, where they spent the next three years in six different camps before being shipped to their deaths in Auschwitz.

In the spring of 2011, Alex's grandson, Martin Goldsmith, followed in his relatives' footsteps on a six-week journey of remembrance and hope, an irrational quest to reverse their fate and bring himself peace. Alex's Wake movingly recounts the detailed histories of the two journeys, the witnesses Martin encounters for whom the events of the past are a vivid part of a living present, and an intimate, honest attempt to overcome a tormented family legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306823237
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 04/08/2014
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 697,303
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Martin Goldsmith is currently host and classical music programmer for “Symphony Hall” on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and hosted NPR's Performance Today from 1989 to 1999. He is the author of The Inextinguishable Symphony and lives in Maryland.

Table of Contents

1 Setting Forth 1

2 Sachsenhagen 14

3 Oldenburg 32

4 Hamburg 74

5 The Voyage of the St. Louis 90

6 Boulogne-sur-Mer 131

7 Martigny-les-Bains 143

8 Montauban 170

9 Agde 199

10 Rivesaltes 212

11 Les Milles 234

12 Drancy 271

13 Auschwitz 282

14 Coming Home 306

Acknowledgments 327

Bibliography 331

Index 333

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Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ISLMA1988 More than 1 year ago
Martin Goldsmith has written a moving tribute to his ancestors as he and his wife follow the path through Europe that his grandfather,Alex, and his uncle,Helmut, were forced to take by the Nazis in the days before they finally became statistics in Auschwitz. Along the way he describes what must have been their journey while he experiences anguish, joy and a multitude of other emotions as he traces their path through his own journeys in 2011. Emotionally it is a difficult journey for the author and for his readers, but it is a path he needed to follow and he allows the reader to experience it with him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dan rodrix show of 4/28- an interview w Martin Goldsmith re his book "Alex's (sp? Wake"- about his relatives voyage on the St. Louis which was refused entry in the u.s. and thence to death in auschwitz: As a war protester, I am still careful about standing in judgement- and certainly would be careful re Martin and his story- which we are glad to have made public. At the same time-did Martin and dan realize that there is a strong anti war movement active today- in which participation would best honor these lost relatives? I have criticized dan often for his "pablumic" approach to issues- should i do so again? There are people in jail for protesting war! I mean it's nice to tell the stories- but- how about a peep re ending this bs? Martin- as a classical music person, i will b very careful to criticize. But...you talk of the family house, now with a plaque, and a sort of wake held there in- to which i say- not enough". Germans are not coming anywhere near "doing their best" to deal with their criminal history- nor is the us re slavery and Indian genocide.