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Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp

Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp

by Christopher R. Browning
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A remarkable story of survival for almost three hundred Jews who live to recount the brutalities of a Nazi work camp.

In 1972 the Hamburg State Court acquitted Walter Becker, the German chief of police in the Polish city of Starachowice, of war crimes committed against Jews. Thirty years before, Becker had been responsible for liquidating the nearby Jewish ghetto, sending nearly 4,000 Jews to their deaths at Treblinka and 1,600 to slave-labor factories. The shocking acquittal, delivered despite the incriminating eyewitness testimony of survivors, drives this author’s inquiry.

Drawing on the rich testimony of survivors of the Starachowice slave-labor camps, Christopher R. Browning examines the experiences and survival strategies of the Jewish prisoners and the policies and personnel of the Nazi guard. From the killings in the market square in 1942 through the succession of brutal camp regimes, there are stories of heroism, of corruption and retribution, of desperate choices forced on husbands and wives, parents and children. In the end, the ties of family and neighbor are the sinews of survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393338874
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 01/10/2011
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 628,575
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Christopher R. Browning, now retired from teaching, was the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina and is the author of Ordinary Men, Remembering Survival, and other works of Holocaust history. He lives in Chapel Hill.

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Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rotton Nazis Hate Hitler Stupid Nazis and i hate Hitler Poor Jews
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This non-fiction work explores the background and wartime experiences of a large group of Jews enslaved by the Nazis in factories in their hometown (Starachowice/Wierzbnick) located in central Poland. The factories were essential to the German war effort. The Jews were housed in slave-labor camps built to purpose, also in/near their town. The Jews of the town, with backgrounds running from the secular to the orthodox, at the outset of the occupation were concentrated into a "ghetto" by the Nazis, but allowed to work. In an "aktion" in Autumn 1942, those ostensibly able to work were marched off to newly-created "work camps", while the balance of theie families were shipped directly to Treblinka for extermination. This book focuses on the sensitive interrelationship between Polish anti-Semitism, the Nazi-imposed regime in the camps (guarded by Ukrainians under Nazi authority and direction), Jewish self-leadership within the camps (and as altered by subsequent shipments of workers from other towns/camps), work in the factories, and the overarching Nazi plan for a Final Solution. It is extremely well-researched and accurately footnoted, with sources ranging from Nazi records of that era, to subsequent war crimes trials, to survivor interviews. The author makes manifest attempts to remain objective, but occasionally lapses into normative assumptions or judgments which are perhaps outside of a historian's proper role. Additionally, I would have liked to see more detailed descriptions of the work the Jews did, so as to enhance my appreciation of their daily lives. Nevertheless, while most Holocaust literature examines concentration/extermination camps, this book is quite unique in that it explores life -- and the attempt to maintain life -- in a working (slave labor) environment subject to only intermittent harassment (depending on the Nazi camp direction). The ultimate (happy) irony is that, due to the inmates' pre-selection as healthy workers, when the work camps were liquidated and the inmates shipped off to Auschwitz/Birkenau they were exempted from inspection and "selection" on the Birkenau platform/ramp, thus sparing them at least temporarily from the ovens. As a result, an unusually large proportion of them, especially among the women, survived the War. One of these women was my mother. The book moves chronologically and consistently, and remembers to follow up on many "individual" stories, as it should... for this is after all the unique history of the survival of a group of individuals from family life through ghetto life through slave-labor camps and extermination camps and death marches. It is really quite good reading for historians, students of history, as well as those interested in the Holocaust experience.