Jewish Values: Teenager in Hitler's Death Camps, A

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115 p.
In simple, clear prose, Benny Grünfeld offers a memoir of his personal Holocaust experience as a slave laborer after deportation to Auschwitz at age sixteen and his post-war life in Sweden. Written specifically for middle and high school students (to whom he gives one hundred talks a year), the author gives a teenager’s eyewitness account of the brutality and horrors of the camps: sadistic beatings, severe hunger, hangings, and mass killings by shootings and, of course, in the gas chambers. Primitive color illustrations by the author are detailed and carefully drawn. Benny survives because of his persistence, stubbornness, luck, wiles, faith, adaptability, and drive to be with his brother. An extensive note by Olle Hager gives the historical background of anti-Semitism and puts Benny’s story within an historical context. Included in the note are two ideas which are often ignored in Holocaust books: a) observations about how ordinary people, each playing a small role, participate in evil. Without them, the Holocaust could not have occurred, and b) an honest discussion of the basis of anti-Semitism in Christianity. A glossary, timeline, historic photographs, and maps add to the usefulness of this book
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