In September, 1939, George Lucius Salton's boyhood in Tyczyn, Poland, was shattered by escalating violence and terror under German occupation. His father, a lawyer, was forbidden to work, but 11-year-old George dug potatoes, split wood, and resourcefully helped his family. They suffered hunger and deprivation, a forced march to the Rzeszow ghetto, then eternal separation when 14-year-old George and his brother were left behind to labor in work camps while their parents were deported in boxcars to die in Belzec. For the next three years, George slaved and barely survived in 10 concentration camps, including Rzeszow, Plaszow, Flossenburg, Colmar, Sachsenhausen, Braunschweig, Ravensbrck, and Wobbelin.
Cattle cars filled with skeletal men emptied into a train yard in Colmar, France. George and the other prisoners marched under the whips and fists of SS guards. But here, unlike the taunts and rocks from villagers in Poland and Germany, there was applause. "I could clearly hear the people calling: 'Shame! Shame!'... Suddenly, I realized that the people of Colmar were applauding us! They were condemning the inhumanity of the Germans!" Of the 500 prisoners of the Nazis who marched through the streets of Colmar in the spring of 1944, just 50 were alive one year later when the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division liberated the Wobbelin concentration camp on the afternoon of May 2, 1945. "I felt something stir deep within my soul. It was my true self, the one who had stayed deep within and had not forgotten how to love and how to cry, the one who had chosen life and was still standing when the last roll call ended."
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A Gift to All of Us
- Susie "I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South.""
All the Passion of a Newscast
I might consider a book by George Lucius Salton, but I would definitely not buy a book narrated by Ken Kliban.
Obviously, the content of the Holocaust is compelling in and of itself. As a teacher, I've read several paper-copy books on this subject and have even heard Henry Golde (Holocaust survivor) speak in-person. That said, the story is coming off more like a series of sentences, rather than a memoir. In the author's defense, I'm not sure it's because of the narration or something else, since I'm obviously listening, rather than reading.
Ken sounds like a very nice man, but a man with little emotion; this book has all the passion of a nightly newscast. I'm on Chapter 6 and am just hoping that someone else will be narrating, too. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'll finish it. I've listened to to other books this month and found them to be much better; the narrators changed their voices to sound younger when reading parts of younger characters. Ken's reading, while sincere, lacks inflection/tone to match the content, in my opinion.
The book isn't sparking anything beyond general interest, at this point.
I would like to hear a boy's voice (or an effort to sound younger, at least) for the parts of the author's childhood.