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Who cares if it's all entirely true or not, this is a great, great story. Funny at times, gruesome in spots, this book recounts the exploits of Avery during his time in British forces of WWII. I thought it was very well written and well read. The humor is of the dry, British sort, but this book kept me listening just to find out what else could happen to Ginger (Avery's assumed name). I don't think you'll be disappointed.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Great book, but I was a little mislead by the title. I expected the ENTIRE book to be about how Denis Avey broke into Auschwitz and the tale of his experiences there; turns out it’s just a small part of his story and did not happen until almost half way through.
But that’s not a criticism; the story of his life was very interesting! The first half of the book recounts his time fighting in Libya and Egypt, his harrowing POW experiences, how he escapes a ship that was torpedoed in the Mediterranean, and how he ultimately found himself in a work camp in Poland - E715, near Auschwitz III. That’s were he meets the man with whom he will switch places on two occasions - ‘breaking in’ to Auschwitz.
Although his stay in Auschwitz was very brief, what impressed me the most was his drive and determination to do it – to be a witness and see things for himself. Amazing. His account was compelling, but honestly so is every survivor’s telling of their horrific concentration camp experiences.
I found myself more interested in his after-war life and how his story became public only about 60 years later. The search for people he knew during the war leads to the telling of the life story of Ernst/Ernie, a man he met in the camp and for whom he procured cigarettes. Turns out, those cigarettes saved Ernst’s life… I won’t get into the details of how, you have to read the book for that, but it felt like a great full-circle.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful