Seventy years ago, Joe Rubinstein walked out of a Nazi concentration camp.
Until now, his story has been hidden from the world.
Shortly before dawn on a frigid morning in Radom, Poland, twenty-one year-old Joe answered a knock at the door of the cottage he shared with his widowed mother and siblings. German soldiers forced him onto a crowded open-air truck. Wearing only an undershirt and shorts, Joe was left on the truck with no protection from the cold. By the next morning, several around him would be dead. From there, things got worse for young Joe, much worse. Joe arrived at Auschwitz April 30, 1942, and until now, has never revealed what he did to stay alive.
Joe's story is a remarkable account of enduring several of the most notorious Nazi concentration camp and, it is a story of love and the ultimate triumph-the triumph of the human spirit. While the Nazis took everything else, they were unable to take Joe's love of life, his affection for others, and his unassailable joy. His is a story of unconquerable courage and discovering light in the darkest of places.
From the ashes of his past, Joe would find a way to rebuild his life. Barefooted when he was taken by the Nazis, he would become one of New York's' leading shoe designers - shoes sought after by First Ladies and movie stars alike.
©2015 Nancy Sprowell Geise (P)2016 Nancy Sprowell Geise
I have read many WWII books dealing with death camps. This one is the most detailed and authentic I've read. No melodrama but as horrific as it gets. Author is a real human being for whomI I felt like I got to know and have the most empathy for. He is a great man for his honesty without seeking pity. I would like to shake his hand and have the honor of meeting him.
A story that has been told before but not from this personal view of a young man who grew old without telling his story. Finally after 70 years Nancy Sprowell Geise got to hear why this man choose to be grateful.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."
I am amazed at this gentle and resilience! This is a harrowing yet amazing story of strength, hope and love. I am so grateful that this story has been told. In the epilogue I found myself reaching for the tissues.
This is one of the most heartbreaking and incredible stories I have every ever heard.
I cannot imagine what it's like to be an innocent man, forcibly removed from my home-without so much as a chance to say "goodbye" to my mother-and then brought to a place run by sadistic guards whose sole purpose was to murder me and others like me.
To watch thousands of innocent people unknowingly march to a death by poison gas. To see young children murdered for entertainment. To know that any of us could be murdered for any reason, real or imagined. To know that all of us would be murdered-if not from poison gas or some other form of violence, then by starvation, disease, exposure or exhaustion. To know that I would never see any of my family again-because they had been murdered. To have almost no control over my life or my fate.
And yet, Mr. Rubinstein not only survives, but he goes on to live a life filled with love, joy, gratitude and compassion. Amazing!
Each of us has the freedom to choose a life that is either good or evil. I believe that by remaining good-hearted despite having experienced unimaginable evil, Mr. Rubinstein honors family members who were stolen from him.
Everyone should listen to this audiobook.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.
Ruth Marie Wattier
There is no way to process what Joe Rubinstein has seen and experienced. No way to rationalize it, understand it, come to grips with it or accept it. No way to understand the torture. No way to grasp the magnitude of such evil. Our bodies simply do not have a way to process such overwhelming images of pain and death, injustice and loss. No way to process it - apart from the God whom Joe Rubinstein loves and serves. In this book, Joe tells us he always hid his story from everyone because everyone has an idea that terrible things happened in Auschwitz, "but no one knows." Yet Joe Rubinstein can now say it is a blessing to tell us about his life and what he went through. Yet he admits what he has seen is like a cancer that never leaves him. "I'm going to love my life, love my family and love God" he tells us. And he ends his book by doing exactly that - praising God. At the end of this book, I'm left shaken to the core. None of us ever want to come face to face with pure evil, yet Joe Rubinstein faces it daily, in his own mind. But he stands firmly on his faith and claims he is not defeated. His family is not defeated. Why? Because he lives on to love others.
Nancy Sprowell Geise did a beautiful job of capturing Joe's story. I love the way she portrayed his innocence and complete inability to understand what was happening and why his world had changed when he was taken from his family suddenly. We have truly been given a glimpse through Joe Rubinstein's eyes, thanks to Nancy Geise, and it's a view that is impossible to forget.
Richard Rieman did well to capture the confusion and innocence of Joe Rubinstein as well as a myriad of other overwhelming emotions throughout this journey.
The book is well written and shares the horrors that Mr Rubinstein endured at the hands of the nazis.The chance meetings and decisions on his part had such an influence on his survival.The most touching part to me is his continuous faith in his God and the ability to keep fighting for his survival.He's a true inspiration.I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of the holocaust and the suffering inflicted on the Jews.I liked that Joe Rubinstein narrated parts of his story as well as the narrarator. I received a copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
relationship coach, author
Listening to this book is a deeply emotional experience. The title suggests the horror that is indeed rivetingly and painfully described, but it is horror book-ended by deep joy and appreciation of life. It is a privilege to hear passages in Joe Rubinstein’s own voice interspersed throughout the narrative. Rarely is a book such a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.
I was brought to tears more than once by hearing the story of Joe. Everyone should hear this horror story. Never forget...
I would love to meet this person, this incredibly strong person, Joe Rubinstein.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
A retrospective of the first third of his life as related by Joe Rubenstein at 94.
Or, a memoir in 3 1/2 parts.
But, mostly a story of love: of family long gone, of life, of God, of new family created and grown, of friends.
Life started out pretty well for a middle class Jewish boy in a Polish town. It was altered when the eldest boy died of illness, and then the father of cancer when Joe was young. But he, his twin and other brothers and sister were a closely knit family who sheltered each other. Then came the invasion of Poland, and things went from difficult to worse. And then he was taken away, and the real nightmare began.
Now he is the voice of the people in the boxcars. And the grave pits. And the abused. He becomes one of the slaves in striped pajamas and coarse wooden shoes. He clings to hope for his family for as long as he can, begs God many times a day, and is helped by people.
Finally the war ends. But where can a man go with little education, no family, no money, but exceptional skills? In the beginning, with a never-ending list of new friends, he is in Germany. Then he meets and marries a wonderful Catholic girl. When their first child is on the way, they firmly decide that it is vital that they leave Europe as soon as may be. They do, eventually, and with hard work and special skills, things come around for them and life is good.
There is then, a brief recounting of life in America and citizenship.
Richard Reiman has the voice and cadencing to enhance it all, and each chapter is introduced with a sentence spoken by Joe, himself, to remind us that this is no work of fiction.
Not as long as Night, Anne Frank, Schindler's list, or The Book Thief, but also very moving.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com
Avid reader. Loves both fiction and non fiction.
This book gripped me from the very beginning and held my attention throughout. It's an important story, one that needs to be heard and remembered.
After the first few sentences I was confused because I wasn't expecting the first person narrative, however I got used to it very quickly and soon realized that I actually loved that the book was written that way. It gave it a more intimate tone which I found very appropriate. The excellent narration by Richard Rieman also added to the atmosphere of familiarity. Most of all, hearing Joe Rubinstein's voice at the beginning of each chapter made the story all the more real and alive making it feel like I was hearing it all directly from him.
Listening to this book steered a lot of different emotions in me. From anger and sadness all the way to joy and happiness. I still can not even begin to understand how could humans cause so much pain to others just for being different. I also can't stop admiring the Smiling Joe for the resilience, strength of character, will to live and goodness of heart he demonstrated.
It was very generous of Mr. Rubinstein to share his story with the world, even though it must have cost him a lot of pain to bring out the horrible memories of imprisonment in the concentration camps. I for one am very thankful I was able to hear it.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.