I Shall Live tells the gripping true story of a Jewish family in Germany and Russia as the Nazi party gained power in Germany. When Henry Orenstein and his siblings ended up in a series of concentrations camps, Orenstein's bravery and quick thinking help him to save himself and his brothers from execution by playing a role in the greatest hoax ever pulled on the upper echelons of Nazi command. Orenstein's lucid prose recreates this horrific time in history and his constant struggle for survival as the Nazis move him and his brothers through five concentration camps. His description of their roles in the fake Chemical Commando sheds new light on an incredible and generally unknown event in the history of the Holocaust. This edition of I Shall Live contains new evidence about this false Commando, including letters signed to and from Himmler himself.
Orenstein, aside from being a Holocaust survivor, has made a name for himself as a toymaker who called for the production of Transformers, as well as a poker player.
©1987 Henry Orenstein (P)1996 Common Mode Inc.
"I read this book in a single day; I found it so compelling it was hard to put down." (Simon Wiesenthal)
"An adventure almost novelesque in the extraordinary succession of miracles which enable the young man to remain among the living" (Claude Lanzmann, producer of Shoah)
One of the most memorable stories of the holocaust. Taut, well told, and it is almost impossible to put down. At first I didn't care for the 'reader' but quickly came to appreciate the realism he adds to the story. His reading isn't paid-actor-perfect but adds depth and makes it feel like you are sitting down with the raconteur. By an hour into it I wouldn't have changed a thing.
I like the background he supplies of the politics and culture of the era. Even though I had heard that the Poles were very anti-semitic I knew little of these details. This backgrounder was a big eye-opener, even to someone well grounded both in history and this war, and well worth reading if for no other reason. Reading the follow-up on some of these folks AFTER the war betrays the depth of hatred of Jews in that region. The isolation of the Jewish community there was entirely different from the American Jewish experience, and I could better understand some of those 'holdover' fears. I see realities from the old country that birthed those fears, even if they are pretty much baseless here.
His story shows there is a lot of luck in life, but having brothers to stick together and some shrewd calculating was not a small factor. We see the incredible inhumanity of some people and utter evil contrasted with great risks others took to save total strangers.
His story of unexpected food packages underscores how important it is for the endangered and oppressed to KNOW others are fighting for them.
I can understand why the author would want to narrate his own story. However, he isn't a good reader and that took something away from the story. He sounded like the inexperienced singer who breathes at all the wrong places. Still, it was a good story about an amazing will to survive.
There are a lot of people who are saying the author should have had someone else read his book. I think that's very rude and disrespectful. Everyone has a right to there own opinion but this is serious heartbreaking personal stuff here. I was glad he read it.I'm sure it took a toll on him bringing up all that horror. I'm sure it wasn't easy for him. The things he saw. The way he was treated. I think it took a lot of courage. This was the first holocaust the book I read. So it was very disturbing. But at the same time it's amazing to me just how the littlest thing could save or end your life. He really tells what it was like before the nazis. He explains a lot of things I did not know. If you are going to chose a book on the horrors of ww2 I recommend this one. I was also impressed at how he was able to read or think of other things for a distraction During the hiding and all. I would be pulling my hair out
In many reviews I read that people would have wished he had not been the narrator for his own book. I disagree. I think it made the book more emotional to come from the mouth of the man that endured so many tribulations. Great book. Read it!
"Excelent story with the wrong reader."
A fantastic harrowing story that should be listened to if you can stand the monotone voice of the reader.
I enjoyed all the characters in this true story of life lived in dire circumstances, the reader unfortunately read the whole book in a monotone without feeling which makes feeling the hardhip dificult.
English is obviously not his first language and just being jewish is not the point being jewish doesn't help if he can't put feeling into the words.
Triumph through adversity.
Too many of these holocaust stories are read by jewish or people of Polish extraction, and being one myself I don't see the need what is needed is someone that can put heart and soul inot every word so you can try and feel what the writer is trying to make you feel, the horror of it all!
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