After the Roundup

Escape and Survival in Hitler’s France
Narrated by: J. Clark Allison
Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: History, Europe
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On the nights of July 16 and 17, 1942, French police rounded up 11-year-old Joseph Weismann, his family, and 13,000 other Jews. After being held for five days in appalling conditions in the Vélodrome d'Hiver stadium, Joseph and his family were transported by cattle car to the Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp and brutally separated: All the adults and most of the children were transported on to Auschwitz and certain death, but 1,000 children were left behind to wait for a later train. The French guards told the children left behind that they would soon be reunited with their parents, but Joseph and his new friend, Joe Kogan, chose to risk everything in a daring escape attempt. After eluding the guards and crawling under razor-sharp barbed wire, Joseph found freedom. But how would he survive the rest of the war in Nazi-occupied France and build a life for himself? His problems had just begun. 

Until he was 80, Joseph Weismann kept his story to himself, giving only the slightest hints of it to his wife and three children. In the original French version of this book and in Roselyne Bosch’s 2010 film La Rafle, Joseph shares his compelling and terrifying story of the "Roundup of the Vél’ d’Hiv" and his escape. Now, for the first time in English, Joseph tells the rest of his dramatic story.

The book is published by Indiana University Press.

"Weismann's narrative is an achievement to be grateful for." (Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler's List)

"Extraordinary...and timely...a powerful insight into what it is like to be on the receiving end of the demonization of a race or religion." (Peter Grose, author of A Good Place To Hide)

"In bearing witness, Joseph Weismann has written a book that is indispensable for the enormous task of understanding the Shoah." (Les Chroniques de Miawka)

©2017 Indiana University Press (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

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A “must-listen” book

As a person of Jewish descent, I feel it is part of my duty to continue learning about the atrocities of the previous century. The story of Joseph Weismann is compelling in its scope: how could such a young boy manage to escape the System of Death and find a way to live a deep, fulfilling, and meaningful life? The narrator provides tones that reflect the child-like wonder of a young boy as things quickly change. The senses of despair, anger, disbelief, and finally an acceptance of the truth are impressively conveyed, along with subtle accents of the languages of the region. Don’t pass up this opportunity to learn what it was like to live and survive through a nightmare, and how to thrive afterwards.

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What a tragic story for one so young

Can’t believe Joseph survived after incredible odds against him. He was still just a child just wanting some kindness which was in short supply He was stoic and I can’t believe he could remember all this after so many years. The devastating thing I took from this story is how he totally cut GOD out of his life and in many respects became a repressed bitter old man whose goal was to find happiness in life as he stated many times but never achieved it

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Narrator added a lot to this book

I really enjoyed this book. I especially like the narrators voice, it made the powerful content easier to listen to then many books I've heard on audible.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Let not history repeat

The horror. The trauma felt by young innocent children being taken away from their parents. The trauma lasts into adulthood. PTSD is very real. The millions ofinnoce.my lives taken from this worldly my God . This must never ever happen ever again. On this earth.

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A French accent applied to a holocaust experience

Most holocaust memoirs I've read center around Poland and Germany. This is a story about the experience in France. It's skillfully told through the eyes of a young boy, although the story is being described by a rather old man. The transition from events as they occurred, to observations of their effects on him toward the end of the book (as told by the grown up young boy) is subtle and well constructed.

The author describes his harrowing experiences, and episodes of sheer luck, and provides some insight into the thought processes going through his mind - as the boy seeing and experiencing profound, harrowing and terrifying events - and as a mature man looking back on the events of his life, and the impacts they've had on him.

Well paced and well narrated.

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Inspiring, horrific and shamefully true story

Another horrific and painfully true account of how insanely barbaric the Nazi's and their sympathizers were. My thanks to the author for deciding to share such a raw and painful story. It was especially emotional and chilling for me, because my own grandparents (and dad) migrated from Paris and to NY in 1940.

How is it possible that humans could have behaved that way less than a generation ago? I worry about the rising trend of nationalistic and self-serving political leaders. I find myself encouraging others to ingest Joseph Weismann’s tragic story and to then take any action within their own power to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.

This is a book that you don’t want to read, but you really must.

DISCLAIMER: I was given a review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Incredible

i admire the author for his strength and resilience. Listening to this audiobook is as if I am journeying him all those years. Thank you for sharing your story Mr. Weismann. (I got this free copy in return for my honest opinion.)

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Thoughtful Recollection

I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Sad but inspiring: "After the Roundup: Escape and Survival in Hitler’s France" takes a look back at one man's journey through one of the darkest times in human history. Joseph Weismann writes about growing up in France, witnessing German cruelty, escaping from captivity and living life as a fugitive. J. Clark Allison maintains the melancholic tone with his steady narration and convincing dialogue. After the roundup should be read by any aspiring historian or WWII aficionado.

Joseph Weismann is a Jewish boy living in France. During WWII, he witnesses the appalling cruelty that many Germans exercised upon the Jewish population. Along with 13,000 Jews, Joseph and his family is rounded up and shipped to the Vélodrome d'Hiver stadium by cattle car. Facing deplorable conditions, Joseph makes a friend and escapes his prison. What follows is a life lived in secret. He moves from shelter to shelter, and he lives in fear of re-capture. Joseph clearly shares his emotions, opinions and convictions. It's obvious that the events of WWII deeply affected the outcome of Joseph's life. Although the majority of this work focuses on WWII and its immediate outcome, Joseph does briefly delve into his post-war life. The book's only downside is its length, which is a brief five hours and 48 minutes. Nonetheless, it makes for a captivating examination of France and Jewish oppression during WWII.

J. Clark Allison narrates "After the Roundup". His tone is sad and despondent, which fits the mood that Joseph expresses in his writing. His accents and inflections are believable, and he smoothly transitions between voices. He gives a consistent, strong performance. His narration is a solid compliment to the narrative.

"After the Roundup" is a touching novel. It shares an image of a very disturbing time in history. It's also encouraging and hopeful: Andrew fought against his oppressors and escaped from captivity. He made a new life for himself, and he lived to tell his story. His bravery is truly inspiring. Allison never detracts from the narrative. He gives a believable, moving performance. This book is highly recommended to those looking for a unique perspective of life during WWII.

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Up there with "Man's Search for Meaning"

I received a promo code & have chosen to leave my honest opinions of the book & narration.

Listening to After the Roundup: Escape and Survival in Hitler’s France by Joseph Weismann, narrated by J. Clark Allison was excellent. When I'd only listened to 2 chapters so far, I could tell it's going to be one of my new favorites. Weismann wrote it in his eighties. Written in first person beginning when he was 10 in France in 1941 is a compelling beginning. J. has done an excellent job as a narrator, conveying the youth of the characters without making them sound silly. The holocaust was a disturbing disgusting experience. This is the first time I've read or listened to a story about it from the perspective of a child. In some ways, it made me think of the movie "Life is Beautiful," even though in this case it most certainly was not. But taking a subject matter so painfully horrific & viewing it through the lens of childhood. I also appreciated that Mr Weismann didn't just cover the years of the war, but the aftermath & continued persecution and anti-semitism that still exists today.
This now ranks right up there with my favorite war books, including: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran, (I'm disappointed it's only available abridged on Audible. Maybe Mr. Allison or I could one day rectify that. He handles the French much better than I would), Mankind's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

Trigger warning - Aside from the obvious trauma of the holocaust, there is also a description of an instance of sexual abuse.

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After the Roundup

An important piece of history and an impressive effort in translation and narration.

Joseph Weismann's ability to write from the perspective he had as a child trying to navigate unthinkable atrocities offers the listener an incredibly unique and human experience that can't be found in a textbook. The translation by Richard Kutner and narration by J Clark Allison gives every effort to ensure Weismann's story is done justice, and the end result is a quality piece of history that should be shared.

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  • Janet Jones
  • 01-18-20

Brilliant!

A very moving, gripping and harrowing story of a young boy. The narrator was very good as well.