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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.