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Publisher's Summary

In September, 1939, George Lucius Salton's boyhood in Tyczyn, Poland, was shattered by escalating violence and terror under German occupation. His father, a lawyer, was forbidden to work, but 11-year-old George dug potatoes, split wood, and resourcefully helped his family. They suffered hunger and deprivation, a forced march to the Rzeszow ghetto, then eternal separation when 14-year-old George and his brother were left behind to labor in work camps while their parents were deported in boxcars to die in Belzec. For the next three years, George slaved and barely survived in 10 concentration camps, including Rzeszow, Plaszow, Flossenburg, Colmar, Sachsenhausen, Braunschweig, Ravensbrck, and Wobbelin.

Cattle cars filled with skeletal men emptied into a train yard in Colmar, France. George and the other prisoners marched under the whips and fists of SS guards. But here, unlike the taunts and rocks from villagers in Poland and Germany, there was applause. "I could clearly hear the people calling: 'Shame! Shame!'... Suddenly, I realized that the people of Colmar were applauding us! They were condemning the inhumanity of the Germans!" Of the 500 prisoners of the Nazis who marched through the streets of Colmar in the spring of 1944, just 50 were alive one year later when the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division liberated the Wobbelin concentration camp on the afternoon of May 2, 1945. "I felt something stir deep within my soul. It was my true self, the one who had stayed deep within and had not forgotten how to love and how to cry, the one who had chosen life and was still standing when the last roll call ended."

©2002 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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One of the best holocaust books I've read.

What made the experience of listening to The 23rd Psalm the most enjoyable?

Personal account of suffering Jewish boy.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The 23rd Psalm?

Eating human stew.

What about Ken Kliban’s performance did you like?

He seemed to capture the youth of George.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It seemed bad news followed bad throughout till the end when he was rescued.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Susie
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 10-16-13

A Gift to All of Us

I've read and interviewed many witnesses to the Holocaust about that time in their lives, and there is always another story that defies belief, both in humanity, and survival.

This is one of those stories, a very poetic one, too.

I just didn't stop listening, moist-eyed, until the end, when we learn how he finally shared his experiences with his children, after shielding them for most of their lives.

I was also one of those children whose parent had a terrible historical secret. It moves me so much when parents come around and open up.

He couldn't have written this book if it hadn't been for that reconciliation, and it's a gift to all of us.

Talk about "Never Again."

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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amazing book. horrible voice actor

this book was fascinating. amazing story about a Survivor and the will to live. the book is a very interesting insight into this incredible man's first hand account of the Holocaust. it also blew me away to really consider the scope of prejudice amongst the German people of the time.

the voice actor was horrible. he has a voice that would be great for reading short clips on the news or radio but came very close to ruining this book for me. after the first hour or two I got used to it it was able to focus on the story but there was a moment where I almost couldn't continue with the book. it sounds as if a robot is reading it to you and there is no emotion placed into these outrageously emotional moments of the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Tremendous

I found this book tremendously moving. The performance was a little difficult to get used to at first, but it grows on you. As another reviewer said, it is hard to remember that the narrator ia not actually the young boy. This book is raw, and full of emotion . If you are a fan of this type of history , then you will love this one

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I could not stop listening!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Such a heartbreaking story, but also a story of survival. I think we can learn a lot from these stories.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The 23rd Psalm?

I can't pinpoint just one. His choices were sort of a domino effect. You get to points in the book where you say to yourself, "wow, had he made one different decision he would not have survived". Its powerful.

What about Ken Kliban’s performance did you like?

He made me feel as though he was the author telling the story.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried in a few places in the book.

Any additional comments?

A must read, especially if you enjoy memoirs!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Barbara
  • Little Suamico, WI, United States
  • 12-27-13

All the Passion of a Newscast

Would you try another book from George Lucius Salton and/or Ken Kliban?

I might consider a book by George Lucius Salton, but I would definitely not buy a book narrated by Ken Kliban.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Obviously, the content of the Holocaust is compelling in and of itself. As a teacher, I've read several paper-copy books on this subject and have even heard Henry Golde (Holocaust survivor) speak in-person. That said, the story is coming off more like a series of sentences, rather than a memoir. In the author's defense, I'm not sure it's because of the narration or something else, since I'm obviously listening, rather than reading.

What didn’t you like about Ken Kliban’s performance?

Ken sounds like a very nice man, but a man with little emotion; this book has all the passion of a nightly newscast. I'm on Chapter 6 and am just hoping that someone else will be narrating, too. Otherwise, I'm not sure I'll finish it. I've listened to to other books this month and found them to be much better; the narrators changed their voices to sound younger when reading parts of younger characters. Ken's reading, while sincere, lacks inflection/tone to match the content, in my opinion.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

The book isn't sparking anything beyond general interest, at this point.

Any additional comments?

I would like to hear a boy's voice (or an effort to sound younger, at least) for the parts of the author's childhood.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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I don't really understand how he survived all he went through

I wish I knew the time line better but he didn't have way of knowing it
Remarkable story in itself especially In one so young But he seemed to never give up or give in to the absolute cruelty of the Nazi soldiers.
He is a true hero. Highly recommend this audible book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A MUST READ!

I really enjoyed this book! The narrations was wonderful! The story was incredible. It is hard to believe human survived these horrible things, but it is amazing that those survivors can share their experiences with us. Anyone who enjoys Holocaust Memoirs will enjoy this book!

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A Life Not to be Forgotten

An insight into the depths of human evil. A young Jewish boy documents his walk and survival through the valley of dry bones. Filled with emotions and external degradation of the tenth degree. I will listen to it again as I burn it into my subconsciousness o that I can recognize the serpent when his head rises up in this world.

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Wow! what a story

What did you love best about The 23rd Psalm?

I don't think I 'loved' the story. I was very saddened by it. One minute humans are so fragile the next inner strength and sense of survival is beyond belief.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Ken Kliban?

Not really. He puts the wrong emphasis on many words. Irritating, but did get better as the story unfolded.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved by the whole book.

Any additional comments?

After listening to the story I had to get on the computer and follow up any additional information I could about the Holocaust. It still horrifies me. I am in my late 70's and can remember the war in England. What Hitler would have done had he invaded Britain is unthinkable. Shame he took his own life, millions would have taken it for him!

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  • Jo Blogs
  • 12-17-14

Heartbreaking

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES AND NO, it is very sad, and the Germans and Poles on the whole were quite terrible people during this story.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The 23rd Psalm?

The paint episode

Have you listened to any of Ken Kliban’s other performances? How does this one compare?

NO

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Listen to it on long journeys. Have not finished but I am totally gripped.

Any additional comments?

The way the story is told I love, there does not need to be any fake tv drama, the events being so terrible and so real did not need the adjectives so many other books require.<br/><br/>The actions of those around speak for themselves. I only down side so far is that it is so sad and pretty miserable.<br/><br/>

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • geoff luck
  • 04-22-16

A truly moving and shocking history

This is one not to miss, and is in my opinion an important document in its own right.
I was moved to tears, angered, and stunned.
You will not regret absorbing this book,it made me seek perspective on how we now live, and take so much for granted in our lives.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rose
  • 12-05-16

'There never was a synagogue in this town'

Well I think it very wrong to give an honest account anything less than top marks. The author can't help his honesty in such things as a true story no matter how harrowing it might be and this account which is one of many is indeed harrowing in the extreme. Charged with emotion and it does go on a bit about the loss of relatives in a way cynics might think of as obsessive but it's the facts and I'll not judge the man any less of a man for displaying them. It msut have cut deeply when, at the beginning of this book somebody told a surviving Jew that there had never been a synagogue in his home town. Then the camps themselves and the treatment of Jews which is well documented but not always with such clarity of detail. The naration is fine though the sanator's voice might have been clearer but the book itself might, in the eyes of some, be considered as just another account of terrible events. It does though shed some light on why so many people accepted their fate and did nothing to challenge it which some people in introductions to other books tend, in their glib homes and ways, overlook since they cannot know such despair and have, in my view, no right to judge how things really were. Overall a good book worth reading which, if you're of a sensitive nature will make you weep. Not me though but then I'm not of a sensitive nature.