• The Unanswered Letter

  • One Holocaust Family’s Desperate Plea for Help
  • By: Faris Cassell
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulligan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (318 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

"Dear Madam - You are surely informed about the situation of all Jews in Central Europe and this letter will not astonish you."

In August 1939, just days before World War II broke out in Europe, a Jewish man in Vienna named Alfred Berger mailed a desperate letter to a stranger in America who shared his last name.

"By pure chance I got your address...I beg you instantly to send for me and my wife...."

Decades later, journalist Faris Cassell stumbled upon the stunning letter and became determined to uncover the story behind it. How did the American Bergers respond? Did Alfred and his family escape Nazi Germany? Over a decade-long investigation, Cassell traveled thousands of miles; explored archives and offices in Austria, Belarus, Israel, and the Czech Republic; interviewed descendants; and found letters, photos, and sketches made by family members during the Holocaust.

This is Cassell’s account of the devastating true story of The Unanswered Letter.

©2020 Faris Cassell (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about The Unanswered Letter

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow, what a story and excellent new author!

This is a both fascinating and heart wrenching story. I couldn’t stop listening once I got started. Historical topic told with a whole new personal perspective. I liked it so much I just bought the hard copy for a 2nd read!

14 people found this helpful

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For those who seek

This is an exceptional book. The writing is beautiful and engaging. I kept yearning for more. It’s a story within a story, a melding of past and present. The descriptions of what happened to the Viennese Jewish people and the Berger family was horrific. Yet, this somehow remains an empowering book. I am not great with words, but the care that Faris Cassell and family sought to find the truth gave me hope in humanity. It is a fantastic experience - a full life experience...buckle up.

12 people found this helpful

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Must Read for Home and Classroom

This is the incredible true story of a Jewish family trapped in Nazi controlled Austria. Meticulously researched and written, this book added a dimension of the holocaust from the perspective of a resourceful and tight knit family trying to escape it. The audio book reading is superbly done as well. Although heart-wrenching and graphic, this book is highly recommended for a family with older kids seeking to understand this dark chapter in human history and a must read for a 20th century European/World History class. Please be aware that the participants on this story are many, as the Bergers were, and still are, a large extended family. Keeping a list of names that can be quickly accessed as the story progresses may come handy. I applaud Faris Cassell for her excellent work, and I extend the Berger family my deepest condolences for their loss.

8 people found this helpful

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Everyone should read this book.

It is a sad essay on people sticking their heads in the sand. Much like today.

8 people found this helpful

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Powerful Story

So glad the author took the time to research these characters allowing readers to hear such an incredible tale of perseverance and determination. This book is well-written and has a wonderful mix of history and the personal journey of the author. Anyone who wants to learn more about such an important time period will greatly benefit from this resource.

7 people found this helpful

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  • SG
  • 09-13-20

Captivating, inspiring, and relevant.

If you’re looking for a captivating page-turner this is it. Following the author’s first hand research as she unlocks this amazing story is riveting and inspiring. This is an incredibly important and relevant story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • MS
  • 09-10-20

A must-read for any history buff

An impressive array of primary research yields this incredible story of two families intertwined by fate in a quest for truth, identity, and reconsolidation.

4 people found this helpful

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Siiiigh… so very predictable.

The narrator does a great job. Though the story line is fascinating, the author gives her thoughts and opinions about every single aspect. Certainly she is entitled to these, they are simply exactly what you would expect them to be given the day and age we live in. Intrigued with the letter and family her compassion is apparent, though her spoon fed world view made it difficult to continue and finish the book.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing! A must read!

This stunning story draws you in immediately. The author skillfully weaves a family’s personal story with the historical relevance making this an engaging and important read. The Unanswered Letter is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust. It is a story of hope, love and courage.

3 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking

Another story of ordinary people thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Horror, hope, betrayal, death and rebirth. Very compelling/ wonderful narration by Kate Mulligan.

1 person found this helpful

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  • sadith
  • 09-10-21

How can anyone mispronounce Adolf Hitler?

I gave up on this book relatively early as I found the narration irritating. It really bothers me to hear possibly the most notorious name in history pronounced incorrectly. Really no excuse for it.

3 people found this helpful