Sunday, February 19, 2012

The man who broke into Auschwitz by Denis Avey and Rob Broomby

Synopsis: The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz is the extraordinary true story of a British soldier who marched willingly into the concentration camp, Buna-Monowitz, known as Auschwitz III.
In the summer of 1944, Denis Avey was being held in a British POW labor camp, E715, near Auschwitz III. He had heard of the brutality meted out to the prisoners there and he was determined to witness what he could.
He hatched a plan to swap places with a Jewish inmate and smuggled himself into his sector of the camp. He spent the night there on two occasions and experienced at first-hand the cruelty of a place where slave workers, had been sentenced to death through labor.
Astonishingly, he survived to witness the aftermath of the Death March where thousands of prisoners were murdered by the Nazis as the Soviet Army advanced. After his own long trek right across central Europe he was repatriated to Britain.
For decades he couldn't bring himself to revisit the past that haunted his dreams, but now Denis Avey feels able to tell the full story—a tale as gripping as it is moving—which offers us a unique insight into the mind of an ordinary man whose moral and physical courage are almost beyond belief.
My thoughts: After The Diary of Anne Frank, this is one of the most detailed books about World War II. We are presented to Denis Avey, an English soldier that is sent to Egypt to stop the Italian army. During this period he is captured by the Italians, try to escape three times and get caught. He is send to E175, a labor camp of war prisoners who have to work to build IG Farben, a place were the german produced Zyklon B, the pesticide repurposed by the SS for the gas chambers. And the conglomerate was the main supplier of chemical products essential to the Nazi war machine. Next to their camp was Auschwitz III-Monowitz, where everything happened.

                In this place, Denis meets Hans, a jew prisoner who lived in Auschwitz. Denis swaps places
with Hans, trying to see what life was like in the concentration camp. This story was well written and extremely touching. It shows that in a God forsaken place, good will still existed.
                There were a few parts that really chocked me, like when a SS soldier punched a baby child in the face because the kid was crying and he died instantly. Humanity was totally left behind once they got into the camp.
                I don’t know if Avey is still alive – he would have 93 years old – but if he is, he must have suffered such pain and sadness. I wish I could meet him one day.


No comments:

Post a Comment