With less than a month to go before the release of The Auschwitz Escape, here are excerpts from an early review I thought you might find interesting.
It was written by Rachel McRae, the Fiction Book Buyer for a major American bookstore chain.
Tyndale House Publishers sent me an advanced copy of the novel a few weeks ago. What a special story this is. Going back to my teenage years, I’ve had an interest in the Holocaust and Eastern European history around World War II. Any book, especially any novel that is set during this time always grabs my attention. I’ve had the privilege to go to Auschwitz twice within the last few years so Rosenberg’s novel sparked my attention even more. There are many aspects of The Auschwitz Escape that I appreciated and will share a couple of them with you here.
First, Rosenberg’s description of this time in history sets a realistic backdrop for the novel. I found myself feeling the anxiety and desperation that the characters were facing as Hitler was marching across Europe and killing innocent people along the way. The depictions of Auschwitz brought up memories of standing in the roll call fields, being in a barrack, or praying in the silence of the crematorium during my trips to the concentration camp. It made the horrors of what happened in that corner of Poland and across other parts of Europe come to life for me.
Rosenberg does a beautiful job of taking the reader into different viewpoints of the Holocaust.
Pastor Jean-Luc Leclerc is a humble Protestant who feels led to assist displaced Jews who wander into his small French town. There are powerful stories tucked away in the history of the War of Christians who sheltered Jews, many times at the risk of their own lives. This novel shows how people obeyed the Lord when they were faced with the choice to help God’s chosen people or to turn their eyes from what was happening. Midway through the novel, there is a powerful quote from Jean-Luc. Jacob Weisz, a fellow prisoner at Auschwitz, was questioning him why he risked his life to help Jews, especially when it landed him as a prisoner in the concentration camp. Jean-Luc simply said, “And anyway, if you ask me, the question shouldn’t be ‘Why are you, a Christian, here in a death camp, condemned for saving Jews?’ The real question is ‘Why aren’t all Christians here?’”….
Young Jacob Weisz’s story is intriguing as well. Raised in a Jewish home, he knew enough about the Torah in order to prepare for his Bar Mitzvah but his parents never took the time to teach the ways of their people on a daily basis. I appreciated that Rosenberg’s main character was not a devoted Jew which provided a unique angle to the story. It was interesting to watch Jacob struggle with the start of the War, to question why these things were happening to Jews, and to come to understand the rich history of the Jewish nation as he met other people at Auschwitz…..
The Auschwitz Escape is a powerful read that will leave you wondering what you might have done had you lived during this time. Would you have helped your Jewish neighbors? Would you have risked your own life to protect another? Would your faith in God have been strong enough to see you through on days where no hope was able to be found? We don’t have to be in 1940′s Europe to ponder those questions. Challenge yourself to plant your roots so firmly in God’s Word, His care, and His guidance so that no matter what you face or what He calls you to do, you will be prepared to answer His call on your life.