Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book Review : A Lucky Child by Thomas Beurgenthal

Thomas Beurgenthal- born May 11, 1934 in Lubochna Czechoslovaka. His parents Mudek & Gerda Beurgenthal .

Thomas and his family living in Lubochna are made to pack up and move out of their hotel, ending up in a small apartment in Zilina. Thomas's father found a job as a traveling salesman so that left Thomas and his mother home alone. One day the police came to the door and ordered them to pack their belongings. They were told that the Jews were being expelled from the country. Thomas's mother demanded to talk to the chief of police and told him that they were Germans, showing him her passport, which was a Germans drivers license. The chief ordered the police to escort them home.
Deciding it was to dangerous to continue to live there, they decided to move to Poland.

One day his mother came home very excited. She had visited a fortune teller who told her about her family and that her son was "ein Gluckskind" - A Lucky Child .
But on their lucky day Hitler invades Poland and this is the start of Thomas's remarkable struggle to survival story begins.

When reading his story, my stomach was in knots . I have a hard time reading about the Holocaust, such a horrendous crime. Thomas does a wonderful job , detailing his time in the camps, how he was able to survive day to day . I wanted to cry and hug him and make his hurt go away. It was a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.

I found this site: Life After the Holocaust.

About the Author - From Wikipedia:

Thomas Buergenthal, born to German-Jewish parents who had moved from Germany to Czechoslovakia in 1933, grew up in the Jewish ghetto of Kielce (Poland) and later in the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen. After the War he lived with his mother in Göttingen. On 4 December 1951, he emigrated from Germany to the United States. He studied at
Bethany College in West Virginia (graduated 1957), and received his J.D. at New York University Law School in 1960, and his LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in international law from Harvard Law School.
Buergenthal is a specialist in international law and human rights law. Since 2000, he has served as a judge on the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Prior to his election to the International Court of Justice, he was the Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at The George Washington University Law School. He was Dean of Washington Colle
ge of Law of American University from 1980 to 1985, and held endowed professorships at the University of Texas and Emory University. Buergenthal served as a judge for many years, including lengthy periods on various specialized international bodies. Between 1979 and 1991, he served as a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, including a stint as that court's president; from 1989 to 1994, he was a judge on the Inter-American Development Bank's Administrative Tribunal; in 1992 and 1993, he served on the United Nations Truth Commission for El Salvador; and from 1995 to 1999, he was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Buergenthal is the author of more than a dozen books and a large number of articles on internation
al law, human rights and comparative law subjects.
Judge Buergenthal is a co-recipient of the 2008 Gruber Prize for Justice for his contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights in different parts of the world, and particularly in Latin America.[1]
His memoir, "A Lucky Child" which describes his experience in various German concentration camps has been translated into ten languages.

Video from Amazon


Cathy said...

Nice review - I'm not usually a memoir person. I have read one or two others and they have all been about the Holocaust. I am adding this one to my TBR list.

Anna said...

This was a great, moving book. Would it be okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations?

Diary of an Eccentric

Natalie W said...

Thanks for the comments!
Hi Anna! That would be just fine, thank you!

Cynthia said...

This sounds like an amazing and touching book. I will also be adding it to my TBR list.

Anna said...

Thanks! I posted the link here.

Diary of an Eccentric