Cover image for A lucky child : a memoir of surviving Auschwitz as a young boy
Title:
A lucky child : a memoir of surviving Auschwitz as a young boy
Author:
Buergenthal, Thomas.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown, [2009]

©2009
Physical Description:
xvii, 228 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
From Lubochna to Poland -- Katowice -- The ghetto of Kielce -- Auschwitz -- The Auschwitz death transport -- Liberation -- Into the Polish Army -- Waiting to be found -- A new beginning -- Life in Germany -- To America.
Corporate Subject:
ISBN:
9780316043403
Format :
Book

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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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D810.C4 B84 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Thomas Buergenthal, now a Judge in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, tells his astonishing experiences as a young boy in his memoir A Lucky Child. He arrived at Auschwitz at age 10 after surviving two ghettos and a labor camp. Separated first from his mother and then his father, Buergenthal managed by his wits and some remarkable strokes of luck to survive on his own. Almost two years after his liberation, Buergenthal was miraculously reunited with his mother and in 1951 arrived in the U.S. to start a new life. Now dedicated to helping those subjected to tyranny throughout the world, Buergenthal writes his story with a simple clarity that highlights the stark details of unimaginable hardship. A Lucky Child is a book that demands to be read by all.


Author Notes

Thomas Buergenthal is a judge at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he served as the first US Judge and later, President, of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He has also served as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee. He has authored over a dozen books on international law, and is the subject of a biography, entitledTommy, by the Norwegian humanitarian and UNICEF founder, Odd Nansen. Judge Buergenthal was also the co-recipient of the 2008 Gruber Foundation International Justice Prize.


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

You think you've heard it all: the roundups, deportations, transports, selections, hard labor, death camps ( That was the last time I saw my father ), crematoriums, and the rare miracle of survival. But this one is different. The clear, nonhectoring prose makes Buergenthal's personal story--and the enduring ethical questions it prompts--the stuff of a fast, gripping read. Five years old in Czechoslovakia at the start of World War II, Buergenthal remembers being crowded into the ghetto and then, in 1944, feeling lucky to escape the gas chambers and get into Auschwitz, where he witnessed daily hangings and beatings, but with the help of a few adults, managed to survive. In a postwar orphanage, he learned to read and write but never received any mail, until in a heartrending climax, his mother finds him. In 1952, he immigrated to the U.S., and now, as human-rights lawyer, professor, and international judge, his childhood's moral issues are rooted in his daily life, his tattooed number a reminder not so much of the past as of his obligation, as witness and survivor, to fight bigotry today.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2009 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Not many children who entered Auschwitz lived to tell the tale. The American judge at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Czechoslovakia-born Buergenthal, is one of the few. A 10-year-old inmate in August 1944 at Birkenau, Buergenthal was one of the death camp's youngest prisoners. He miraculously survived, thanks, among others, to a friendly kapo who made him an errand boy. Buergenthal's authentic, moving tale reveals that his lifelong commitment to human rights sprang from the ashes of Auschwitz. 16 b&w photos, 1 map. (Apr. 20) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

As a boy at Auschwitz, Buergenthal apparently avoided its killing process because of administrative chaos but was separated from his parents. His story is especially interesting for its detail of his postwar experiences, reconnecting with prisoners who'd helped him, and living in an orphanage in Eastern Europe until his mother found him. Buergenthal regards the Holocaust as a moral compass for his life's path as a judge on the International Criminal Court in The Hague. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/09.]-Frederic Krome, Univ. of Cincinnati Clermont Coll. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Buergenthal was elected American judge at the International Court of Justice, The Hague, in 2000. He is a survivor of Auschwitz, one in a succession of several labor, prison, and death camps where he spent his 10th and 11th years. An excellent and evocative storyteller, he finds that the distance of time allows him to ask questions about how his experiences in a Polish ghetto, the fact that he was able to stay with his father during his early concentration camp months, and his reunion with his mother after liberation and before his 13th birthday shaped him, and also helped him to survive in the worst Holocaust scenarios. Illustrating the vivid word images he creates with snapshots of his prewar and postwar life (the former saved by a neighbor in spite of her fears that the Nazis would discover her Jewish sympathy), this is a well-constructed, warm, insightful visit with the man. He knows that he was both lucky and well served by the plasticity of a youth that really had no "ordinary" contrast against which he might have turned and lost hope, will, and the strength to keep alive emotionally and physically. In addition to being an excellent curriculum-support text, the fine writing and insights here make this book a powerful choice for teens looking for a mentor through emotional and political challenges of their own.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.