Friday, December 19, 2014
Book Review: Escape from Sobibor by Richard Rashke
Escape from Sobibor by Richard Rashke is a non-fiction book which details the biggest escape from a Nazi concentration camp in Poland during World War II. The book was first published in 1982 and won acclaim world wide.Escape from Sobibor by Richard Rashke is an exciting history book, told as a novel. The book is divided into three sections which introduce the people, tell about the escape from a top secret Nazi death camp, and the after war years.
Mr. Rashke knows that the strength of any book, non-fiction or otherwise, is the personal stories which make up the big picture, and does a great job introducing us to them. The people which the author chose to focus on were non-military Jews and a Russian officer, some were pulled out of the lines for the gas chambers due to special skills and some just by pure luck.
The author engages the reader from the start with personal pre-war stories. This is not just a history book about the escape itself, but about people we care about and the heart wrenching decision they had to make in order to survive.
The cruelty and barbarity of the Nazis is also talked about, contrasted by the strength of character of the prisoners, as well as their mental anguish. Unfortunately, many of the Nazi criminals were never punished for the their actions and brutality.
Once the prisoners escaped, the author details their struggle to survive in a hostile environment, either hiding from the Nazis, being take advantage of by the local population or the partisans. Some of the escapees happened upon brave people who helped them, some were not so lucky.
Some of the survivors were still living at the time the book was published, a few even took up arms and went back to fight the Nazis. This book has many themes about survival, freedom and more.
A must read for any history buff or World War II enthusiast. This moving book might be grim, it is also inspiring and vividly recounts an event which most of the world has never known before it was published.
Originally published as Book Review: Escape from Sobibor by Richard Rashke on ManOfLaBook.com