Death March Escape
The Remarkable Story of a Man Who Twice Escaped the Nazi Holocaust
Imprint: Frontline Books
256 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 in, 32 black and white illustrations
- January 2019
- In Stock
Somehow surviving the relentless horrors of these two brutal camps, as Allied forces drew near Dave was forced to join a death march to Gunskirchen Concentration Camp, over thirty miles away. Soon after the start of the march, and more dead than alive, Dave summoned a burst of energy he did not know he had and escaped. Quickly recaptured, he managed to avoid being killed by the guards. Put on another death march a few days later, he achieved the impossible: he escaped again.
Dave often told his story of survival and escape, and his son, Jack, thought he knew it well. But years after his father’s death, he came across a photograph of his father on, of all places, the Mauthausen Memorial’s website. It was an image he had never seen before – and it propelled him on an intensely personal journey of discovery.
Using only his father’s words for guidance, Jack takes us along as he flies to Europe to learn the secrets behind the photograph, secrets his father never told of his time in the camps. Beginning in the verdant hills of his father’s Hungarian hometown, we travel with Jack to the foreboding rock mines of Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps, to the dust-choked roads and intersections of the death marches, and, finally, to the makeshift hiding places of his father’s rescuers. We accompany Jack’s every step as he describes the unimaginable: what his father must have seen and felt while struggling to survive in the most abominable places on earth.
In a warm and emotionally engaging story, Jack digs deeply into both his father’s life and his own, revisiting – and reflecting on – his father’s time at the hands of the Nazis during the last year of the Second World War, when more than mere survival was at stake – the fate of humanity itself hung in the balance.
"Hersch effectively uses his father’s unusual story to convey the horrors of the Holocaust." ~Publishers Weekly, Jan 2019 Issue
"This deeply personal and extremely informative portrait of a man of indomitable will to live, as Hersch emphasizes, reminds us of why we must never forget nor trivialize the full, shocking truth about the Holocaust." ~Booklist
Dave Hersch was a Hungarian Jew who was shipped to Mauthausen concentration camp in 1944. He later escaped two death marches to another camp and managed to survive war. ~WWII History
"Forty black-and-white photographs and four maps round out this welcome contribution to public library Holocaust Studies collections." ~Midwest Book Review
“What makes the reading particularly compelling is the psychological impact that his father’s story had on Jack Hersch. At times he blamed himself for not asking more while his father still was alive – a poignant reminder to all of us, regardless of where we are on the age spectrum, to share our stories and to listen carefully to those of our family members. At other times, he engaged in a form of auto psychoanalysis; perhaps, he hadn’t asked his father about all the details because he didn’t want to know. Perhaps he had feared that as a son, it would be even harder to measure up to his father’s bravery.” ~San Diego Jewish World
“This book was haunting. Excellent but haunting. The author did a fantastic job of telling the story of his father’s escapes from 2 different points of views. The first being his father’s point of view. The second being his. Jack’s story was intertwined with his father.” ~Read With Me
“As we approach International Holocaust Remembrance Day later this month, Death March Escape is a story of one man’s remarkable plight, offering a unique inside, outside and historic look at the Nazi Holocaust.” ~BookTrib
“This story was an amazing read from start to finish , it was also an emotional read as well but then again when it comes to nonfiction and especially the ones that are about WWI or WW2 then you know your going to feel the emotions, there was times i had to stop read it not because I wasn't enjoying it or liking it but because of how I felt.” ~Booklikes.com