The Auschwitz Escape
We’ve enjoyed reading many of Joel Rosenberg’s books (which I’ve recommended on The Sovereign), but this is the first time I’m writing about a book I haven’t read yet. I wanted to post about The Auschwitz Escape this month because April 7th, 2014, was the 70th anniversary of the day of a daring escape from this World War Two Nazi concentration camp. Also, Joel Rosenberg released his latest book, The Auschwitz Escape, this month because of that anniversary.
I’ve added his latest book to our “read next” list. After reading this excerpt from Joel on his blog, Flash Traffic, you might be interested, too:
In November of 2011, I decided to go to visit the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. I’d never been there before. I didn’t really even want to go. But I knew I had to…
It was a surreal and sobering experience to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp… It was haunting to realize that more than one million people were systematically murdered there, and most of them were Jews.
While I was there, I purchased a book that explained that there had been many escape attempts from Auschwitz, but only a handful of successful escapes. I was stunned… I had never heard about any escapes. But this book gave a brief description of several of them.
Intrigued, as soon as I got home, I started tracking down any resource I could about these men who had risked everything to get out…
As I continued to do my research, I realized that April 7th, 2014 would be the 70th anniversary of the greatest escape in human history – the day Rudolf Vrba and Fred Wetzler escaped from the worst of the Nazi death camps. That’s when I began thinking about writing a novel inspired by these true stories that might draw attention back to the greatest escape in human history by men determined to tell the world the truth about what Adolf Hitler was really doing to the Jews. If I could finish it and release it by the spring of 2014, I thought I might be able help people remember these incredible stories of courage and heroism and faith…
I knew the story needed hope. Yes, the fact that men escape from this unimaginably cruel extermination camp provides hope. They live. They survive. They tell others. Absolutely. But it wasn’t enough. For me, as an evangelical Christian with Jewish roots on my father’s side, I wanted to find out if any Christians did the right thing to help the Jews. Intellectually, I knew the answer was yes, there were Christians who had done the right thing. But I also knew that far too many people who said they loved Jesus refused to obey Him, refused to love their neighbors during the darkest period in the history of the Jewish people. Some were too scared. Some lost their faith. Some never had any faith at all, they were just giving lip service to the Gospel. It breaks my heart, but tragically it is true. Far too many so-called “Christians” failed the Jewish people when they needed us most.
That’s when I stumbled upon the story of Le Chambon and the pastors of this little Protestant village in France who risked their lives to save thousands of Jews fleeing from Hitler and the Nazis. The more I read, the more I knew this was the story of hope I needed to weave into the novel.
The photo, Auschwitz: Hope after Terror, is available on Wikimedia Commons.