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The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz: A True Story of World War II | [Denis Avey, Rob Broomby]

The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz: A True Story of World War II

Here is the extraordinary true story of a British soldier who marched willingly into Buna-Monowitz, the concentration camp known as Auschwitz III. In the summer of 1944, Denis Avey was being held in a POW labour camp, E715, near Auschwitz III. He had heard of the brutality meted out to the prisoners there and he was determined to witness what he could. He hatched a plan to swap places with a Jewish inmate and smuggled himself into his sector of the camp.
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Publisher's Summary

The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz is the extraordinary true story of a British soldier who marched willingly into Buna-Monowitz, the concentration camp known as Auschwitz III. In the summer of 1944, Denis Avey was being held in a POW labour camp, E715, near Auschwitz III. He had heard of the brutality meted out to the prisoners there, and he was determined to witness what he could. He hatched a plan to swap places with a Jewish inmate and smuggled himself into his sector of the camp.

He spent the night there on two occasions and experienced at first-hand the cruelty of a place where slave workers had been sentenced to death through labour. Astonishingly, he survived to witness the aftermath of the Death March in which thousands of prisoners were murdered by the Nazis as the Soviet Army advanced. After his own long trek right across central Europe he was repatriated to Britain.

For decades he couldn't bring himself to revisit the past that haunted his dreams, but now Denis Avey feels able to tell the full story - a tale as gripping as it is moving - which offers us a unique insight into the mind of an ordinary man whose moral and physical courage are almost beyond belief.

©2011 Denis Avey with Rob Broomby (P)2011 Hodder & Stoughton

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  •  
    Craig Dunfermline, United Kingdom 18/08/2011
    Craig Dunfermline, United Kingdom 18/08/2011 Member Since 2010
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    "Man's inhumanity to man."

    Having just come back from Krakow and a vistit to Auschwitz this book was so so real. I could see the camps in my minds eye. Having wittnesed this and read the book I can honestly say it brings to light the horrors of the Solution. The way Dennis tells his story and relates, especially for me, the incident regarding the crying child, just makes you sick to the core. Although many soldiers dont like to talk about what they went through, I feel its so important that we keep the light burning about this period in our recent history. Especially for today's youth and tomorrows. After all, if not for Dennis and people like him....none of us may have ever existed. This book should be included as a must for historians of the period. A simple story but so well told. You will shed tears.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Romford, United Kingdom 29/11/2011
    Jason Romford, United Kingdom 29/11/2011
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    "one of the best audio books I have heard"

    In the words of the man himself, a true account of real hero. It moved me laughter and sorrow. I found this story of one man's experience of the war to be enlightening and harrowing at the same time. Highly recommended.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David St albans, United Kingdom 04/09/2012
    David St albans, United Kingdom 04/09/2012 Member Since 2011
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    "Utterly enthralling"

    Could not stop listening to it. An absolutely amazing life and truly epic story. An incredible man with an incredible life story that was gripping, educational and highly emotional. This book will educate you and shows the power of positive thinking as well as the terrible arbitrary lottery of life and death during war. It will certainly have you in tears more than once or you are not human. Would give 6 stars if I could. The narration and language is absolutely first class. Top of my list.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane ARUNDEL, United Kingdom 24/12/2012
    Jane ARUNDEL, United Kingdom 24/12/2012 Member Since 2008
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    "Moving yet spellbinding"

    I visited Auschwitz several years ago and when I saw this book I felt compelled to read it and find out how someone survived the austerity within the camps. To think that people survived the treatment they endured is hard enough to grasp but to believe that someone put their own life in jeopardy to enable another to have a better chance of survival takes courage to a new dimension. Once I started listening I wanted to keep driving just so I could listen more. A compelling read and very informative.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Goldfrapper 11/12/2012
    Goldfrapper 11/12/2012 Member Since 2011
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    "The Yin and the Yang.."

    I do have one criticism of this amazing story. Denis Avey gives us an overlong preamble to the main events which - from the title - most people will be interested in. Though nevertheless an extraordinary incident, he actually only spent 2 nights in Auschwitz altogether. Yet the title seems to promise even more.



    However, that is to criticise only the publishers, who obviously wish to establish a 'hook' that will entice people to go out and buy the book. The events narrated are incredible enough and, narrated in a 'stiff upper lip, old-school', utterly British way, manage to hold rapt the listener's attention. The central portion deals with Avey's time in a camp whose inmates - fed and housed according to the Geneva Convention, a million times better than the inhabitants of the adjacent Auschwitz - nevertheless have to work alongside those other striped-pajama inmates. It's a gruelling account, all the more so as told by an eye-witness.



    Yet the most incredible section is perhaps the final one, where Avey becomes the subject of a documentary, whose producers set out to track down one or two of the people Avey encountered. The story of this search is both heartwarming and yet also poignant, as Avey realises that his postwar life might have turned out very differently if only he had not been himself so traumatised by the events he had witnessed and been an unwitting accomplice in.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Nuneaton, United Kingdom 27/06/2012
    Annie Nuneaton, United Kingdom 27/06/2012 Member Since 2010
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    "The man who broke into Auschwitz"

    What an Inspirational story,
    I have never been moved to write a review until now,
    what a wonderful true story of courage such a moving and compelling account of life's struggles in war, tears welled in my eyes on more than one occasion
    would 100% recommend this book with 5 *
    Narrated beautifully

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke Rayleigh, United Kingdom 18/05/2012
    Mr. G. Bridgeman-clarke Rayleigh, United Kingdom 18/05/2012

    Graham BC

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    "Enjoyable as a story"

    but like some other a lot of the tale seems implausible. Notwithstanding, I am sure that a lot of truth is said in this audible book and I enjoyed it more as the book progressed but I am not sure if the last few chapters added anything. Read/listen and enjoy but don't take it too literally.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lynda 08/11/2014
    lynda 08/11/2014 Member Since 2014
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    "Exceptional detail."
    What did you like most about The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz?

    The book helps you to imagine yourself there it has great detail. Very well read and extremly sad and interesting. Loved it.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Some bits did make me laugh and quite a few made me gasp.


    Any additional comments?

    Such a courageous man and I thank him for helping me understand so much through his story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miss BATHGATE, United Kingdom 16/08/2014
    Miss BATHGATE, United Kingdom 16/08/2014 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard hitting."

    This book made me laugh, cringe, shudder and at one part I involuntarily gave a cry out loud. It's true there is less about Auschwitz than I was expecting but it's clear that his time in there is what has made the biggest impact on Denis Avey....understandably. The rest of the story is also very vivid though.

    I feel unwilling to criticise, because this is a real man's horrific story and he is not an author but an incredibly brave man....however I did find it quite repetitive at times.

    We have so much to be thankful for these days...I would definitely recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mr west sussex, United Kingdom 10/08/2014
    mr west sussex, United Kingdom 10/08/2014 Member Since 2014
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    "Simply the greatest book"

    I cannot explain how great this book is not only was it interesting and informative it moved me so profoundly that I will never be the same again.

    My only regret is that I am unable to appropriately express how fantastic this book is on every level.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 17 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Rod Tatchell
    Duncraig, Western Australia
    26/12/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well worth listening to"
    What did you love best about The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz?

    Fascinating account. I enjoyed the additional autobiographical detail and it was easy to empathize with the author. Well written and authentically narrated. The story is so astonishing that at times I found myself wondering if it could be true but the details seemed sufficiently plausible and I was absorbed from beginning to end.


    What other book might you compare The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz to and why?

    None


    Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Same as title


    Any additional comments?

    No

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ilse
    Grembergen, Belgium
    13/05/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating. Definitely worth reading/listening"
    Would you listen to The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz again? Why?

    Yes I would, although the story stuck with me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, luckily enough I took it for long runs!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    United States
    06/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "SPELLBINDING, COULDNT PUT IT DOWN"
    Would you try another book from Denis Avey and Rob Broomby and/or Sean Barrett?

    YES


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz?

    THE EXCHANGE AND BOLDNESS TO CONFRONT AN SS SOLDIER


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    ONE FEELS HE IS TALKING DIRECTLY TO YOU.


    Any additional comments?

    ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE FACTS OF WW2 HISTORY SHOULD READ THIS STORY. IT IS BOTH HEART BREAKING AND UPLIFTING AND LEAVES ONE WITH A SENSE OF PRIDE THAT THERE WERE THOSE WHO WERE PREPARED TO LOSE EVERYTHING IN ORDER TO HELP ANOTHER HUMAN BEING IN AN EXTREMELY BAD SITUATION. IT IS HARROWING AND INFORMATIVE AND I COULD'NT PUT IT DOWN. I THINK IT IS A MUST READ!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Allen
    Honeydew, South Africa
    21/01/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eye Openeing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    For all the WWII movies, and History Channel programmes, this audio book was an eye opener to the Actual Horrors experienced by One Denis Avey, a British POW. Very interesting, I could not stop listening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A Journey of a man through the war. Not too much in depth detail day by day, but snippets of off the critical pieces over those years with just the right amount of detail as lived through and experienced by Avey.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Awesome Narrator... Calm, soulful, meaningful delivery.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Horrified at the atrocities of the Concentration Camps.


    Any additional comments?

    My Favorite Listen So Far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Matthias
    St. Gallen, Switzerland
    13/01/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deeply moving..."
    If you could sum up The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz in three words, what would they be?

    Never forget Auschwitz and what has happened there


    What did you like best about this story?

    Excellent description of all what has happened


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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