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War in the Shadow of Auschwitz Audiobook

War in the Shadow of Auschwitz: Memoirs of a Polish Resistance Fighter and Survivor of the Death Camps

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Publisher's Summary

In 1943 Polish underground fighter John Wiernicki is captured and beaten by the Gestapo, then shipped to Auschwitz. In this chilling memoir, Wiernicki, a Gentile, details life in the infamous death camp, and his battle to survive, physically and morally, in the face of utter evil. The author begins by remembering his aristocratic youth, an idyllic time shattered by German invasion. The ensuing dark days of occupation would fire the adolescent Wiernicki with a burning desire to serve Poland, a cause that led him to valiant action and eventual arrest. As a young non-Jew, Wiernicki was acutely sensitive to the depravity and injustice that engulfed him at Auschwitz. He bears witness to the harrowing selection and extermination of Jews doomed by birth to the gas chambers, to savage camp policies, brutal SS doctors, and rampant corruption with the system. He notes the difference in treatment between Jews and non-Jews. And he relives fearful unexpected encounters with two notorious "Angels of Death": Josef Mengele and Heinz Thilo. War in the Shadow of Auschwitz is an important historical and personal document.

©2001 John Wiernicki (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Wiernicki's memoir is a haunting and intimate account of the Holocaust, written with an almost unbearable clarity." (Booklist)

"In this simple but harrowing memoir, Wiernicki recounts his involvement with the Polish underground and his subsequent imprisonment in Nazi labor and death camps. That the author is a gentile survivor makes his testimony especially significant..." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Tim Dearing 07/01/2017
    Tim Dearing 07/01/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great insight into just how horrific it was..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in this topic, it is a great insight into what it was like and how it affected not only the Jews


    What was one of the most memorable moments of War in the Shadow of Auschwitz?

    Just learning about how life was for the prisoners of war. I have not heard such interesting detail before


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was a little like a newsreader reporting however in some ways this suited the story and allowed for the more gruesome aspects to be communicated effectively. The narrator had a good talent for pronouncing difficult German words.


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

    I was shocking and very sad.


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • cps
    Texas
    03/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A true account of WWII horrors"
    Any additional comments?

    This book told a horrible story of what life was like for those having to experience torture by the hands of the Nazi's. It was hard to listen to this because I could picture the life - and deaths - of so many deemed not worthy of living. It was a little dry at times but well worth listening to if you're interested in learning the hard truth.<br/><br/>This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Susan Bourgeois
    Georgetown, Ontario Canada
    29/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking"

    Fascinating and thought provoking. Many questions left unanswered. The account totally avoids any discussion of authors moral struggles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • chris miller
    22/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Uniquely told, historical, yet personal & moving."
    Would you listen to War in the Shadow of Auschwitz again? Why?

    Yes, I always enjoy picking up on details I missed the first time around!


    What did you like best about this story?

    This was my first time hearing one of these personal counts from a resistance point of view, slightly different than other survivor stories, yet ot remains up close and personal.


    Have you listened to any of Charles Henderson Norman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


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

    Initially the narrators voice seemed robotic and I almost stopped listening, But I grew to enjoy it. So glad I didn't put it down!


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook was recieved via Audiobook Boom, at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darc
    20/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting account of WW2 and Hitler's regime."

    The personal account was interesting and informative. It reinforced the existing facts about the holocaust. The narrator tended to repeat himself a little too much.
    "I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audio book by the author, narrator, or publisher"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daryl
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    20/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A difficult Book"

    This book was difficult to read. The subject matter was difficult, of course, but I didn't find the author a very hopeful person, even when he was in the resistance army. Many thoughts are repeated, with clunky phrasing...
    The narrator's booming voice was distracting from the story, and his dialogue was incredibly flat and weak, like he was reading the narrative passages with no emotion.
    And yet, I couldn't seem to stop listening.
    No matter how many WWII books I read, there's always another angle, another life, another story. I had hoped to hear more about the author's post WWII life, how his experiences shaped him and changed him, his successes and setbacks after the war, but the author chose not to give us more than the briefest glimpse into his life as a student in the UK and then as a husband in the USA.
    I am unsure if it was worth the time or credit, but it's worth reading if you want a look into a very bleak time in history from the point of view of a soldier.
    I received this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michael Richards
    13/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Polish View From Outside and Inside Auschwitz"
    Any additional comments?

    Story: A very engaging and complete story from the author's day to day existence before the invasion on a large estate in Poland, to resistance and home army activities and finally incarceration and liberation from one of the most notorious concentration camps in history.<br/><br/>Performance: The narration was professional and clear. His voice was a bit booming for my taste (I prefer calm BBC documentary types) but did not distract in any way.<br/><br/>Overall: No matter how many accounts I read of people involved in some way in WWII, I am always amazed by the variety of experience and the amazing courage and determination that human beings have to overcome and survive experiences I can't even imagine. This book gave me a Polish perspective of one man's journey through WWII. It is very personal and honest and covers his emotions, romantic interests in the midst of war, troubled thoughts and internal conflicts. <br/><br/>This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin S.
    10/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring Story of Survival"

    The story of a young man in his mid teens in Poland at the outbreak of WWII. At the risk of a spoiler alert, he spent most of the war a prisoner in/near Auschwitz. The litany of people he encountered most of whom did not survive the war and even the many of captors who were later tried and executed for their crimes was heartrending. I found myself trying to decide how I might have responded at that age and expecting that I would most likely not have survived. Sure, perhaps a bit dry in parts, but gosh dangit, that is what the reality was!

    The narrator did an excellent job carrying the what I will call stoic pathos of the author through his journey and quest to survive. Obviously he had a good handle on the Polish and German vocabulary integral to such a story.

    Powerful but certainly not light reading/listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daman
    10/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moving and Gripping"
    Any additional comments?

    I felt the pain and need for human dignity in this world after reading this book. The narrator and author captured the integral message well. <br/><br/>"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marla
    28/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A little dry"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No I would not recommend this book to a friend. I found it to be a little dry and slow.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Wonderful ending for him.


    What does Charles Henderson Norman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Charles Henderson Norman sounds like the person who wrote the book. This brings some reality to the story. Interesting to read that not only Jews suffered under the Nazi's<br/>


    What else would you have wanted to know about John Wiernicki’s life?

    I would like to know how long he lived after such suffering.


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Claire
    America
    23/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A compeling recounting of survival"
    Would you listen to War in the Shadow of Auschwitz again? Why?

    Yes, but not for a while. This biography was both amazing and horrifying. It's very well written and the level of detail makes it posible for you to almost see what's happening. This is normally a good thing but when you're reading about life in a concentration camp it can be tough to listen to. However this is nothing compared to how hard it must hae been to live through it.


    What does Charles Henderson Norman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration was fantastic, I think I could happily listed to Charles read a dictionary. His narration played an important role is making this book comealive.


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

    Lest we forget!


    Any additional comments?

    The subject makes it difficult to listen to, but stories like John's are important and listening to it is a valiable way to spend some time.<br/><br/>Note: This book was supplied free by the author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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