The primary childhood reference to the Nazis I recall noticing was from watching the movie The Sound of Music; even then, all I knew was that the Nazis were “bad guys” for some unknown reason: Why was the swastika so despised by the von Trapps? My childlike mind didn’t give that much thought, and focused on Julie Andrews’s beautiful songs. It was when I first began studying in Canada that I learned about the Holocaust, and the Nazified massacre of Jews, Gypsies, and other political and religious opponents. Since then, I thought I “knew” and “understood” that six million Jews were exterminated by the führer’s followers. However, as I came to realize when I finished reading A Lucky Child, I did not.
The book is a gripping testament to the author’s courage and survival throughout many elements of his six-year ordeal: his separation from his parents; his malnourishment; his exposure to rocks thrown by German children; his fear and avoidance of being selected for “liquidation”; the amputation of his toes; and outlasting the “Auschwitz death transport” are just a few examples to name.