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BOOK REVIEW: SCHEISSHAUS LUCK:
SURVIVING THE UNSPEAKABLE IN AUSHWITZ AND DORA
BY PIERRE BERG WITH BRIAN BROCK

We hope you enjoy this book review by Cy Hilterman.



Pierre Berg is a genuine survivor not just from the prison camps in German occupied areas of Europe but in surviving a living death every day. He was not a Jew, but anyone close to Jews by association or being in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Nazi’s and their associates saw them, was branded in their minds as the same as Jews. Berg has no idea how he survived the war when most of his friends had not made it. Some made it to prison camps but could not survive the horrible treatment in the camps or, in many cases they were in the “wrong” group and were “selected” by the Nazi’s and sent right to the crematorium. Those “selected” were generally older and/or weaker and did not give a strong appearance to the ones directing human traffic when they arrived at the camps on a train or in trucks.

The citizens of France and surrounding nations did all they could to hide or run from the Nazi’s but eventually they were tracked down, given work of various nasty jobs, and eventually sent to one of the prison camps where the work got even worse. Their transportation generally was in railroad cattle cars where they were packed in like sardines with no room to lay down or even, in most cases, sit. They had to relieve themselves as they stood so we can imagine the stench of those cars. Also as food and water ran out, some became sick and eventually died or were thrown out of the cars when almost dead.

For anyone today to say the Holocaust did not take place, all they dare need to do is read this book. There are several other books I have read that were written very well but this has by far the best description of what actually occurred to the prisoners of the Nazi’s. They were given various colored arm bands telling all whether they were Jews, political prisoners, German prisoners, or one of many other various categories. Sometimes those that were not Jews were given better jobs but in general, the only “better” jobs were given to the prisoners that were selected by the Germans as a leader—at least for a while!

Peter Berg’s existence as he was either marched or taken by train or truck through several prison camps is an indescribable personal miracle. Surviving through such miserable conditions of disease, no food or spoiled food, no healthy water, no warm clothes or shoes, sleeping in the same cot as a sick or dead person, and never knowing if you were going to be selected for a beating or a job you couldn’t handle kept all of the prisoners on edge. Even the ones that were selected to lead the various groups never knew if they would be dead or alive the next minute.

Peter Berg made some friends as he went along but most disappeared or died before they could know each other well enough to trust. The few that did exist helped each other as far as they were allowed. There were times when some leaders subjected the prisoners to sexual attacks as well as by the Nazi’s themselves. Disease ran rampant in all the camps; some sexual diseases had many other normally preventative sicknesses that were not treated.

You will not believe ANY human could endure what went on through the author’s eyes but he did survive to write this book years after the war ended and he was freed. He was very reluctant to write this all down but when Brian Brock read the original notes and partial manuscripts, Peter decided he would help the entire world by letting them know what occurred during that terrible period during which he was imprisoned in a “death camp.”

REVIEWED BY CY HILTERMAN

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, CY HILTERMAN


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