Review of Impossible Escape: A True Story of Survival and Heroism in Nazi Germany

Impossible Escape: A True Story of Survival and Heroism in Nazi Germany Impossible Escape: A True Story of Survival and Heroism in Nazi Germany
by Steve Sheinkin
Middle School, High School    Roaring Brook    256 pp.
8/23    9781250265722    $19.99
e-book ed.  9781250265739    $11.99

In his latest masterful work of narrative nonfiction, Sheinkin’s (Most Dangerous, rev. 9/15; Fallout, rev. 11/21) tale of suspense is tinged with the physical and psychological horrors of the Holocaust. When Hitler invades Czechoslovakia, Rudi Vrba, a seventeen-year-old Slovakian Jew, flees to Hungary hoping to get ahead of the ominous changes to his world, but to no avail. He is captured and imprisoned in Majdanek and then in Auschwitz, where he gradually comes to understand the Nazis’ systematic method of exterminating the Jewish population of German-occupied territories. Through a combination of determination, intelligence, and fortune, Rudi survives for two years—an eternity in Auschwitz—before he and a friend, Fred Wetzler, manage the impossible: escape. Their journey back to Slovakia is fraught with peril, but when they do arrive, they deliver harrowing testimony that lays bare to the outside world the depth of Nazi depravity. Sheinkin artfully balances Rudi’s story with expository information about the progression of World War II and the Holocaust. A subplot follows Gerta Sidonová, Rudi’s schoolmate and future wife, during this time frame; the juxtaposition adds depth, texture, and context. The epilogue is fittingly ruminative and poignant. An author’s note, source notes, a bibliography, and an index are appended.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.
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Mya Garcia

I find the book to be incredibly fascinating as it provides a lot of insightful details about the events that took place. I must thank Steve Sheinkin for his impeccable writing style and how he described the events. All in all, I enjoyed diving into the past and gaining knowledge about the history of Auschwitz and the Holocaust.

Posted : Apr 16, 2024 02:03



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