The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz

The Extraordinary True Story

  • Engels
  • 1e druk
  • 9781444714197
  • september 2011
  • Paperback
  • 288 pagina's
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Denis Avey

Denis Avey (11 January 1919 – 16 July 2015) was a British veteran of the Second World War who was held as a prisoner of war at Auschwitz. Whilst there, he saved the life of Jewish prisoner Ernst Lobethal, by smuggling cigarettes to him. For that he was made a British Hero of the Holocaust in 2010.

(Bron: Wikipedia. Beschikbaar onder de licentie Creative Commons Naamsvermelding/Gelijk delen.)


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 where 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, 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.


'This is a most important book, and a timely reminder of the dangers that face any society once intolerance and racism take hold.' -- Sir Martin Gilbert 'Denis is a hero in time of terror, a man of limitless moral and physical courage.' -- Henry Kamm, New York Times correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner 'His descriptions are terrifyingly vivid. His bravery in saving the life of a Jewish prisoner is inspiring'. -- News of the World 'A unique war story from a brave man.' -- Kirkus 'an excellent memoir of survival.' -- Publishers Weekly A 'strange, brave and bracing story'. -- Canberra Times

van de 5
1 review
  • good story-structure
  • exciting and carrying away with while reading
  • dedicated to humanity
  • he did not tell how far he could trow hand-grenade
  • The Man that was going after Adventure
    • good story-structure
    • exciting and carrying away with while reading
    • dedicated to humanity
    • he did not tell how far he could trow hand-grenade

    The title 'The man who broke into Auschwitz' is not fitting in completely with the content of the book, because as a soldier he choose for adventure and ultimately he ended up as a prisoner of war in the Camp Auschwitz after several escapes. The book is written in clear wordings, no exhausting phrases of drama. Only towards the end of the book gradually the writing becomes more affected like as when people endure serious matters and there digestion of those experiences is getting under way later. Although the title is not completely fitting the book it is a good choice to move readers to read this clear document of witness with an important message at the end.

    The book can be divided into three parts.
    -The first parts concerns his story in active duty (with recognisable combat situations). Dennis Avey as (military) Hunter -Full Blood- was looking for adventure. Actually I almost would like to say that the book starts as an exciting book for boys.
    -The second part contains his period of prisoner ship of war and also here he shows his qualities as commando-hunter with resistance and support actions where ever is possible, commando is not a stupid, he also has to make to survive for testimony. Auschwitz was part of the IG-Farben industry, which had to build a factory there for producing a sort of artificial rubber (Bunte). In that period he had undertaken brave actions, where under two secret infiltrations over the night in the camp of the pyjamas (The Jewish people that had to work themselves to death) for in case if he would survive he could witness about later when needed. The testimony-description with maps in the middle of the book is short, effective and lugubrious. He also is telling about his contact with one of the Jewish prisoners Ernie Lobet (Lobethals), who next to the unconditional doses of luck was able to survive with the help from Dennis. When the camp was left behind (deserted) at the end of the war Dennis saw Ernie never back again, and he was living with the supposition that Ernie had died during that notorious march of death.
    - The third part contains the period of digestion of experiences of was, an unknown aspect at those days, as well as his search after the family of Ernie to tell his story. The last part is therefore also getting more emotional, for ending with the most important message of the book, which also nowadays can not be repeated enough:

    The only thing needed to make evil triumph is that upright people do nothing to call it to a halt and make it stop. You can not let go everything over yours side, you have to fight for what you are believing in, and you can not stay by helplessly doing nothing.

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september 2011
1e druk
19,7 x 13,2 x 2,4 cm
Aantal pagina's
288 pagina's



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The Extraordinary True Story

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