Recommended by US Review of Books!

Kat Kennedy | US Book Review |

Book review by Kat Kennedy
“We were men driven by sheer moral spirit, and we would not be crippled by fear.”

Much has been written about the atrocities of the Nazi regime. Readers will find that the Dachau guards considered their gentile political prisoners no more human than their Jewish ones. Told through the eyes of Haupt’s grandfather, Simon Johann Haupt, the book reveals how he, his brother Fritz, cousin Albert, and friend Herman become increasingly angry as they watch their village fall under the thumb of Hitler. Determined to deter the rise of hatred, they resist, and the consequences are dire. They are arrested and become political prisoners at Dachau where they find cruelty and debasement being doled out daily. Johann and the others fall into the depths of despair yet try to bolster each other through the endless abuse and long hours of hard labor. They fight to retain even a shred of human decency—something their captors lack.

Haupt’s narrative is chilling. However, Johann’s story is one of bravery, hope, and resilience. To stand up for one’s beliefs in the face of great fear and danger is no little feat, yet this is what he and others do. As a gentile, he could have easily avoided Dachau by saying and doing nothing, but his convictions don’t allow him to stand by as his Jewish friends and neighbors’ lives are destroyed by the Nazi regime. This is the memorable story of how one small act of kindness and bravery might change the fate of others. Told with love, compassion, and pride, Haupt’s tribute to her Opa is a must-read.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review