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Book Review

850 words - 4 pages

Andrey Pogozhev. Escape From Auschwitz (South Yorkshire, England: Pen & Sword Books Ltd).
Andrey Pogozhev is a primary source of information regarding the treatment of prisoners in death camps during World War II. His autobiography includes his court testimony for the prosecution of prison guards Auschwitz. In his book, “Escape From Auschwitz,” Pogozhev tells of his capture, his stays at several camps, and his participation in a calculated mass escape from Auschwitz. The prisoners of Auschwitz were stripped of all dignity yet found solace in each other and their dreams of freedom. His story is eye opening to the brutality he and others endured during their captivity.
The story beings in ...view middle of the document...

While working in a construction area of the camp the group of Soviets attack the guards at night by throwing rocks and flee into the woods. Pogozhev is separated from the group but finds a fellow prisoner and hides in a swamp. Surrounded by guards they stay hidden until they are able to break through undetected. Pogozhev and his friend trek west but are later recaptured and separated. Pogozhev is taken to another labor camp similar to Auschwitz. Pogozhev again escapes with a group and eventually meets and rejoins the Soviet Army. He is discharged from the army after a short period and does not return to serve them again. The story ends with Pogozhev identifying guards from Auschwitz to the court and they are later found guilty and sentenced.
Pogozhev expresses a lot of pride for his country and his fellow Soviet prisoners. He makes it a point to mention how much more capable the Soviets were when doing manual labor in the camp. The only conclusions that can be drawn is that one would have to be strong or extremely lucky to survive such barbaric treatment for any length of time. At the end of the book Pogozhev rejoins the army but the army says there are no POW only traitors. It is curious that he could remain so loyal to his country that accuses him of being a traitor after enduring the atrocities at Auschwitz. He includes in the book detailed stories told by imprisoned countrymen. One might question how he can remember such things that happened so long ago but they were probably the only things prisoners had...

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