"...deeply personal and extremely informative portrait of a man of indomitable will to live" - Booklist
"Blending elements of memoir, history, and biography, Death March Escape portrays the horrifying reality of the Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps, and describes incredible bids for freedom against all odds."
- Midwest Book Review
In June 1944 Dave Hersch, an 18 year old Hungarian Jew, was forcibly propelled into the horrors of the Mauthausen and Gusen Concentration Camps in western Austria, self-rated by the Nazis as the most difficult camps to survive in all of the Reich. Forced to work in Gusen's famed granite mine, he survived - barely - long enough to be put on a death march as Allied Armies neared. Then he escaped.
Recaptured hours later and miraculously not killed, he was returned to Mauthausen. One week later he was put on another death march. Again he escaped. This time he was found by a local family, the Friedmanns, who hid him at great risk to themselves until American soldiers rescued him.
Dave Hersch is Jack's father. In Death March Escape, Jack tells his father's story, from growing up in his home town, to his deportation to Mauthausen and Gusen, to his impossibly long and harrowing days in the camps (as the prisoners called them), to his two escapes and finally his rescue.
Jack also tells his own story, of traveling to the concentration camps and learning aspects of his father's story he never knew, details his father had inexplicably kept from him. Finally, Death March Escape tells the combat history of the American 65th Infantry Division, the unit that saved Dave.
(Available in hardcover, audiobook, and in German)
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