By Martin Goldsmith
A story of 2 journeys...
On may well thirteen, 1939, the posh liner SS St. Louis sailed clear of Hamburg, Germany, certain for Havana, Cuba. On board have been greater than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany. yet an detached global conspired opposed to them. After being denied touchdown rights in Havana, the refugees have been grew to become away by means of the USA and Canada and compelled to sail again to Europe, the place the collection hurricane of the Holocaust awaited them.
Two of these refugees have been Alex Goldschmidt, a sixty-year-old veteran of global battle I, and his seventeen-year-old son Klaus Helmut Goldschmidt. After their trans-Atlantic voyage, they landed in France. they might spend the subsequent 3 years in a single French camp after one other prior to being shipped to Auschwitz in 1942.
Sixty-nine years later, Martin Goldsmith, Alex's grandson and Helmut's nephew, retraced their unhappy trip. starting in reduce Saxony the place Alex was once born, Martin spent six weeks at the highway and coated greater than 5,700 miles, surroundings foot in the world Alex and Helmut trod in the course of their ultimate days. Alex's Wake is Martin's eyewitness report.
The booklet deals a compelling historical past of the voyage of the St. Louis, together with testimony from these on board, a story of espionage, and the courageous get to the bottom of of Captain Gustav Schroeder. It additionally deals a harrowing chronicle of the sizeable community of camps in France, lots of that have been equipped via the French themselves with very little encouragement from the Germans.
But Alex's Wake is additionally a latest travelogue and a heartfelt memoir of a second-generation American Jew attempting to make feel of his historical past and to flee the weight of guilt and worry he lengthy concept was once his sole inheritance. atmosphere forth with the irrational, most unlikely wish to keep contributors of his family members who have been murdered ten years earlier than he used to be born, Goldsmith concludes his trip by way of coming domestic to a relocating image of remembrance at one of many scenes of the crime.
Read or Download Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance PDF
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Additional resources for Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance
For nearly two and a half years, the four of us hid there, in a crouching position, totally dependent on Sidor for food, water, and disposal of our waste. Each footstep we heard brought the renewed threat of discovery, and of death. Sidor shared with us his last morsel of bread, even when he did not have enough to sustain his family, even when he knew that helping a Jew was punishable by death. When he caught typhus from us, he refused to seek medical attention for fear of jeopardizing our security.
My parents came to visit with my sisters—and they brought me a basket with all kinds of cookies and candy and things like that and the basket had a lock on it. When they were leaving, I took it. After the visit I realized that the lock was broken, so I ran after them.
He tried to encourage me not to give up hope and instill in me the love of God, that’s what I remember. When I was separated from him, I used to think back on the way he encouraged me and the way he blessed me. That was so important to me. I took it very seriously. I tried my best in every circumstance to think positive. And if I saw danger I would try to escape from it. It’s because of his encouragement that I feel I survived. Moses K. Romania 32 ,una Va-yakhel Refuge T hey put us on little trucks through the forest to the camp in Flossenberg.
Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance by Martin Goldsmith