The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitzby Avey, Denis
This is the autobiographical tale of Denis Avey, a British soldier in World War II. Avey fought the Italians and Germans in northern Africa, was taken prisoner, escaped from a torpedoed transport ship and found himself in Greece. He was shortly recaptured by the Italians and spent time in several POW camps before being put on a rail car heading north. As a prisoner-of-war, Avey was imprisoned at a work camp where he toiled side-by-side with Jewish inmates from an adjacent Auschwitz camp. He had heard about the killings and inhumane conditions that existed at Auschwitz and strongly felt he needed to witness the atrocities for himself, as he believed no one would leave Auschwitz alive to tell the story. Mr. Avey made plans to swap clothing with a Jewish inmate and used cigarettes to bribe guards to be quiet. He spent the night in the Auschwitz III-Monowitz camp and labored as an Auschwitz inmate twice. The book ends with a heart-felt reunion and a Holocaust survivor story. In 2010, Mr. Avey was recognized as a "Hero of the Holocaust" at a reception with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
With the number of World War II veterans diminishing, it is important that their unique stories be recorded for posterity. In that respect this book is quite interesting. However, the title is somewhat misleading as only about 70 pages of the book actually relate what took place in or around the work camp or Auschwitz. As would be expected, this book is somewhat graphic.
Reviewed by nw, 09/11. Other reviews by nw. Have you read this book? Tell us what you think!