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Remembering Survival

Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp

Christopher R. Browning


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Paperback (1/10/2011)


A remarkable story of survival for almost three hundred Jews who live to recount the brutalities of a Nazi work camp.

In 1972 the Hamburg State Court acquitted Walter Becker, the German chief of police in the Polish city of Starachowice, of war crimes committed against Jews. Thirty years before, Becker had been responsible for liquidating the nearby Jewish ghetto, sending nearly 4,000 Jews to their deaths at Treblinka and 1,600 to slave-labor factories. The shocking acquittal, delivered despite the incriminating eyewitness testimony of survivors, drives this author’s inquiry.

Drawing on the rich testimony of survivors of the Starachowice slave-labor camps, Christopher R. Browning examines the experiences and survival strategies of the Jewish prisoners and the policies and personnel of the Nazi guard. From the killings in the market square in 1942 through the succession of brutal camp regimes, there are stories of heroism, of corruption and retribution, of desperate choices forced on husbands and wives, parents and children. In the end, the ties of family and neighbor are the sinews of survival.

Praise For Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp

A scholarly, nuanced micro history of a Nazi slave-labor camp.... The text is all the more powerful because the author avoids dramatization or overwrought polemics.... An important addition to Holocaust studies, evoking the small band of survivors who remembered.
— Kirkus Reviews

[A] highly credible and deeply shocking account.... This is an excellent addition to the field of Holocaust studies.
— Booklist

There can be no doubt...of the essential truth of this story, a small one when viewed against everything else that happened in that dreadful time, but an important and revealing one, exceptionally well told in Remembering Survival.

— Jonathan Yardley - The Washington Post

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393070194, 400pp.

Publication Date: January 18, 2010

About the Author

Christopher R. Browning, now retired from teaching, was the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina and is the author of Ordinary Men, Remembering Survival, and other works of Holocaust history. He lives in Chapel Hill.