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July 5, 2010

Book Review - Surviving the Reich

Surviving the Reich: The World War II Saga of a Jewish-American GIMy review of the book Surviving the Reich: The World War II Saga of a Jewish-American GI, by Ivan L. Goldstein, has been posted on Curled Up With a Good Book.

This is a fascinating story not just of a soldier, but also of a man. Goldstein was captured on his first day of battle, and the German officer of the unit that captured him threatened to have "the Jew" killed in the morning. It was only the fact that the Americans were overrunning the area, causing the Germans to pull back, that saved his life. Four months in a prisoner of war camp almost finished him, however.

From the review:

"Surviving the Reich is Goldstein's life story, the story of how the most horrible four months of his life affected him for fifty years and more. He grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. His father died when he was really young, and his mother raised three boys on her own during the Depression, resisting any suggestion to put them in an orphanage. The values she instilled in Goldstein got him through those months and have been carried forward through the rest of his life.

Goldstein tells his story in a simple manner, not jumping around much other than beginning the book on December 7, 1941, before backtracking to his childhood. It's a quick read, not only due to the prose but also due to Goldstein’s genuinely interesting life. Especially compelling are those four months in the German camps. He was moved twice as the Allies moved past the German frontier, ultimately ending up at Stalag 12. He and three of his compatriots agreed that, to survive, they must form pairs to look out for each other. No matter what good or bad things happen, they'll always endure it with each other. The four of them make it out of the war, though when they are rescued they are like sticks; Goldstein weighed 96 pounds when he was freed."

Please let me know what you think of the review, and I encourage you to check out the book as well. It's an excellent book.

(Many thanks to Zenith Press for providing the book, though this had no impact on my review of it)


  1. is it your review?
    I like it, its easy and short like reviews you find in newspapers. It also gives just enough information about the book that its interesting, but not enough to spoil it :)
    I dont really read books like that, but I'll note it so that if I am to get one like that I will have it in mind :)

  2. My review is at the link I provided. I just posted a couple of paragraphs of it here. :)

    But it's not *too* much longer than that. Maybe 6 paragraphs?

  3. Thanks David!

    I have great respect for the jews so this was a very interesting review to read.Not too long and it draws a picture what the book is about.Well written and of quality and upon this, you are writing many interesting articles


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