THE APPRENTICE OF BUCHENWALD THE TRUE STORY OF THE TEENAGE BOY WHO SABOTAGED HITLER’S WAR MACHINE by Oren Schneider- 2023 - 212 Pages
Normally I read several works at a time, skipping from a novel, a nonfiction or a short story. I found THE APPRENTICE OF BUCHENWALD THE TRUE STORY OF THE TEENAGE BOY WHO SABOTAGED HITLER’S WAR MACHINE by Oren Schneider so completely compelling that I read it through without meandering.It is part memoir and part autobiography, written by the author, Oren Schneider, a detailed, beautifully written story about the author's grandfather’s experiences before, during and after the Holocaust.
The first part of the book relates the story of Schneider’s Jewish grandfather’s elegant and affluent life in Slovenia prior to the Holocaust, the destruction of that life by local Hungarian Nazis and later German Nazis, the survival of Grandfather by his wits and talents and the reconstruction of his life in Israel after the war. The second part of the book is the story of the author, a then self-absorbed young man, who connects with his grandfather in a deeply emotional way during a trip to Europe with his grandfather and the concentration camp in which his grandfather was incarcerated. The grandfather reconnects with friends from the past. We learn how the family struggled to find a place to live after their liberation by the Americans,
The grandfather’s survival and that of his family depended on luck,his mechanical skills that made him useful to his captors and acts of kindness.Schneider’s grandfather sabotaged thousands of Mauser rifles in collaboration with Russian POW’s in the arms factory in which they all worked as slave laborers. There is a hint — unable to be confirmed — in the last section of the book, how the sabotage could have ironically boomeranged during Israel’s War of Independence.
Oren Schneider was born in Israel, a third generation to Holocaust survivors and seventh generation to farmers from the Galilee. He is an entrepreneur who enjoys music, cooking, travel, people and especially the combination of all four. He lives with his family in Brooklyn.