Into the Tunnel by Götz Aly
The Brief Life of Marion Samuel, 1931-1943

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Synopsis

A generous feat of biographical sleuthing by an acclaimed historian rescues one child victim of the Holocaust from oblivion When the German Remembrance Foundation established a prize to commemorate the million Jewish children murdered during the Holocaust, it was deliberately named after a victim about whom nothing was known except her age and the date of her deportation: Marion Samuel, an eleven-year-old girl killed in Auschwitz in 1943. Sixty years after her death, when Götz Aly received the award, he was moved to find out whatever he could about Marion's short life and restore this child to history.
 
In what is as much a detective story as a historical reconstruction, Aly, praised for his "formidable research skills" (Christopher Browning), traces the Samuel family's agonizing decline from shop owners to forced laborers to deportees. Against all odds, Aly manages to recover expropriation records, family photographs, and even a trace of Marion's voice in the premonition she confided to a school friend: "People disappear," she said, "into the tunnel."
 
A gripping account of a family caught in the tightening grip of persecution, Into the Tunnel is a powerful reminder that the millions of Nazi victims were also, each one, an individual life.
 

About Götz Aly

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Götz Aly, the author of Hitler’s Beneficiaries and Architects of Annihilation, among other books, is one of the most respected historians of the Third Reich and the Holocaust. He has been a visiting fellow at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and currently teaches at the Free University of Berlin.
 
Published January 8, 2008 by Metropolitan Books. 144 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Established in 1999 by the German Remembrance Foundation to commemorate Jewish children killed in the Holocaust, this annual award for historical research deliberately took the name of a girl about whom nothing was known save the place and date of her birth and the date of her deportation to Ausc...

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The New York Times

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To buttress his argument, Aly mined a staggering amount of data — a method he uses again to great effect in “Into the Tunnel: The Brief Life of Marion Samuel, 1931-1943.” In his quest to learn about Marion, who was 11 when she was killed, Aly draws on every imaginable source: He places an article...

Jan 20 2008 | Read Full Review of Into the Tunnel: The Brief Li...

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