Tales of Grabowski by John Auerbach
Transformations Escape & Other Stories

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Tales of Grabowski comprises two novellas, Transformations, and Escape, together with several short stories, all of which tell the story of David Gordon, a young Jew from Warsaw, who transforms himself into Wladyslaw Grabowski, a Polish stoker in the German merchant marine.

Auerbach balances the internal tensions between Gordon's desire to fight for revenge and Grabowski's desperate need for survival. Throughout the war, involvement with espionage, with friends and smuggling, bring him ever closer to that thin line that separates life from death.

Drawing on deeply personal experiences-the story of Auerbach's own survival-Transformations and Escape are undiscovered masterpieces of twentieth century writing.


About John Auerbach

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John Auerbach was born in Warsaw in 1922, and served as a soldier in the Polish army at the beginning of the Second World War. During the German occupation, he escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto and worked on German ships as a stoker under false identity. He was caught whilst trying to escape to Sweden in a stolen boat, and was sent to the Stutthof concentration camp. After to the war, he went to Sweden and worked on Swedish ships. Here, he joined the Mossad Aliyah B and transported refugees to Israel for three years. He was captured by the British and was detained in a Cyprus camp for two years. On his release to Israel, he came to Kibbutz Sdot Yam, where he was a skipper of fishing boats. After Officer?s Training in Acre, he served as a Chief Engineer in the Israeli Merchant Marines for fifteen ears. Upon the death of his son in the 1973 War, he left the sea and returned to the Kibbutz where he wrote and published twelve books of short stories and novellas (translated into Hebrew), as well as stories published in American literary magazines. Auerbach?s short story, The Owl, was awarded first prize in the PEN/UNESCO Awards of 1993.
Published August 4, 2011 by Lake Union Publishing. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Tales of Grabowski

Kirkus Reviews

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The new Grabowski is a hardworking, gambling sailor who occasionally feels guilt over his escape: “How annoying that the ghost of David Gordon, so thoroughly disposed of in far-off Warsaw, was hovering around, reminding him .

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The New York Times

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On the one hand, a Polish sergeant risks his life to allow Gordon to escape capture by the Germans: ''God knows what they plan to do with you, with Jews, once they've got you in their claws.'' Conversely, a Polish acquaintance of Gordon's casually reminisces about his student days, in which he an...

Aug 10 2003 | Read Full Review of Tales of Grabowski: Transform...

Publishers Weekly

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Three shorter stories complete the volume, subtly demonstrating the lingering effects of this experience as David moves to Israel and the U.S. Told in a disarmingly plain style ("Even before he married his second wife, and long before his strokes, David's life was dominated by memories.

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