The Mascot by Mark Kurzem
Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



The ?spellbinding? (The New York Times) true story of a Jewish boy who became the darling of the Nazis

When a Nazi death squad massacred his mother and fellow villagers, five-year-old Alex Kurzem escaped, hiding in the freezing Russian forest until he was picked up by a group of Latvian SS soldiers. Alex was able to hide his Jewish identity and win over the soldiers, becoming their mascot and an honorary ?corporal? in the SS with his own uniform. But what began as a desperate bid for survival became a performance that delighted the highest ranks of the Nazi elite. And so a young Jewish boy ended up starring in a Nazi propaganda film.

After sixty-three years of silence, Alex revealed his terrible secret to his son Mark. With his son?s help, Alex retraced his past in search of answers and vindication. His story is at once a terrifying account of survival and its psychological cost as well as a brutally honest examination of identity, complicity, and memory.

About Mark Kurzem

See more books from this Author
Mark Kurzem studied at Melbourne, Tokyo, and Oxford universities. He served as international relations advisor to the mayor of Osaka, Japan. This is his first book.
Published November 1, 2007 by Plume. 444 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Children's Books, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Mascot

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

After Nazis murdered his parents, the author's father became a propaganda tool — the Reich’s youngest Nazi.

Nov 30 2007 | Read Full Review of The Mascot: Unraveling the My...

The Moderate Voice

The book would have actually benefited if more was written about Alex living in the time he was in, rather than the author spending so much on his own experiences while unraveling his father’s past.

Jan 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Mascot: Unraveling the My...

Reader Rating for The Mascot

An aggregated and normalized score based on 84 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Michael Manley 18 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5