The Stone Crusher by Jeremy Dronfield
The True Story of a Father and Son's Fight for Survival in Auschwitz

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Today, when studies are showing many Americans know little about the Holocaust, this will serve as a compelling remedy: a personal and universal account of brutality at its worst and of family devotion at its best.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholsterer in Vienna, was arrested by the Nazis. Along with his sixteen-year-old son Fritz, he was sent to Buchenwald in Germany, where a new concentration camp was being built. It was the beginning of a six-year odyssey almost without parallel. They helped build Buchenwald, young Fritz learning construction skills which would help preserve him from extermination in the coming years. But it was his bond with his father that would ultimately keep them both alive. When the fifty-year-old Gustav was transferred to Auschwitz—a certain death sentence—Fritz was determined to go with him. His wiser friends tried to dissuade him—"If you want to keep living, you have to forget your father," one said. But that was impossible, and Fritz pleaded for a place on the Auschwitz transport. "He is a true comrade," Gustav wrote in his secret diary, "always at my side. The boy is my greatest joy. We are inseparable." Gustav kept his diary hidden throughout his six years in the death camps—even Fritz knew nothing of it. From this diary, Fritz's own accounts, and other eyewitness testimony, Jeremy Dronfield has constructed a riveting tale of a father-son bond that proved stronger than the machine that sought to break them both.
 

About Jeremy Dronfield

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Jeremy Dronfield is a biographer, historian, novelist, and ghost writer. Following a career in archaeology, he began writing fiction, making his debut with the bestselling thriller The Locust Farm and following up with the critically acclaimed The Alchemist's Apprentice. His recent nonfiction includes the bestselling Beyond the Call and Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time.
 
Published July 1, 2018 by Chicago Review Press. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction
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Excellent
on Apr 30 2018

Today, when studies are showing many Americans know little about the Holocaust, this will serve as a compelling remedy: a personal and universal account of brutality at its worst and of family devotion at its best.

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