The Twentieth Train by Marion Schreiber
The True Story of the Ambush of the Death Train to Auschwitz

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Synopsis

Marion Schreiber's gripping book about the only Nazi death train in World War II to be ambushed draws on private documents, photographs, archive material, and police reports, as well as original research, including interviews with the surviving escapees. One day in April, 1943, resistance fighter Youra Livchitz, a young doctor, discovered the departure date of the next transport train and recruited two school friends to pull off one of the most daring rescues of the entire war. Equipped with only three pairs of pliers, a hurricane lamp covered in red paper, and a single pistol, the men ambushed the train, which was transporting 1,618 Jews to Auschwitz. These three lone men freed seventeen men and women before the German guards opened fire. Miraculously, by the time the convoy had reached the German border another 225 prisoners had managed to escape unharmed and found shelter with the locals. In a testament to the solidarity of the Belgians, no one was betrayed. No one, that is, except the three young rescuers, who were turned in by a double agent, imprisoned, and killed. Like Schindler's List, The Twentieth Train creates a vivid, moving portrait of heroism under impossible circumstances.
 

About Marion Schreiber

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Published February 5, 2004 by Grove Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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It raises an interesting larger question that is surely worth scholarly investigation: How is it that 60 percent of the Jews of Belgium survived the Holocaust, whereas only 12 percent of the Jews of neighboring Holland and similar numbers elsewhere in Europe escaped death?

Feb 26 2012 | Read Full Review of The Twentieth Train: The True...

Publishers Weekly

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As authors and historians delve into the details of the Holocaust, they discover that the Nazi killing machine produced a long list of little-known heroes, and here Schreiber, a Brussels-based jour

Dec 08 2003 | Read Full Review of The Twentieth Train: The True...

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