The Brothers of Auschwitz

by Malka Adler

Book, 2020



Call number




London : HarperCollins 2020


An extraordinary novel of hope and heartbreak, this is a story about a family separated by the Holocaust and their harrowing journey back to each other. My brother's tears left a delicate, clean line on his face. I stroked his cheek, whispered, it's really you... Dov and Yitzhak live in a small village in the mountains of Hungary, isolated both from the world and from the horrors of the war. But one day in 1944, everything changes. The Nazis storm the homes of the Jewish villagers and inform them they have one hour. One hour before the train will take them to Auschwitz. Six decades later, from the safety of their living rooms at home in Israel, the brothers finally break their silence to a friend who will never let their stories be forgotten. Narrated in a poetic style reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, Malka Adler has penned a visceral yet essential read for those who have found strength, solace and above all, hope, in books like The Choice by Edith Eger and The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe. Praise for The Brothers of Auschwitz 'I sat down and read this within a few hours, my wife is now reading it and it is bringing tears to her eyes' Amazon reviewer 'The story is so incredible and the author writes so beautifully that it is impossible to stay indifferent' Amazon reviewer 'It is a book we all must read, read in order to know ... It is harsh, enthralling, earth-shattering, rattling - but we must. And nothing less' Aliza Ziegler, Editor-in-Chief at Proza Books, Yedioth Ahronoth Publishing House 'Great courage is needed to write as Adler does - without softening, without beautifying, without leaving any room to imagination' Yehudit Rotem, Haaretz-International New York Times 'This is a book we are not allowed not to read' Leah Roditi, At Magazine… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member susan0316
I read a lot of WWII fiction but this book is told on such a personal level that it really touched me. I will admit to some tears as I was reading it but the overwhelming feeling after reading this book is the bravery and resilience of the people who survived the concentration camps - the people
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who saw humanity at its worst and then had to live with the memories of the people they lost and how they were treated for the rest of their lives.

This is a raw, heartbreaking novel about two brothers who survived the war and their life after the war as they tried to acclimate back into normalcy. It is full of pain and sorrow but there is also love and friendship and people who put themselves in danger to help the brothers. Even though it was difficult to read, I highly recommend it to people who enjoy reading books about this brutal time in history. This is a book that I won't soon forget.
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LibraryThing member lawrence
I am compelled to write a review of The Brothers of Auschwitz because it has been labelled as fiction by others and is classified as fiction by the publisher. This is not fiction. This is a narrative based on the memories of three members of a family of five, who survived capture by the Hungarian
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army, the inhuman treatment by the nazis in concentration camps, the miraculous survival by mostly chance, their reintegration into life and the anger and brokenness that still pervades their thoughts seventy(?) years later. The narrative format helps it hold together as a story but there is no doubt as to the veracity of what was done in the anti-semitic climate. I personally know people who endured similar experience at similar times and places and I am offended by the "fiction" label.
I have read much about the holocaust and there is vastly more to know and read. This book stands out for it's focus on the experience of these people and their day to day lives with the memories of the smells and sights they cannot purge from their minds. I think it is worthwhile to read and learn something about how survivors get through a day even while their lives appear somewhat normal to the observer.
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Original publication date



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