Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book Review ~ "Surviving Hitler" by O. Hakan Palm

Surviving Hitler: The Unlikely True Story of an SS Soldier and a Jewish WomanSurviving Hitler: The Unlikely True Story of an SS Soldier and a Jewish Woman by O. Hakan Palm
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Deseret Book to Review
Genre: History

Book Description: Gustav Palm kept his secret for more than forty years. He’d been a young man when Hitler invaded his native Norway. After being forced to guard a Nazi prison camp, however, Gustav took his only option for escape: he volunteered for the Waffen-SS to fight at the front.

Agnes Erdös grew up in privilege and prosperity as a child in Hungary. She and her parents were practicing Roman Catholics, but they were ethnic Jews, and after the Nazis invaded her country, Agnes and her parents were sent to the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Miraculously, both Agnes and Gustav survived. And after the war, they found each other.

Told in their own words, Surviving Hitler is the story of two indomitable spirits who built on their life-altering experiences to overcome the past, help each other heal, and embrace a common faith in God that led them to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My thoughts: It is amazing to me how people who are faced with horrible situations come out stronger and hold true to themselves and their values. This book takes a look at the lives of Agnes and Gustav Palm. She was of Jewish descent and sentenced to live in a concentration camp, he lived in Norway and found himself a German Soldier.

For years he kept it a secret that he had been a soldier for Germany. There was shame tagged to the title. There was not shame for his wife to admit that she lived in a concentration camp. She was looked on a survivor who lived through an impossible situation. Both of their stories are inspiring. Gustav had nothing to be ashamed of, he was a young man deceived.

I loved how World War II was told through both of their viewpoints. Their son has taken their experiences and given their experiences a chance to be told. Both Gustav and Agnes lived through things that I am grateful that I don't have to face. They were showed compassion and mercy from strangers and both came out stronger because of their sacrifices.  Their will to live in spite of others is exampilary.

This is an amazing story. It is an account from two sides of a terrible time in history. This is a book that I will treasure the opportunity that I have had to read.

About the AuthorO. Hakan Palm, eldest son of Gustav and Agnes Erdos Palm, has been shaped by his parent’s wartime experiences. A successful management consultant in Stockholm, Sweden, Hakan has served faithfully in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a bishop, as a member of two stake presidencies, and seven times as a counselor in the Sweden Stockholm Mission. He and his wife, Barbro, are the parents of seven children.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I loved how it was from two different perspectives as well. I think that these two were amazing people. I am blown away by their story. They both are such a great example of forgiveness and compassion.


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