The Boy From Block 66: A WW2 Jewish Holocaust Survival True Story (Heroic Children of World War II)

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The Boy From Block 66 by Limor Regev

Genre: Fiction
Length: 241 pages
First Published: 2023

Summary: The Boy From Block 66: A WW2 Jewish Holocaust Survival True Story (Heroic Children of World War II) by Limor Regev

The Boy From Block 66 by Limor Regev: Moshe Kessler, a 14-year-old boy, arrives at Buchenwald concentration camp in January 1945. His journey has been marked by horrible horrors – from surviving Auschwitz-Birkenau to enduring a death march in freezing winter conditions. 

With his entire family lost and his life marred by tragedy, Moshe steps onto the grounds of Buchenwald, his next battleground for survival. Amidst the harsh and cruel regime of the Germans, there’s one thing Moshe knows – to survive, he must reach Block 66.

In Buchenwald, the Germans exercise their cruelty with determination, but they are unprepared for the secret resistance that stirs within the camp. This resistance has a single mission: to safeguard the children of the camp from harm’s way. Among them is Moshe Kessler, whose resilience and courage become central to one of the Holocaust’s most inspiring stories of survival.

“Block 66: A WW2 Jewish Holocaust Survival True Story” narrates the remarkable true account of Moshe Kessler’s experiences in Buchenwald and the vital role of Block 66, a refuge for children, in the face of unprecedented adversity. The book captures the essence of a young boy’s harrowing journey, allowing readers a glimpse into the darkest period of human history.

Recommended for children starting at the age of ten, the book aims to educate a new generation about the Holocaust, a haunting era that must never be forgotten. The importance of such knowledge lies in preventing its repetition, ensuring that the horrors inflicted on innocent lives by the Nazis remain an indelible reminder of the depths of inhumanity.

The story resonates with personal anecdotes from readers who themselves have encountered the book’s impact. One reader shares memories of childhood friendships with Jewish children, highlighting the ignorance that allowed them to perceive no differences. This personal connection underscores the urgency of educating young minds about the Holocaust, thereby fostering empathy and understanding across generations.

The narrative’s potency lies in its perspective – it tells the tale through the eyes and ears of a 13-year-old, making it all the more compelling. This approach draws readers into the story, enabling them to experience the horrors and survival instincts through the lens of innocence shattered by grim reality. As one reviewer notes, the book offers an accessible and engrossing reading experience, allowing the complexities of the Holocaust to be grasped even by younger audiences.

Moreover, the book stands out as it chronicles Moshe Kessler’s life beyond the concentration camps. It captures his journey from birth, through the traumatic experiences of the Holocaust, and into the aftermath of liberation. This comprehensive approach offers a multi-dimensional understanding of trauma survivors’ lives, highlighting the resilience that persists even after the darkest moments.

The importance of spreading awareness about the Holocaust cannot be overstated. The rise of anti-Semitism in modern times serves as a chilling reminder of the ever-present threat of hatred and discrimination. The book serves as a powerful tool to combat this rise, as it elucidates the unimaginable atrocities committed against the Jewish people during the Holocaust. By remembering history, society can remain vigilant against the repetition of such horrors.

In conclusion, “Block 66: A WW2 Jewish Holocaust Survival True Story” eloquently recounts Moshe Kessler’s journey through the Holocaust, highlighting the crucial role of Block 66 as a haven for children. The narrative’s focus on a young boy’s perspective and its comprehensive portrayal of post-liberation life contribute to its impact. 

The book’s educational value is underscored by readers’ personal connections and the current resurgence of anti-Semitism. By sharing this story, the book aims to ensure that the Holocaust remains a stark reminder of the consequences of hatred and indifference.

Quotes by Limor Regev Author of The Boy From Block 66

“It was there I saw how the good in man defeats the evil, and how one person’s courage can affect the fate of hundreds of children.”
― Limor Regev, The Boy From Block 66: A WW2 Jewish Holocaust Survival True Story

“The fate of the Jews was not a major concern for the United States, Britain, or their allies in its waging of the war. Just a few miles from where they were bombing on a regular basis, the killing factories churned on uninterrupted. To this day I do not understand why the planes did not bomb Birkenau. This is one of the greatest stains on the Allies’ conduct during the Nazi campaign of genocide of the Jews the Holocaust.”
― Limor Regev, The Boy From Block 66: A WW2 Jewish Holocaust Survival True Story

In October 1944, they held the last selection at Buna, following which the Birkenau gas chambers were dismantled because the Russians were advancing from the east and the Nazis wanted to destroy evidence of the atrocities they carried out there. In this final selection, they sent 850 victims for extermination. It is clear to any reasonable person that a single bombing to stop the relentless movement of trains towards the gas chambers in Birkenau or damage to the crematoria would have saved tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives. The question of why this did not happen is an enigma to this day… Autumn, 1944.”
― Limor Regev, The Boy From Block 66: A WW2 Jewish Holocaust Survival True Story

“If only we had weapons then, they would not have been able to lead one third of the Jewish people to extermination.”
― Limor Regev, The Boy From Block 66: A WW2 Jewish Holocaust Survival True Story

About Dr. Limor Regev

Dr. Limor Regev specializes in the Isaeli-Arab conflict and territorial retreats in Israel and has held various academic positions over the years. Among these positions, she has acted as the head of an academic unit at the College of Management, a specialist at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), and is currently a research fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations in the Hebrew University. Regev gives lectures and participates in conferences relevant to her fields across the globe.

Dr. Regev’s grandparents left Poland with Zionist youth movements in the 1930s, escaping the fate of their parents, brothers and sisters who were murdered in Treblinka. She has always been intrigued by World War II and the Holocaust, and this interest set her on the course to writing her first book – the life story of Moshe Kessler, who survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald camps to tell his incredible tale.

Moshe Kessler is the father of one of Limor’s closest friends. The hours of work and the joint journey the two embarked on while writing his story forged a special bond between them, which remains to this day.

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