Nancy Sprowell Geise; AUSCHWITZ #34207; Merry Dissonance Press (Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir) 16.95 ISBN: 9781939919120
Byline: Rebecca Foster
This eye-opening account of a Polish Jew's life before, during, and after Auschwitz deposits readers right into concentration camp horrors.
In her first nonfiction book, Auschwitz #34207, Nancy Sprowell Geise takes the oral memories and documentary traces of one Polish Jew and weaves them into a riveting first-person narrative. Joe Rubinstein survived the Holocaust and is still alive at age ninety-four.
Born Icek Jakub Rubinsztejn in 1920, Rubinstein was one of five children. After his father died of lung cancer when Joe was five, the impoverished family scraped by, selling their mother's produce at markets. Rubinstein also had after-school jobs at a lumberyard and a second job making shoes. With anti-Jewish sentiment and Nazi propaganda on the rise, 30,000 Polish Jews were moved into two ghettos in Joe's town of Radom. Rubinstein was taken to Auschwitz, where he was assigned work in a coal mine, as well as the unimaginable job of moving bodies to mass graves. His entire family perished in Treblinka.
The most interesting choice defining this book is its first-person narration. Instead of presenting this as a third-person biography, Geise writes as Rubinstein...