This post contains affiliate links.  I’ve read a lot of fiction and non-fiction books about World War II.  This genre is my favorite to read because as much as I learn and read, I always learn something new in a new book.  Sometimes the things I learn are so disturbing that they haunt me for days.  Such is the case with The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Raichman.

The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Raichman

About The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Raichman

Chil Raichman is rounded up with his 19 year old sister and sent to Treblinka.  Immediately, the Nazis separate him from his sister, and he never sees her again.  By chance, Raichman hears an SS officer ask if there are any barbers.  Raichman lies and says he’s a barber.  That decision saves his life.  He is one of a handful of Jews who survive the selection.  His job now is to cut the hair of the women who come in on the daily transports.  After he cuts their hair, they go to the gas chamber and are killed.

Against unbelievable odds, Raichman survives almost a year in Treblinka.  Truly, if this book were fiction I would accuse the writer of being unrealistic.  How could Raichman possibly survive?  So many times he was one of the few who survived in the camp.  How was it possible?

My Thoughts on the Book

This is a very short book–only 134 pages.  I listened to it on audio, and that was only three hours long.  But in this little book is so much horror!  I find all Holocaust books disturbing, but this one, along with Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengle Twin in Auschwitz, I found most disturbing.  Raichman is brutally honest about the events that occurred in the camp.  The Nazi officers were so calloused and sadistic, and Reichman does not shield the reader from that.

Raichman originally wrote this manuscript in 1945.  He desperately tried to find a reason for his survival; he decided bearing witness to what happened was why he survived.  This book is a result of that belief.  However, it wasn’t published until after his death and then in English a few years after.

I give The Last Jew of Treblinka by Chil Raichman 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

Read More

The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz,

A Lucky Child by Thomas Buergenthal

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...