counter create hit I Wish It Were Fiction: Holocaust Memories, 1939 - 1945 - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

I Wish It Were Fiction: Holocaust Memories, 1939 - 1945

Availability: Ready to download

The writer of this memoir, Aaron Starkman, was barely 20 years old when he was driven into the Nazi Hitler hell. He decided to keep a diary, where he made notes of everything that was happening. He did not know whether he would survive. When he was liberated, he gathered all the notes and deposited them with the Warsaw Jewish Historical Institute. Unfortunately, few of the The writer of this memoir, Aaron Starkman, was barely 20 years old when he was driven into the Nazi Hitler hell. He decided to keep a diary, where he made notes of everything that was happening. He did not know whether he would survive. When he was liberated, he gathered all the notes and deposited them with the Warsaw Jewish Historical Institute. Unfortunately, few of the survivors kept notes about the horrible events that took place. When the history of the Holocaust will be written, and when future history of the Holocaust will be written, and when future historians gather their materials from the archives, there is no doubt that they will utilize Aaron Starkman's diary with its description of the events that took place and the murders that the Hitlerite hordes committed. These facts will also serve as an example of the fate that befell most Jewish communities in Poland and Eastern Europe.


Compare

The writer of this memoir, Aaron Starkman, was barely 20 years old when he was driven into the Nazi Hitler hell. He decided to keep a diary, where he made notes of everything that was happening. He did not know whether he would survive. When he was liberated, he gathered all the notes and deposited them with the Warsaw Jewish Historical Institute. Unfortunately, few of the The writer of this memoir, Aaron Starkman, was barely 20 years old when he was driven into the Nazi Hitler hell. He decided to keep a diary, where he made notes of everything that was happening. He did not know whether he would survive. When he was liberated, he gathered all the notes and deposited them with the Warsaw Jewish Historical Institute. Unfortunately, few of the survivors kept notes about the horrible events that took place. When the history of the Holocaust will be written, and when future history of the Holocaust will be written, and when future historians gather their materials from the archives, there is no doubt that they will utilize Aaron Starkman's diary with its description of the events that took place and the murders that the Hitlerite hordes committed. These facts will also serve as an example of the fate that befell most Jewish communities in Poland and Eastern Europe.

30 review for I Wish It Were Fiction: Holocaust Memories, 1939 - 1945

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dr.J.G.

    Quoted from preface:- "Remembering the Holocaust years is a very painful process: it tears you apart. It is difficult and at the same time, unforgivable to forget, especially as the ugly head of anti-Semitism rises again with the ramblings of Zundel, Keegstra and others. As a witness to the Holocaust I feel a sense of responsibility to tell the stories, as painful as it might be. "Forgiveness is a virtue, but I am not able to forgive. "I cannot forgive the calculated plan to destroy a people. "I can Quoted from preface:- "Remembering the Holocaust years is a very painful process: it tears you apart. It is difficult and at the same time, unforgivable to forget, especially as the ugly head of anti-Semitism rises again with the ramblings of Zundel, Keegstra and others. As a witness to the Holocaust I feel a sense of responsibility to tell the stories, as painful as it might be. "Forgiveness is a virtue, but I am not able to forgive. "I cannot forgive the calculated plan to destroy a people. "I cannot and never will forgive the theft of my youthful innocence; of showing me the darker side of mankind — the darkest side. I cannot and never will forgive the theft of a normal childhood and adulthood. I cannot and never will forgive being uprooted from the nurturing of my family, community and traditional life. I cannot and never will forgive the annihilation of my parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, my whole family. "I have become an orphan. "While the Germans worked out the annihilation plan they had many collaborators: "Ukrainians, Poles and others, all willing and anxious to help. As misguided as they might have been, I cannot forgive the cruelties and indignities they perpetrated on us, the Jews. "As I look back on the Holocaust years I can see the step by step plan to break our spirits and our bodies. I promised my mother that I would try to survive, as they believed that if I would live, they would all live through me. But from the first day after the capitulation of the Polish army, and the German occupation of Poland the reign of terror began and never subsided until liberation and the end of the war. "We were uprooted from our homes, moved around, deprived of our livelihood, subjected to beatings, humiliation and constant killings. Without warning, there was terror in our hearts each and everyday of the war." Not just profoundly touching, but that sums up the only possible attitude for anyone who believes in, sides with, justice. ............ "After Poland was occupied, the Germans divided Poland into two separate parts. One part of the country, from Lodz to Upper Silesia, as well as Danzig (Gdansk) and its district and Poznan with its district were completely annexed and declared part of the Greater German Reich. The districts of Warsaw, Lublin, Kielce, Radom as well as Western Galicia were declared as the Polish protectorate of Germany. The Germans then decreed, that the Polish protectorate were to have their own currency (zlotys), as well as its own police force. The Polish police were given a distinct Polish uniform (blue – in Polish granat). The polish police were called the Granatowa Police. The Polish police in the blue uniforms were subjected to the orders of the occupation authorities. They meticulously carried out all the orders of the occupant. "In addition, the Germans had their own military force and a militia. They also recruited criminal elements as assistants. They freed all the criminals from the jails and used them as a punishment cadre. When the Germans decided to torture or murder some people, they used the criminals for that purpose. These were called the “punishment expedition”" "A short time later several civilians arrived from Germany, they interrogated the Jewish craftsmen and paid special attention to the broom makers. They consequently entered several orders for brooms, at attractive prices. Hundreds of Jews won employment in the broom industry. They remained at their work until the very last minute before they were deported. "Many shoemakers were also employed by the Germans. They produced quality boots and shoes for the S.S. and for the police. Skilled tailors were given employment. They produced custom-made uniforms for the high officers of the army and for other government functionaries." "The situation took a turn for the worse in the middle of 1940. It got worse from day to day. New requests were made by the Germans to the Judenrat. "First, decree forbade Jews to engage in commerce or work in some specified positions. Then came an order prohibiting Jews to live on (or in) streets or even be seen on those streets. This followed by an order that Jews must carry white armbands on their arms. Jews were forbidden to ride in autos, and also forbidden to travel from one town to the other." ............ "One day, at 5 o’clock in the morning, the whole town was suddenly encircled by the S.S. police. With the assistance of the Polish police, they succeeded to detain the 80 men. I was one of those 80." "All 80 of us were squeezed into one freight car. The doors were then hermetically sealed. "We traveled for 3 days and nights, without food or water or sanitary facilities. The train stopped once at a certain station. We were all half-dead. Our wagon was pelted with stones. Many times we were shot at. Two of our people were wounded. After a while, we heard the whistle of the engine and we began to travel again, until we reached Lublin. "The sealed cars were opened from both sides. S.S. men were there to meet us. No sooner did we step down from the wagon, when the S.S. men began to beat us with their whips. Their wild shrieks could be heard for a mile. “Heraus Juden” (“Jews out!”) they yelled and kept on whipping us." ............ They were taken to Majdanek, and later to the Russian border, all the while beaten, tortured, starved and more. "We build trenches at the Russian border. "When we reached Naral, they drove us into an old, large almost ruined flour mill. A local shoemaker lived there. He was Jewish. He told us that most of the Jews in the village were shot by the Germans. His life was spared, because the Germans considered him to be a “useful” Jew, whom they could use. "The wealthy former owner of the mill committed suicide in his house. His wife and two children were shot by the Germans. "Tired, exhausted and half-dead, we lied down on the floor. We were thoroughly drenched by the rain. The Germans left us alone for two days. Early in the morning on the third day, they began driving us. All we were given to eat was some stale bread and what they called coffee. We have hardly finished eating, when the S.S. guard began yelling: Hurry-up, get in line. We began to run, fearing further beatings. They led us through fields, until we reached an area, where we saw many red poles. This appeared to be the border. "We came very close to the border. A German officer immediately issued an order, that no one is allowed to look to the right, along the border line. Whoever will look there, will be shot on the spot. "We formed into a line, everyone was given a shovel and told how to dig. Right after that, an automobile arrived and the infamous German murderer Dolf emerged. He was dressed in civilian clothes, and wore a white overcoat. In his hand was a leather cane. When he came closer to our lines he asked if everyone is Jewish. Yes, we all answered. The murderer Dolf marched along the entire line with his cane in his hands, and began beating indiscriminately, in the most brutal way, until very many began bleeding. He then returned to his auto and left. We stood there, bloodied, with the shovels in our hands and were forced to continue digging. The Germans instructed us how to do our work." ............ "One cloudy morning, after we came to work, several of us decided to run for it and cross the border. It was not too difficult. All one had to do was be strong and determined and be ready to risk his life. "Thus quite a few crossed over the border." "The punishment was handed out to those of us who remained. As a first step, the Germans picked out 30 men and shot them." "Despite all the cruel punishment, there were still some among us who took the risk again and ran across the border. In response, the S.S. instituted a still harsher regime of punishment. Every day, 10 men from among us were shot. Security along the border line was increased, with many more men guarding the border. But despite the unheard of cruelty, there were still quite a number who risked their life and ran." "Our desperate situation became worse. There remained no place to escape, and the torture increased. We were driven in our clothes into the river, and ordered to lie flat on our stomachs. And then the Germans began to shoot at us. Some nights we were ordered to undress completely and then we were driven into the cold river. The Germans enjoyed this sort of torture. "I remember the case of one of our fellow inmates, his name was Yoel Melman, a landsman from Opatow. They ordered him to put on 10 military winter coats, and march forward. But he could not move at all. He made every effort to run, but unfortunately he failed. Then the Germans shot him on the spot. "They ordered another man to undress completely and jump into the river. When he was already in the water, the Germans began practicing shooting on him. They derived much pleasure in doing it. Several bullets hit him and he fell and drowned. "Another time, they tried out one of us. They ordered him to run across the border. As he began running a second group of S.S. men started shooting. Hit by flying bullets, he finally fell and died. This situation lasted for four solid months. "Then the days began growing shorter and colder. We were literally naked and barefoot. Winter was approaching. Early mornings were particularly cold. Many mornings the temperature was down to below zero. We had to sleep on the cold floor. There were no quilts or covers." ............ Aaron escaped and walked home through forest. His parents wept with joy to see him alive. Germans were now shooting and torturing people, and soon ghetto was established, before deportations to extermination camps began. "While being driven, we heard the steady cries and moaning of women and children, who were shot on the spot. Families were being separated. Whenever the murderers saw several people marching together, they immediately separated them. They spread panic and confusion. The cries became louder and louder. "I walked with my family. When we reached the square, we saw a huge mass of people, some with packs, others without anything. Women were carrying their small children, led the second child by the hand and the third was running and catching up. Some men and women could hardly stand on their feet. Some mothers carried newly-born infants, covered in cushions or blankets. Those who HAD REFUSED to leave their homes were shot on the spot." Several people were shot. "I was standing next to my parents. Suddenly I felt a terrible pain. I was hit with a very heavy object. The pain was unbearable. Someone ordered me: Get out of the line. You are still fit for work. I was afraid that I will be hit again. I was not given the chance to say good-bye to my parents and sisters. I just looked at them. I began to realize that this may be the last time I looked at my parents and sisters. "The S.S. man grabbed me and dragged me to a place, where some others were standing. "During the five years of the German occupation, I spent days, weeks and months in different places. My life was hanging in the balance every minute of the day. The question was: Will I survive or perish? "To this day, I cannot forget the last moment, when I was separated from my family. Why did I leave them? Maybe it is my fault that I left them to be murdered by the Nazis? While I myself was saved?" Aaron and others, 50 selected young boys and girls, were made to clean up after the murders in streets by SS after they watched their families being taken to train station for extermination camps. Next day they were taken around house by house through ghetto, cleaning up after SS shot anyone including babies, children, old people and weak who remained. "It should be noted that many Jews were killed by Polish policemen, who served their Nazi masters well." ............ They were taken to ghetto in another town. "Epidemics, caused by the congestion, broke out. Hunger became more prevalent. While in the Ghetto in Opatow, we were all from the same town and knew almost everyone. We trusted each other. But here, in the Ghetto in Kazimierz, there were so many strangers. Few knew each other and hardly trusted each other." "There were many who refused to believe that the Jews are being taken to their deaths. However after the deportations in the towns and villages took place, it became clear to those who managed to escape what deportation means. Those who came to the ghetto in Kazimierz knew for sure, what fate had in store for them." "Everyone of the deportees knew that this was the final march to their deaths. I cannot find the words to describe the depth of the tragedy. There were no medicines in the Ghetto in Kazimierz. The Germans forbid the use of any medication. The Jewish doctor was ordered not to treat anyone, but notify immediately the S.S. of any ill patient. He was forced to supply a list of sick Jews to the S.S. on a daily basis. Those on the list were immediately liquidated. The killing of the sick was entrusted to an S.S. officer, a short, fat guy, whose meanness knew no limits. He always wore white gloves when shooting the victims." "I myself saw two children being taken away from their mother and put on a wagon, with the obvious intent of taking them out of the Ghetto and killing them. They said to the mother of the two children: You are still capable to work. You stay behind. But the woman clung to the wagon and kept on yelling. The Nazi beat her mercilessly, but could not tear her away from the wagon. Finally the German agreed that she should take back one of her two children. She could not decide which one she should take, the boy or the girl. The girl was 12 years old. The mother grabbed the boy first, but immediately after, she said she wanted the girl. Maybe she thought that since the girl is already older and bigger, she will be able to better take care of herself. I will never forget how the mother became hysterical and could not decide which child she should pick. But the German made his own decision. He shot the mother on the spot. The children, seeing their mother dead, began to cry uncontrollably, they were taken away to their death." ............ Aaron escaped ghetto and walked. A farmer fed him and told him to go to Rakower forest where he'd find Jewish partisans. He met other Jews and heard their story. "In 1940, the Germans gathered all Jews of Tarnobrzeg — young and old, men, women and children — in one big square. The older people were segregated from everybody else and kept separately. The younger people were ordered to dig deep trenches. This completed, the Germans shot everybody. The three young men, whom I met in the cellar managed to turn away and escape. They escaped into the forest and met here several hundred other Jews. The Germans didn’t dare to come into the forest." The escaped Jews were in touch with Polish partisans, and had arms and ammunition.

  2. 4 out of 5

    artemis

    “Never forget, nor forgive.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rick Shurtz

    A The Veneer Between Good and EvIL I have read several books on the holocaust And This one a first t person Account Covers the gamut Between good And evil. I feel if our country ever went into a deep depression with many unemployed a gifted orator leader could sway good people to do horrible things.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Important Story Although this account is important, it unfortunately is very dry reading. It is from the author’s journals that he kept during WWII in Poland as a Jew trying to survive the death camps and keep from being found when he ran away. Good, but not compelling.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Moore

    A gripping story of survival amidst suffering. Mr.Starkmans story was amazing as he tries to stay alive against the odds with the Nazis always close behind him. Heart wrenching, true and amazing how he could keep alive under inhumane conditions. I was gripped by this story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Butch

    Ok Good story line. Tragic as was all the issues that Jews faced from the madness of Germany Nd Hitlers third Reich’s

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sara G.

    The survival of a Jew during the Holocaust was scarce, but having a record of the events from the perspective of the survivor is rare. I Wish It Were Fiction is a book written by Aaron Starkman, a Jew that survived the Holocaust. He was able to record some of the events during his time in the camps and how he was on the run for many months. Aaron was around the age of 20 when he was exposed to the horrors of Hitler's camps and troops. "You cannot find a place to hide and, and all roads lead to de The survival of a Jew during the Holocaust was scarce, but having a record of the events from the perspective of the survivor is rare. I Wish It Were Fiction is a book written by Aaron Starkman, a Jew that survived the Holocaust. He was able to record some of the events during his time in the camps and how he was on the run for many months. Aaron was around the age of 20 when he was exposed to the horrors of Hitler's camps and troops. "You cannot find a place to hide and, and all roads lead to death." When the Germans start to take the Jews from Opatow, Aaron gets caught and is taken away from his family, along with other men. "One day, at 5 o’clock in the morning, the whole town was suddenly encircled by the S.S. police. With the assistance of the Polish police, they succeeded to detain the 80 men. I was one of those 80." This story from the past was very informative and showed another perspective from the holocaust. I was very moved by this story and easily found myself wondering what I would've done in the same situation. 8R Book Review #6

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Wood

    8-Red Review #6 This book is, in lack of a better word, heart wrenching. I Wish It Were Fiction is the published diary of holocaust survivor Aaron Starkman. The setting is by far one you will never forget. You get a horrendous glance in on all the camps he visited and all the tragedy he witnessed. You catch sight of his starvation and agony, " We were all half-dead, suffering from hunger and thirst". It surely leaves a lasting impression that will haunt your thoughts at night. Yes, there are sever 8-Red Review #6 This book is, in lack of a better word, heart wrenching. I Wish It Were Fiction is the published diary of holocaust survivor Aaron Starkman. The setting is by far one you will never forget. You get a horrendous glance in on all the camps he visited and all the tragedy he witnessed. You catch sight of his starvation and agony, " We were all half-dead, suffering from hunger and thirst". It surely leaves a lasting impression that will haunt your thoughts at night. Yes, there are several different diaries written by holocaust survivors and they're all special in their own right, but this one is one that will stalk through your thoughts and keep you on edge. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ladonna Creech

    Amazing Yet Horrific Memories Wow! This guy has been through hell! If you are interested in reading about history, specifically about WWII and the Holocaust, be sure to include this book. It's basically the diary that Aaron Starkman kept throughout all he and others had gone through during that time. He shares the most incredible situations where most people would not be able to survive. But, survive he did. What amazing things us human beings are capable of surviving! It has very graphic details Amazing Yet Horrific Memories Wow! This guy has been through hell! If you are interested in reading about history, specifically about WWII and the Holocaust, be sure to include this book. It's basically the diary that Aaron Starkman kept throughout all he and others had gone through during that time. He shares the most incredible situations where most people would not be able to survive. But, survive he did. What amazing things us human beings are capable of surviving! It has very graphic details of the worst human suffering that I've ever heard of before. Not for the faint of heart.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deanna Overkamp

    The horrors of a place in time It is inconceivable that any human could cause the dehumanizing and torture of others. This must never happen agian. The book is not written well but good enough to get the point across of all the horrors that took place in that time period

  11. 5 out of 5

    Naomi Ford

    Incredible account Such a horrendous horrific time in our history retold from a hero survivor with such specific detail. One can only hope this never happens again.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Stinson

    Very Good Read This was a different slant. Poor man had to escape and had many things happen. It breaks my heart that anyone should have to go through this! God bless them all!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Barbara W

    As a Shoah survivor's story, there is much to consider and much to digest. I will review this book when I am ready to do so. As a Shoah survivor's story, there is much to consider and much to digest. I will review this book when I am ready to do so.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Fernie Wasserman

  15. 4 out of 5

    michele t veilleux

  16. 5 out of 5

    diane watkins

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashok Ghodchore

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Kate Spierling

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julia Risler

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jack D Lane

  21. 4 out of 5

    David Mace

  22. 5 out of 5

    cathy kauffman-nearhoof

  23. 5 out of 5

    mr a j davies

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barry McKendry

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Pate shadrick

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marie O Reilly

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy A Silverwatch

  28. 5 out of 5

    Donald

  29. 5 out of 5

    doug jacoby

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda A. Botts

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.