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I Only Wanted to Live: A WW2 Young Jewish Boy Holocaust Survival True Stor

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Three mass deportations. A death sentence. One remarkable story of survival.When Leosz was only six, his life changed completely.World War II broke out in 1939, sweeping the young boy into the whirlwind of the Holocaust.For six long torturous years, Leosz sees and goes through everything: myriads of overcrowded transports headed for concentration camps, life on the streets Three mass deportations. A death sentence. One remarkable story of survival.When Leosz was only six, his life changed completely.World War II broke out in 1939, sweeping the young boy into the whirlwind of the Holocaust.For six long torturous years, Leosz sees and goes through everything: myriads of overcrowded transports headed for concentration camps, life on the streets of occupied Poland as an abandoned child, hiding from cruel Nazis, forced labor under conditions of starvation and the constant threat of death.Only one thing kept him safe—his unwavering will to go on living.This is the incredible inspiring story of a little Jewish boy who managed to survive all possible levels of hell as he clung on to life.


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Three mass deportations. A death sentence. One remarkable story of survival.When Leosz was only six, his life changed completely.World War II broke out in 1939, sweeping the young boy into the whirlwind of the Holocaust.For six long torturous years, Leosz sees and goes through everything: myriads of overcrowded transports headed for concentration camps, life on the streets Three mass deportations. A death sentence. One remarkable story of survival.When Leosz was only six, his life changed completely.World War II broke out in 1939, sweeping the young boy into the whirlwind of the Holocaust.For six long torturous years, Leosz sees and goes through everything: myriads of overcrowded transports headed for concentration camps, life on the streets of occupied Poland as an abandoned child, hiding from cruel Nazis, forced labor under conditions of starvation and the constant threat of death.Only one thing kept him safe—his unwavering will to go on living.This is the incredible inspiring story of a little Jewish boy who managed to survive all possible levels of hell as he clung on to life.

30 review for I Only Wanted to Live: A WW2 Young Jewish Boy Holocaust Survival True Stor

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Dawson

    As many reviewers have stated, this is a most unusual tale of the Krakow Ghetto and the Holocaust. Why? It isn’t filled with the same emotion many other stories are filled with. But then, that is the beauty of the story. We are seeing the events through the eyes of child. A child who realizes early there is no time for emotion. Survival is the only thing that matters. He witnesses hundreds of murders and executions. He doesn’t’ become callous, he becomes immune to the site of death. It is becomi As many reviewers have stated, this is a most unusual tale of the Krakow Ghetto and the Holocaust. Why? It isn’t filled with the same emotion many other stories are filled with. But then, that is the beauty of the story. We are seeing the events through the eyes of child. A child who realizes early there is no time for emotion. Survival is the only thing that matters. He witnesses hundreds of murders and executions. He doesn’t’ become callous, he becomes immune to the site of death. It is becoming common place. This does not mean he accepts it, but since he can do nothing to change it, he thanks God he is not one of the lambs being led to the slaughter. How can we possibly imagine what it would be like at ten/eleven to have your entire world turned upside down and you, your family and friends targeted as “Enemies of the State , but have committed no crime other than being born Jewish. Arie does an excellent job describing his life in the Ghetto, his time with friends, strangers his time in Plaszow and eventually Mauthhausen. I had never head of the Plaazow camp. I found it very interesting especially the passage on how the nurses and guards kept the children calm as they led them to be slaughtered. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and Arie’s perspective on how he survived.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debb

    This is one of the most detailed books I have read re the Holocaust; both before with the ghetto. The author was in the concentration camp that was in Schindler's List. It isn't one of those books that you can say is enjoyable however it it very compelling. This is one of the most detailed books I have read re the Holocaust; both before with the ghetto. The author was in the concentration camp that was in Schindler's List. It isn't one of those books that you can say is enjoyable however it it very compelling.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jill Robbertze

    I have given the 4 star rating for content and not for writing technique. I have read other accounts of prisoners of war and holocaust survivors but this one is really different in that it is written through the eyes and from the memory of a child, which gives a very different perspective. Please don't be put off by the first chapter where the author goes into extensive detail naming and describing all his numerous family and extended family members. The story really starts from chapter 2 from w I have given the 4 star rating for content and not for writing technique. I have read other accounts of prisoners of war and holocaust survivors but this one is really different in that it is written through the eyes and from the memory of a child, which gives a very different perspective. Please don't be put off by the first chapter where the author goes into extensive detail naming and describing all his numerous family and extended family members. The story really starts from chapter 2 from where it becomes absolutely facinating and ultimately both horrific and almost unbelieveable. An excellent read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brenda K Phillips

    Are these the same Nazi's others have written a out? The writer actually speaks of one march to a concentration camp as a "nature hike". He speaks of having a "pleasant meal" with his family in one of the camps. He also speaks of befriending a lot of German officers. His writing of his experience in the camps seems to differ from a lot of other survivers writing of their experience. Are these the same Nazi's others have written a out? The writer actually speaks of one march to a concentration camp as a "nature hike". He speaks of having a "pleasant meal" with his family in one of the camps. He also speaks of befriending a lot of German officers. His writing of his experience in the camps seems to differ from a lot of other survivers writing of their experience.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joann

    I've read a lot of Holocaust books and this was a different view for me. The author didn't spend any time in the death camps but was able to survive being sent to the camps by his quick decisions, the kindness of strangers, his resourcefulness and yes, even luck and with the help of the Germans. I've read a lot of Holocaust books and this was a different view for me. The author didn't spend any time in the death camps but was able to survive being sent to the camps by his quick decisions, the kindness of strangers, his resourcefulness and yes, even luck and with the help of the Germans.

  6. 4 out of 5

    maria vanderroer

    Amazon customer Wow . What a remarkable true story of the will to live in that horrific genocide. I think he is true inspiration for the next generations who might faced difficulties in life. We should all be inspired most by self discipline and still have compassion for humanity. We are not all beasts and with the mustard seeds of love and respect we all can survive.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marian Cleff

    The holocaust from the eyes of a entitled boy. Other holocaust books moved me emotionally...this account did not. The holocaust was a tragedy in many, many ways. This writer did not develop the tragedy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janice Richardson

    Most of us cannot imagine growing up like Arie did. We can't imagine the fear and the uncertainty. Reading how this young man survived during the Holocaust is like reading about a miracle. How sad that he was the only survivor in his family. Powerful read. Most of us cannot imagine growing up like Arie did. We can't imagine the fear and the uncertainty. Reading how this young man survived during the Holocaust is like reading about a miracle. How sad that he was the only survivor in his family. Powerful read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Hughes

    I could not put it down. A true memoir. Still find the whole subject so hard to believe! The book helped me understand the WW2 a little more.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette D Lucas

    Excellent Such a great book I know I will read it again in the future. If you want to learn about courage then read this

  11. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Clayton

    The story of how a young boy survives during the Holocaust.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julia Bell

    This was a remarkable account of a survivor of the Krakow ghetto and Plaszow concentration camp. But what makes it even more harrowing is that it's from a child's perspective. Since my grandchildren are more or less the same age the author was at the time, I found it particularly harrowing and some scenes will stay with me for a long time. Last year, my daughter and I visited Krakow and the ghetto. We stood outside the famous pharmacy in Zgody Square (now known as Heroes Square) and it was distr This was a remarkable account of a survivor of the Krakow ghetto and Plaszow concentration camp. But what makes it even more harrowing is that it's from a child's perspective. Since my grandchildren are more or less the same age the author was at the time, I found it particularly harrowing and some scenes will stay with me for a long time. Last year, my daughter and I visited Krakow and the ghetto. We stood outside the famous pharmacy in Zgody Square (now known as Heroes Square) and it was distressing to think of the atrocities committed in such a small area. While reading this book, I recognised the names and places and I was with the author all the way. It was simply written and the brutalities perpetrated were described in a matter-of-fact way, without flowery descriptions. This made the narrative even more effective. I absolutely recommend this book as a firsthand account of the Holocaust.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly C. Winslow

    Stunning How do you rate someone's life experience? I have been to Germany and went to the sites where some atrocities took place and it was a life experience I won't forget. I have read some other accounts of horrific things occurring in areas of Poland as well. Many are misinformed thinking this only occurred in Germany to Jews but I am glad to read the horrors done beyond that being addressed by this witness. Thank you for sharing your trauma and I hope we can learn from it! Stunning How do you rate someone's life experience? I have been to Germany and went to the sites where some atrocities took place and it was a life experience I won't forget. I have read some other accounts of horrific things occurring in areas of Poland as well. Many are misinformed thinking this only occurred in Germany to Jews but I am glad to read the horrors done beyond that being addressed by this witness. Thank you for sharing your trauma and I hope we can learn from it!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    I Only Wanted to Live: The Struggle of a Boy to Survive the Holocaust is a memoir of the Holocaust in Poland by Arie Tamir. He was just a young boy of eleven when he entered the nightmare of the Holocaust. He and three cousins were the only ones of an extended family to survive. The book is one of the few written by children survivors and he is one of the very few to survive at or under the age of 12 from the camps. Arie was born to Wilhelm Wimisner and Eva Dorf. They had met in Vienna at the Un I Only Wanted to Live: The Struggle of a Boy to Survive the Holocaust is a memoir of the Holocaust in Poland by Arie Tamir. He was just a young boy of eleven when he entered the nightmare of the Holocaust. He and three cousins were the only ones of an extended family to survive. The book is one of the few written by children survivors and he is one of the very few to survive at or under the age of 12 from the camps. Arie was born to Wilhelm Wimisner and Eva Dorf. They had met in Vienna at the University. They talked German to each other and Polish to their children so children grew up knowing both which would be a godsend to Arie in the camps. Mother was born in Krakow and they lived there. Mother’s parents were Orthodox Jews; but Arie’s family was not. Mother ran the house and was socially active. They were wealthy so Mother had help at home. Zosia was the nanny and she became very close to the children and in the process of bringing them up, taught him about Jesus. Their Aunt Rosia, Mother’s sister, taught him about God and God’s love. Father was half owner of a wholesale textile business and was very good at his job. He traveled a lot and wasn’t home much. Even though he wasn’t there physically, he still had an influence on their upbringing. Although wealthy, Wilhelm and Eva made sure their children were not spoiled but well brought up and well disciplined. Good manners and good behavior were expected. His sister Gizia was three years older than he was and was born about 1930. Arie was born about 1933 and adored his sister. When she learned something, he learned it from her and later they were taught together. They were very close. Little sister Serenka was born when he was five (1938). At first, he was jealous of her for taking his place as the youngest; however, he soon came to love her dearly. The three of them played together and ventured out into the town with Zosia. Due to the gradually worsening conditions, they left Krakow and moved to Lwow and later Lublin and finally back to Krakow. Although Father no longer owned his business, he still ran it and was indispensable to the German owner. Their life didn’t change much at all. Eventually, even for them, things became worse and they moved into the Krakow Ghetto where unlike others, they had three small rooms to live in. Father’s connections with Germans paid off several times while in the Ghetto; but those gradually failed too. Meanwhile, Arie didn’t pay a lot of attention to the political situation and even at first in the Ghetto, he still played like the little boy he was. Gradually, he became very adept at going around the Ghetto and making friends as well as obtaining information. He joined a group of young boys who started smuggling food into the Ghetto. Arie was smarter than some and actually made money which he saved while in the Ghetto. When the final group of Jews from the Ghetto was taken to Plaszow Camp, he was not going to be allowed to go as he was 11, even though he had papers showing he was 14. His appearance just didn’t measure up. Instead of one or both of his parents staying behind with him, he stayed by himself and hid while the Ghetto was being cleared out. Several days after the last were taken, he managed to escape the Ghetto and began living in Krakow as a Polish boy. His learning about God and Jesus from Rosia and Zosia allowed him to pretend to be Catholic and get away with it. Eventually he went into hiding with the help of his cousin Gina. Eventually he was caught and sent to Plaszow to be executed. He was only grazed by the bullets and was taken into the camp where he was reunited with his family, including Gina who was also captured. Although still considered a child, he did not live in the Children’s Home but with his Father and he worked in several different places while there. When they came to take the children, he was included with them. He and a friend decided to escape on the way to the trucks and caused a breakout in which some children escaped, Arie among them. Later, he and his Father were taken to Mauthausen where his Father nearly died but they were able to bribe the kapos to get him taken off the detail for the quarry. They were taken to Gozen 2 where his father died, leaving Arie now 11 or 12 on his own and very sick. He has trouble remembering his Father’s death and his being sick. His Father died at the end of February, 1945 and Arie was liberated on May 5, 1945. He was taken to the American hospital and treated. Every time he had gotten sick, it seemed that someone stepped in to take care of him and not allow him to be killed. He went to Israel in December 1945 where still lives. He married and had two children who in turn gave him five grandchildren. He was reunited with his cousin Gina who died in Israel in 1994. He remains close to her three children. When he returned to Poland to trace his steps, he took her two daughters. On a second trip, he took his daughter and grandchildren and one of Gina’s daughters and her grandchildren. He caught up and finished his schooling in Israel and taught as well as worked for the Ministry of Defense in weapons research and development. He retired in 1990 and took it upon himself the task of managing and developing computerization of engineering firms as well as teaching.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    AMAZING This amazing account of survival is mind blowing! The situations he was in as a kid would’ve been so terrifying but he made it! The way it was written was what got me hooked first, as if he was sitting across from me telling me in his own voice. Anyone who likes history or wants to understand history more should read this!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Doucet

    Fantastic read Since publishing my Dad's "A chronicle of WWII", I have been interested in this subject. This book is written from a young boy's perspective and thus so, is more interesting than some books on the subject. Fantastic read Since publishing my Dad's "A chronicle of WWII", I have been interested in this subject. This book is written from a young boy's perspective and thus so, is more interesting than some books on the subject.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    What a struggle This is a true story written to the best of the authors knowledge. Gave you an insight into what he went through being a Jew. He admitted to not being aware of some things because of his young age. However it was a heartache for all he did go through.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Carlile

    Harrowing account This is a harrowing account of life as a child during the holocaust but the over riding feeling of strength and survival jumps of the pages. And the eventual survival

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susan Campbell

    Incredible child escaped death so often Interesting account told through the memories of a child forced to take on responsibilities no human being should have to. So wonderful he was able to live a fulfilling life after the atrocities he witnessed.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Baldas

    You can tell he's not a writer, but it's an incredible story. Made me cry multiple times over. You can tell he's not a writer, but it's an incredible story. Made me cry multiple times over.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I am currently reading "I Only Wanted to Live: The Struggle of a Boy to Survive the Holocaust by Arie Tamir, Batya Jerenberg (Translator). Through the years I have read several books regarding The Holocaust. This book is so impressive and thorough and gut wrenching. The language is easy to understand and I know I will finish it. And I've finished it. We really need to learn from the past. I am currently reading "I Only Wanted to Live: The Struggle of a Boy to Survive the Holocaust by Arie Tamir, Batya Jerenberg (Translator). Through the years I have read several books regarding The Holocaust. This book is so impressive and thorough and gut wrenching. The language is easy to understand and I know I will finish it. And I've finished it. We really need to learn from the past.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Great historical value Mr. Tamir kept me riveted by his telling of survival during the Holocaust. Prepare to experience a range of emotions while devouring this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karri McDaniel

    Awesome but sad I chose 5 stars because it is a very good book recounting a child’s view of the holocaust. It is very sad but amazed by his memories. Good book to read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard R., Martin

    Not the best written book but a tremendous story of a Jewish boy's travails from the Krakow Ghetto to a concentration camp. I highly recommend it! Not the best written book but a tremendous story of a Jewish boy's travails from the Krakow Ghetto to a concentration camp. I highly recommend it!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Heartbreaking This author of this book gives you a sense about what atrocities happened to the Jews during WW2. I definitely recommend reading it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    niki

    Great book ! Great book. Sad and happy at the same time. Keeps you at the edge of your seat wanting to know how he survives.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Owens

    Excellent book This book was very well organized and is a heavy duty read. The author saw unspeakable horror and experience d it. I thank him for sharing his experience and horrors.

  28. 5 out of 5

    judy a cross

    Really wanted to enjoy this book, but I found it boring.

  29. 5 out of 5

    janet

    A boys will to. Live This book at times paints a rosey picture of life under Nazi rule but as a boy not yet understanding hatred and facesis!m life would still be fun somewhat really opens your eyes to the horror these people suffered.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Diane Erhart

    Sad true story hard to put down A grown up recounts with explicit detail on his own survival in the WWII ghettos. He has done research to collaborate his memories for accuracy.

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