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Because of Romek is a nonfiction, autobiographical narrative about the experiences of a teenager during the Holocaust of World War II. This is the riveting, true story of a young boy's survival in the face of Nazi atrocities. In the mid-1960s, the German government contacted David Faber to testify against Nazi war criminals. Until then, he did not know that his older broth Because of Romek is a nonfiction, autobiographical narrative about the experiences of a teenager during the Holocaust of World War II. This is the riveting, true story of a young boy's survival in the face of Nazi atrocities. In the mid-1960s, the German government contacted David Faber to testify against Nazi war criminals. Until then, he did not know that his older brother, Romek, whom the Nazis had tortured to death many years earlier, had been involved in a Polish Underground plot to avert Nazi Germany's ability to create an atomic bomb. When David finally agreed to testify, he began to relive all the horrors of his experiences during the war: concentration camps, murders, tortures, starvation, and disease. When David Faber was 13 years old, he had witnessed the Nazi murders of his parents, brother Romek, and five of his six sisters. He survived nine concentration camps between the ages of 13-18, from 1939 to 1945, including Auschwitz and Buchenwald. When he was liberated in 1945 from the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, he weighed a mere 72 pounds. Because of Romek fulfills David's promise to his dead mother that he would survive and tell the world about the horrors committed against him and his family. This moving narrative is also a useful tool for educators. To today's students, the Holocaust too often seems to be an abstract event in the dim past. Because of Romek pulls the reader into the story, thereby illuminating the past and putting a face on history.


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Because of Romek is a nonfiction, autobiographical narrative about the experiences of a teenager during the Holocaust of World War II. This is the riveting, true story of a young boy's survival in the face of Nazi atrocities. In the mid-1960s, the German government contacted David Faber to testify against Nazi war criminals. Until then, he did not know that his older broth Because of Romek is a nonfiction, autobiographical narrative about the experiences of a teenager during the Holocaust of World War II. This is the riveting, true story of a young boy's survival in the face of Nazi atrocities. In the mid-1960s, the German government contacted David Faber to testify against Nazi war criminals. Until then, he did not know that his older brother, Romek, whom the Nazis had tortured to death many years earlier, had been involved in a Polish Underground plot to avert Nazi Germany's ability to create an atomic bomb. When David finally agreed to testify, he began to relive all the horrors of his experiences during the war: concentration camps, murders, tortures, starvation, and disease. When David Faber was 13 years old, he had witnessed the Nazi murders of his parents, brother Romek, and five of his six sisters. He survived nine concentration camps between the ages of 13-18, from 1939 to 1945, including Auschwitz and Buchenwald. When he was liberated in 1945 from the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, he weighed a mere 72 pounds. Because of Romek fulfills David's promise to his dead mother that he would survive and tell the world about the horrors committed against him and his family. This moving narrative is also a useful tool for educators. To today's students, the Holocaust too often seems to be an abstract event in the dim past. Because of Romek pulls the reader into the story, thereby illuminating the past and putting a face on history.

30 review for Because of Romek: A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I was lucky enough to borrow a signed copy of this book from a co-worker whose daughter had heard David Faber speak at her school. Never in my life have I had to stop reading a book multiple times because it was too intense or emotionally difficult to get through until I read this book. One of the most detailed and horrific accounts of one boy's experience in not only nine different concentration camps, but also his experiences in the ghetto before, and what tragic things happened out on the str I was lucky enough to borrow a signed copy of this book from a co-worker whose daughter had heard David Faber speak at her school. Never in my life have I had to stop reading a book multiple times because it was too intense or emotionally difficult to get through until I read this book. One of the most detailed and horrific accounts of one boy's experience in not only nine different concentration camps, but also his experiences in the ghetto before, and what tragic things happened out on the streets everyday. It's incomprehenisble what Faber witnessed and went through and how many different times he narrowly escaped death. This is one of the most raw, detailed and heart-wrenching accounts of life under Nazi rule I have ever read. I think everybody needs to read this book to really understand what millions of people went through. It's an honest testimony of what the human spirit can endure, and what lengths people have gone to survive the unthinkable.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cam

    I decided to read this book since I am very drawn to personal accounts of the holocaust. Wow, this book was sad, what an injustice! I can't believe how these people were treated. I was able to learn more about some of the other camps as he was only in Auschwitz for a short time. A very sad account, but I also appreciate the acts of kindess that were pointed out in the book, it's reassuring to see some good in the midst of so much evil. I have one small complaint about the book, during each chapte I decided to read this book since I am very drawn to personal accounts of the holocaust. Wow, this book was sad, what an injustice! I can't believe how these people were treated. I was able to learn more about some of the other camps as he was only in Auschwitz for a short time. A very sad account, but I also appreciate the acts of kindess that were pointed out in the book, it's reassuring to see some good in the midst of so much evil. I have one small complaint about the book, during each chapter certian words or events were referenced or noted, but the additional information wasn't at the end of each chapter, rather it was all compiled in the back of the book. It would've been nice to have it a bit more accessible as I was reading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    How have I not added this to my read list already?! David Faber came to my high school when I was in 11th grade. He told us about his childhood and life story in the camps, ghetto, and during the Holocaust. I specifically remember that at one point he had to stop to take a break and drink water. He was so upset (after telling us most of his story) that he shook as he drank his water, so much that he couldn't actually sip from the bottle. I remember crying as well and then deciding to spend my bi How have I not added this to my read list already?! David Faber came to my high school when I was in 11th grade. He told us about his childhood and life story in the camps, ghetto, and during the Holocaust. I specifically remember that at one point he had to stop to take a break and drink water. He was so upset (after telling us most of his story) that he shook as he drank his water, so much that he couldn't actually sip from the bottle. I remember crying as well and then deciding to spend my birthday money, right then and there, on his book that he had brought with him. His story might not be as well known as Elie Wiesel's or Anne Frank's, but it is just as horrific and important. This is a must read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Casey Stocker

    Because of Romek is a memoir written by Holocaust survivor, David Faber. David wrote the book about his brother Romek. The young David Faber survived the horrors of the Holocaust because of Romek and a promise he had made. Romek, is part of the Jewish Resist, he was killed and tortured in front of his younger brother. The promise David made was to his mother, he promised her he’d “stay alive.” He fulfilled that promise, and this book tells us how. With great support and optimism, David Faber nev Because of Romek is a memoir written by Holocaust survivor, David Faber. David wrote the book about his brother Romek. The young David Faber survived the horrors of the Holocaust because of Romek and a promise he had made. Romek, is part of the Jewish Resist, he was killed and tortured in front of his younger brother. The promise David made was to his mother, he promised her he’d “stay alive.” He fulfilled that promise, and this book tells us how. With great support and optimism, David Faber never gave up, and because of it he lives today to tell the story. In the mid-1960s, the FBI and CIA contacted David Faber to testify against Nazi war criminals, expressing the importance of it to the American and German governments. Until then, he did not know that his older brother, Romek, whom he watched the Nazis torture to death many years earlier, had been involved in a Resitance plot to avert the Nazi’s ability to create an atomic bomb. When David testified, he relived all the horrors of his experiences during the war - concentration camps, murders, tortures, starvation, and disease. When David Faber was 13 years old, he had witnessed the murders of his parents, his brother Romek, and five of his six sisters. He survived nine concentration camps between the ages of 13-18. Simply written, but powerful, is the best way to describe the writing behind the book. For example, “I turned and started back, then tripped and fell, spilling the flour. I lay across the wife’s plump body. Hurriedly, I got up. I had to get more flour” (Page, 90). David writes as though he is making conversation, it’s so natural and easily written that the feelings and memory behind the story is riveting. Because of Romek pulls the reader into the story, illuminating the past and clearly showing the readers the devastation of which he went through. “I followed close behind him as we dragged the bodies a few hundred feet. I kept my eyes looking down and tried not to see what was sliding along the ground in front of me, not to think about what I was doing” (Page, 187). With great support and optimism, David Faber never gave up, and because of it he lives today to tell the story. Today Mr. Faber is a speaker for San Diego Middle and High Schools. His book tells the story of his survival, of which would not be possible without Romek, a promise, a family, the support of others, and the optimism he kept during his horrific experiences.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    11,000,000 to 17,000,000 people were murdered in cold blood. Why??? Hate is the answer to so many deaths from 1933-1945 in Europe. Forced work, the smell of death, ink involuntarily engraved into their arms, food that doesn't look or taste like food, acid pools, swamped cattle cars with no windows, and beatings. The suffering was insane, crazy, and ridiculous. This is all unimaginable to most of us except the few who survived this hell. David Faber is one of these survivors. David Faber at the 11,000,000 to 17,000,000 people were murdered in cold blood. Why??? Hate is the answer to so many deaths from 1933-1945 in Europe. Forced work, the smell of death, ink involuntarily engraved into their arms, food that doesn't look or taste like food, acid pools, swamped cattle cars with no windows, and beatings. The suffering was insane, crazy, and ridiculous. This is all unimaginable to most of us except the few who survived this hell. David Faber is one of these survivors. David Faber at the age of 13 moved with his family all around Poland because of the Nazis. At one of the places David stayed at, when in hiding, he was walking to the store to buy milk and on his way there he was picked up by the Nazis and taken to a concentration camp. He was somehow able to escape and on his way home he met up with a group of Soviet partisans and he worked for them until a fire burned their camp. He was able get home from a kind lady who drove him home. Not long after David returned, he and his family were forced into a ghetto. During the time in in the ghetto his whole family was murdered in cold blood except for his sister who was living in England. Soon after his mother and five sisters were killed he was shipped off to Szebnia. He was later moved to Auschwitz where he became known as number 161051. He was moved again to Jawiszowice and from there was forced on a death march to Buchenwald. After Buchenwald David was forced to Dora-Mittelbau. He was then moved to Krawinkel. David's final concentration camp he went to was Bergen- Belsen where he was liberated at age 18 and at 72 pounds. David now lives in the United States and gives talks on his experience. World War 2 and especially the holocaust are big interests of mine to read about. I recently listened to a holocaust survivor. It was very interesting to see the many different responses from those who listened to her story. Some of the younger audience were asking questions on the basics of the holocaust and some of the adults were crying. I had to take a step back and realize that because of hate from the Nazis this book was written and this lady shared her story, and because these survivors of the horrors of that time, we can make better choices not to hate.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Karina Hernandez

    Because of Romek is a true story about the Holocaust, written from the main character's perspective, David Faber. He starts out the book as a thirteen year old boy, and ends it as an eighteen year old young adult. The book is a documentation of his life in and out of nine different concentration camps in Germany. David watched his whole entire family die before his very eyes, and was left to survive on his own. However, before they passed, he made a promise to them that he would live long enough Because of Romek is a true story about the Holocaust, written from the main character's perspective, David Faber. He starts out the book as a thirteen year old boy, and ends it as an eighteen year old young adult. The book is a documentation of his life in and out of nine different concentration camps in Germany. David watched his whole entire family die before his very eyes, and was left to survive on his own. However, before they passed, he made a promise to them that he would live long enough to tell the world about the awful events that happened during the Holocaust. That's exactly what he did. Throughout the story, David very clearly explains all of the tortures and dehumanization that took place within the concentration camps. He provides the reader with raw information, which helps to provide a better visual. I would definitely recommend this book to people who are interested in the Holocaust, as long as they have high tolerance for disturbing scenes. Aside from that, the book is really powerful and emotional. I loved the way it was written, because every emotion that David felt, I felt too. He has a way of provoking emotion within the reader, which I really enjoyed. Overall, it was a sad, but moving book. The Holocaust is clearly a sad topic to read about, but I think it's important so we can never allow something like this happen in history again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    This is a horrific account of Faber's experience in 9 different labor and death camps. I do not know how he survived. I would have liked to hear more about how he met his first and second wives and how he has dealt with PTSD. I was so sad for him, his family, and all of those who went through the horrors of the Holocaust. May it never be repeated - anywhere. This account is as sad as Wiesel's Night. This is a horrific account of Faber's experience in 9 different labor and death camps. I do not know how he survived. I would have liked to hear more about how he met his first and second wives and how he has dealt with PTSD. I was so sad for him, his family, and all of those who went through the horrors of the Holocaust. May it never be repeated - anywhere. This account is as sad as Wiesel's Night.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Navarro

    3. I just finished the book and at the end He was sent to a concentration camped for some years and later on he then was saved by the Americans coming to try to end the war. 5.I honestly had to stop and think about things because of all the old sayings and terms that they used but luckily sometimes it had a foot note sometimes or else i wouldn't be able to understand it. 13. Not at all because i am Mexican and they speak differently and do things differently. 3. I just finished the book and at the end He was sent to a concentration camped for some years and later on he then was saved by the Americans coming to try to end the war. 5.I honestly had to stop and think about things because of all the old sayings and terms that they used but luckily sometimes it had a foot note sometimes or else i wouldn't be able to understand it. 13. Not at all because i am Mexican and they speak differently and do things differently.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sonia A

    An absolutely moving & touching non-fiction account of the life of David, a young victim of the Jewish Holocaust during WWII. I have read many Holocaust survivor books, yet none has affected me as much as Because of Romek. It's raw & does not spare details. This is a must read, especially for the youth in school. I believe it is a required read in some schools as it very well should be for we should all be educated about this dark period of history. I highly recommend this book. An absolutely moving & touching non-fiction account of the life of David, a young victim of the Jewish Holocaust during WWII. I have read many Holocaust survivor books, yet none has affected me as much as Because of Romek. It's raw & does not spare details. This is a must read, especially for the youth in school. I believe it is a required read in some schools as it very well should be for we should all be educated about this dark period of history. I highly recommend this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Telatnik

    I really liked this book. I liked how it have you an inside on what the Holocaust really was like and how horrible it was. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. I really liked how David Faber, the main character and author used a lot of imagery to make it seem like you were there and to feel their pain. I would highly recommend reading this book, it really opened my eyes up to what it was like. I really liked this book. I liked how it have you an inside on what the Holocaust really was like and how horrible it was. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. I really liked how David Faber, the main character and author used a lot of imagery to make it seem like you were there and to feel their pain. I would highly recommend reading this book, it really opened my eyes up to what it was like.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Camryn

    Overall, this book was really good. It was hard to read, but I still enjoyed it. Some of the parts in this book were really hard to read. It really effected the way I see the Holocaust. I knew the Holocaust was bad, but I didn't know it was this bad. This book was really good, and I didn't want to put it down but I had to. Overall, this book was an amazing story and I would totally recommend this book to anyone who likes history. Overall, this book was really good. It was hard to read, but I still enjoyed it. Some of the parts in this book were really hard to read. It really effected the way I see the Holocaust. I knew the Holocaust was bad, but I didn't know it was this bad. This book was really good, and I didn't want to put it down but I had to. Overall, this book was an amazing story and I would totally recommend this book to anyone who likes history.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Owen Fodness

    This book is a great book but be very cautious when reading it.This book is very gruesome but at the same time it is an awesome thing, it is an awesome book it gives you a bigger view on world war 2 and everything they went to.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Trenton Casey

    AWESOME!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Ryan

    An incredible story of strength...David Faber survived one situation after another. I could not put it down!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Campbell

    The best book I have ever read! The book always left you on the edge of your seat wondering what was going to happen next. It is truly an emotional roller coaster!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Student Jakob

    I thought this book was really good! It always kept me on the edge of my seat. It taught me new things about the holocaust I never knew. I would totally recommend this book!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erik Surewaard

    Although this is a very readable book, I just can not believe the story to be true. Being true would mean that the author would have been in all the bad places in the war. In the remainder of my review I will discuss where I base my beliefs on. Please note that it includes some things that happened in the book. I did it in a way that prevents it to spoil the reading experience. The first thing that I do not understand is that the main person (David Faber) states on page 154 of the version I read, Although this is a very readable book, I just can not believe the story to be true. Being true would mean that the author would have been in all the bad places in the war. In the remainder of my review I will discuss where I base my beliefs on. Please note that it includes some things that happened in the book. I did it in a way that prevents it to spoil the reading experience. The first thing that I do not understand is that the main person (David Faber) states on page 154 of the version I read, that he was admitted to Auschwitz in January 1941. He states he has a tattoo with prisoner number 161051. I do not understand this “high” number because this range of prisoner numbers were only tattooed around November 1943. That is 34 months later (!) than he states he was admitted to Auschwitz. This just does not make sense. What I further hard to believe is that the author twice survived a so-called selection in which he was sent to be gassed. And on top of that, he would have been part of the “Sonderkommando”, the group of prisoners that worked in the crematoria. The Sonderkommando witnessed the worst war crimes and only ONE PAGE of the book was spent on it... I becomes even way more remarkable when he was sent from a Sonderkommando to another work camp. Just by asking for it. In the many Holocaust books that I have read, I learnt that the people in the Sonderkommando were always kept separate and were murdered each two to three months. The Nazis never let go of the members of the Sonderkommando in order to prevent leaking out information of the what happened in the crematoria. But remarkable also here the author was able to get away... Off course, after Auschwitz he ended up in the worst satellite work-camp. Again a coincidence?! I just find it hard to believe at this point. The book is further full of spelling mistakes and incorrect words. A “whip” is for instance a “cable”. A “block-elder” is called a “kapo”... The latter is strange because there is a huge difference between a block-elder and a kapo. And many German words are incorrect either. Also the titles of the german SS soldiers are incorrect. It is quite irritating actually. I do not deny that the main character has been in Auschwitz and/or other work camps, but I doubt that he experienced everything that was said in the book. I regard this book more as a work of fiction than that it is a true story. Due to this, I decide to give this book only three stars.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    As someone with a Jewish background, this true story touched and hurt me in many ways. The first time I read this story, I was 13, and I still remember exactly how I felt starting and finishing this book. It will break your heart in the best and worst ways possible. David's strength, struggles, pain, and hope throughout the book will leave a lasting impression on your soul. It will create a sense of appreciation for a man who was brave enough to relive his trauma and share it with the world. Rea As someone with a Jewish background, this true story touched and hurt me in many ways. The first time I read this story, I was 13, and I still remember exactly how I felt starting and finishing this book. It will break your heart in the best and worst ways possible. David's strength, struggles, pain, and hope throughout the book will leave a lasting impression on your soul. It will create a sense of appreciation for a man who was brave enough to relive his trauma and share it with the world. Reading David's memoir reminds the world of why we need compassion and understanding, and that we should never forget the Holocaust. David's story is one I think of daily, because of survivors such as him, the Jewish faith will continue to grow stronger and stronger. Rest in peace to David Faber, who passed away in 2015.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    This was an amazing book written by a Holocaust survivor. The stories he tells and the way that David Faber survived the Holocaust is truly an amazing story and is definitely worth a read. I would not recommend for those who are young and easily disturbed by violence and graphic scenes (there are no pictures, just vivid descriptions). This is a hard to find book, as the author only sold the books to people who listened to his lectures that he often did at schools. Since his death, the books have This was an amazing book written by a Holocaust survivor. The stories he tells and the way that David Faber survived the Holocaust is truly an amazing story and is definitely worth a read. I would not recommend for those who are young and easily disturbed by violence and graphic scenes (there are no pictures, just vivid descriptions). This is a hard to find book, as the author only sold the books to people who listened to his lectures that he often did at schools. Since his death, the books have quit being produced and it is hard to find them for a class or book club. I still would recommend this book, it is well worth the trouble finding it for the amazing experience of reading it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Sweet

    David Faber’s personal story of his young life living in nazi overrun Poland, is one of extreme courage, spiritual and mental strength. I am at awe with the courageous decisions David made that saved family members and his ability to focus on others needs around him. His life, although atrocious, was filled with so many miracles; his life spared many miraculous ways, and the many people that entered into his life at the right time in the right place. His story spares no detail, it is hard to rea David Faber’s personal story of his young life living in nazi overrun Poland, is one of extreme courage, spiritual and mental strength. I am at awe with the courageous decisions David made that saved family members and his ability to focus on others needs around him. His life, although atrocious, was filled with so many miracles; his life spared many miraculous ways, and the many people that entered into his life at the right time in the right place. His story spares no detail, it is hard to read and beyond comprehension, the evil that can live in and be acted out by a human being against another.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Juniperseren

    I read this book in 7th grade, 4 years ago. I grew up in a German school, so my entire grade read either this or Anne Frank. We had silent reading time where we read our books during class, and every day, without fail, people cried during class. Including me. I would read it during our car ride home, and during the depressing parts, cried silently over my book in the car, holding it far away so I wouldn't get it wet. This book is amazing, one of the best books I have ever read. I read this book in 7th grade, 4 years ago. I grew up in a German school, so my entire grade read either this or Anne Frank. We had silent reading time where we read our books during class, and every day, without fail, people cried during class. Including me. I would read it during our car ride home, and during the depressing parts, cried silently over my book in the car, holding it far away so I wouldn't get it wet. This book is amazing, one of the best books I have ever read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Naline Deguzman

    I love love loveeeeeed reading this book. I recently visited the Auschwitz camp in Poland and this book really helped put things into perspective. Because I visited the camp i was able to imagine the streets, the barracks and even the towns that David travelled to and through. It’s so pure and real. Sometimes I cant believe the world is so cruel and this book really shows how cruel it used to be. love love loveee!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heather Marie

    I first read this book in middle school before Mr. Faber came to speak at my school. As a 13 year old, I approached him after his talk and told him how much his book meant to me and he kissed the top of my head. Ive reread the book many times since then, I still count it as one of the most important personal accounts of history ever written.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Grace Johnson

    I heard David Faber speak and was amazed at his story of survival. Although it was hard to read sometimes, it was necessary. God saved this man so he could tell this story.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Cannon

    A Holocaust survivor's memoir (author's story). A Holocaust survivor's memoir (author's story).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    This truly gives a great insight. It is so disturbing what happened and what he went through.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    Amazing story of a family torn apart by the Nazis.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Greg Lardy

    A powerful account of the Nazi atrocities in Poland during WWII.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

    Such an inspiring, yet heartwrenching read. Worth every page. Certainly a must read for all. Will definitely be reading again.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lolo Em

    No words.

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