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The Fields of Ukraine: A 17-Year-Old's Survival of Nazi Occupation

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Yosef Laufer is just 17 years old when war breaks out in Eastern Europe in 1941. With his father, he barely escapes deportation to Belzec, a Nazi death camp, and for two long years they forge a precarious existence in the fields and woods outside of their village of Zurawno. Faced with the constant threat of discovery by both the occupying troops and the local townspeople, Yosef Laufer is just 17 years old when war breaks out in Eastern Europe in 1941. With his father, he barely escapes deportation to Belzec, a Nazi death camp, and for two long years they forge a precarious existence in the fields and woods outside of their village of Zurawno. Faced with the constant threat of discovery by both the occupying troops and the local townspeople, Yosef’s gripping ordeal – told in his own words – becomes an amazing narrative of the intense will to survive and the power of the human spirit, where every single day of life outside of the camps stands as a victory against the Nazis. This true eyewitness story leaves an indelible impression long after the last page is read. "The Fields of Ukraine shows movingly how a Jewish father and his teenage son survived the horrors of the Holocaust by relying on their mutual courage, sacrifice and love. This book deserves a wide readership." - Nechama Tec, Ph.D., Holocaust scholar and Professor Emerita at the University of Connecticut, author of eight books including Defiance, now a major motion picture.


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Yosef Laufer is just 17 years old when war breaks out in Eastern Europe in 1941. With his father, he barely escapes deportation to Belzec, a Nazi death camp, and for two long years they forge a precarious existence in the fields and woods outside of their village of Zurawno. Faced with the constant threat of discovery by both the occupying troops and the local townspeople, Yosef Laufer is just 17 years old when war breaks out in Eastern Europe in 1941. With his father, he barely escapes deportation to Belzec, a Nazi death camp, and for two long years they forge a precarious existence in the fields and woods outside of their village of Zurawno. Faced with the constant threat of discovery by both the occupying troops and the local townspeople, Yosef’s gripping ordeal – told in his own words – becomes an amazing narrative of the intense will to survive and the power of the human spirit, where every single day of life outside of the camps stands as a victory against the Nazis. This true eyewitness story leaves an indelible impression long after the last page is read. "The Fields of Ukraine shows movingly how a Jewish father and his teenage son survived the horrors of the Holocaust by relying on their mutual courage, sacrifice and love. This book deserves a wide readership." - Nechama Tec, Ph.D., Holocaust scholar and Professor Emerita at the University of Connecticut, author of eight books including Defiance, now a major motion picture.

13 review for The Fields of Ukraine: A 17-Year-Old's Survival of Nazi Occupation

  1. 5 out of 5

    David

    A memoir about a Holocaust survivor from my great grandfather's town. A memoir about a Holocaust survivor from my great grandfather's town.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Very sad and interesting story. Not very well written as it is a translation.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eve Smith

  4. 4 out of 5

    Yuliya

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rai Keyri

  6. 5 out of 5

    Juline

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth S

  8. 4 out of 5

    Temple Sinai Denver

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leah DiCiesare

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anton Laufer

  11. 4 out of 5

    Krzysiek (Chris)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hal

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

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