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Jew Be or not Jew Be
The sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, thoroughly compelling true story of a young Hungarian Jewish boy and his family escaping the fate of Hitler's extermination camps.
Jew Be or Not Jew Be; The Story of a Perpetual Alien is an autobiographical novel, a compelling true story of an assimilated Hungarian middle class Jewish family. It documents aspects of life, escape and survival within the history of the Holocaust. Seen through the eyes of a young child it describes sometimes sad, sometimes poignant events and at other times hilariously comic moments of sheer defiance in the face of adversity. Rabbi Julia Neuberger commented in a letter to the author about his book: - "I can't believe how long I've had your book - and here is at last my view on it. First, I much enjoyed it, if enjoyed is the right term. - I learned, laughed and cried."
The book is available from: iUniverse.com, Amazon, (worldwide) Barnes & Noble, and many other on-line bookstores. (There are many online stores with second hand volumes) In the UK it can also be ordered from Waterstones Bookstores and Tesco Online.
Reviews for "Jew Be or Not Jew Be; The Story of a Perpetual Alien"
|Reviewed by Gabor Szekely (Reader)
|As another “perpetual alien”, a “Jewtheran” living in exile from Hungary, but too young to have experienced the horrors of the atrocities committed by the Nazis and the Hungarian uprising first hand, I found this book utterly gripping and absorbing.
The book highlights the catastrophic impact on one of many millions of families affected by the Holocaust, demonstrating some of the consequences of man’s inhumanity to his fellows. With his vivid descriptive writing Peter Oszmann has skilfully managed to bring to life the events which he faced and miraculously survived to such an extent that I, as the reader, felt completely immersed in what had happened. He has succeeded in embellishing his narrative with a vein of humour which frequently caused me to chuckle in spite of the pervading atmosphere of suffering, privation and impending disaster.
No doubt that writing this book has proved to be a valuable catharsis for the author, who survived such profoundly disturbing circumstances that many others, who similarly endured this scar on human history, still do not have the emotional capacity to talk about them.
It is sad that all too often in this day and age, we still see that the lessons of history have not been heeded and that somewhere in this world callous brutality continues to happen both on small and large scales. This book should be made compulsory reading to illustrate the tragic human cost of racial and religious bigotry.
I am very much looking forward to the publishing of its sequel
|Reviewed by Poetess of The Soul Sheila G
|I'm glad you got through this sad torture!
A Great SEE-Movie, if you look up Amazon.com, and look up
" The Devi's Arthmetic" with Kirsten Dunst, as the faith Keeper of
Many... YOU may like this! It changed me FOREVER! I learned so much
and had to buy it~~~ UP to you, thought I'd share, about Jewish
Camps, pain and more, and how she gave them HOPE! What a Movie~!
She had gone through her Grandmas eyes/in reallife dream/etc.
WArmly, Warrior Spirit Lady Sheeeoox
|Reviewed by Chrissy McVay
|So glad you lived through this tragic time and were able to share your story with others.|
|Reviewed by Gabor Renner (Reader)
|Oi! Peter !
Your words really "knock at my door"! I've got to settle down first, and then re-read this page.
Most grateful you got in touch with me - and how simular was/is our destiny.
|Reviewed by S H (Reader)
|I would love to read this book sometime.|
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|enjoyed the excerpt|
|Reviewed by Bogdan Tiganov (Reader)
|From the sample and reviews it sounds like a wonderful book. If I ever get any money I will try to purchase it!|
|Reviewed by Pallosi Andor
|Sorry my English writing is not very good. A freind give me book for read. I was borned in 1972, so I do not know much Hitler and nazis. Your story is very sad, but very good writing. A little dificult for me, many words I did must look up in dictionary. You had many pains as child. I want to say very sorry for all Hungarians for give you so much pains.
Your book teaches all peoples to not hate. Thank you. Very good book.
|Reviewed by Helen
|I am loving your book - one moment I'm in tears, and the next laughing my head off.
Do get on and write the next one!
|Reviewed by Claywoman
|This excerpt makes me want more! I want to read the whole book and someday I hope I can! Right now, I'm a college student and the only books I can afford to buy are the ones sold in the University bookstore earmarked for my classes...I know you will do wonderfully with this! I feel privilaged to read what I have...|
|Reviewed by EJ Blaikie
|"Jew be or Not Jew Be" is an absorbing and intimate autobiograpgy about the life of the author. It is generous with details that draw the reader into the story of a Jewish boy from an assimilated family and the extraordinary experiences that he lived through in order to be saved from the clutches of the Nazi killing machine. This is not about the usual statistics, but about one life, told in a very personal, very honest style. It is an important book that should be required reading for all, especially in this time of global crisis, brought on by man's inability to tolerate his neighbors|
|Reviewed by Robert Ratonyi
|A moving story.
I have read many books on the Holocaust but nothing has touched me like this book. This autobiography, written in the format of a novel, spans the years from the mid 1930s to the time when Hungary was liberated from the German occupation by the Soviet Red Army in the spring of 1945. The uniqueness of the book is the introduction to and exposition of the gradually worsening situation, ultimately leading to the 'final solution', that faced the Hungarian Jewish society as seen through the eyes of a child. Peter Oszmann was born to Jewish parents but was denied his true identity by his parents who hoped to provide him safety by raising him as a Lutheran. Perhaps, as he recaunts the story, that might have saved his life, but, this imposed conversion did not spare him all the pain and suffering which befell the Hungarian Jewery at that time. Without any doubt, the discovery of his true identity and subsequent events which forced him to assume yet another religious identity (Catholic)in order to survive the harshest period of the war and the Holocaust, has left an indelible mark on his psychic. Peter Oszmann's book has a certain purity and clarity showing the inner struggles and dillemas faced by a child in trying to rationalize and to cope with the outside cruel world. The emotional pain, agony and dispair are very touching. He has given us a rare inside view of a child's innocent reaction to the inexplicable horrors brought upon mankind by his fellow men. At the same time he has also let us see the good in us through the many heroic deeds his family members and other kind strangers who risked their lives to save him and others. In addition to the main theme of his book Oszmann has managed to describe the political and historic framework of the late 1930s and early 1940s providing an excellent context for the events unfolding in Europe and in Hungary. His research is excellent and he skillfully integrated his personal history with a sufficient overview of the history of Europe and Hungary without detracting from the story. The author's sense of humor is evident from the very first pages. While this is not a 'fun' book to read it does have many funny and even hillarious moments. It appears that humor was one of the many weapons Peter Oszmann used to protect himself from the harms around him. I laughed and I wept reading the book. This is not an easy book to read. It takes almost 30 pages to get through the Dedication, Preface, Acknowledgement and the Prologue before the main story unfolds. The book is 530 pages long and the author quotes extensively in Latin, German, and French, not to mention the many Hungarian names and idioms used. Fortunately, he diligently provides for the English translation with foot notes on each page. However, the rewards of reading this book far outweigh the occasional inconveniences of reading it. I can hardly wait for book 2.
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Peter J. Oszmann