Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Giants, The Dwarfs of Auschwitz by Yehuda Koren & Eilat Negev, 283 pages

During the 1930s and 40s the Lilliput Troupe, a beloved and successful family of singers and actors, dazzled with their vaudeville program and unique performances as the only all-dwarf show of the time. Their small stature earned them fame-and, ironically, ultimately saved their lives.
As Hitler's war descended, the Ovitz family-seven of whom were dwarfs-was plunged into the horrors of the darkest moments in modern history. Disembarking from the cattle train into the death camp of Auschwitz, they were separated from other Jewish victims on the orders of one Dr. Joseph Mengele, the "Angel of Death." Obsessed with eugenics, Dr. Mengele carried out a series of loathsome experiments on the family and developed a disturbing fondness for his human lab rats, so much that when the Russian army liberated Auschwitz, all members of the family-the youngest, a baby boy just 18 months old; the oldest, a 58-year-old woman-were still alive.
Based on exhaustive research and interviews with Perla Ovitz, the troupe's last surviving member, and scores of Auschwitz survivors, authors Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev deftly describe the moving and inspirational story of this remarkable family and their indomitable will to survive.
I came across this book on the clearance table at Barnes & Noble and had to buy it. The hard part was beating off my oldest so I could read it first.

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