In the summer of 1939, all of Poland trembled as it prepared for an all-out attack by Nazi Germany. For the Polish Jews the looming nightmare was infinitely darker, but when the attack finally came, the calamity that befell the Jewish people was far beyond the darkest nightmare conceivable, far worse than had ever befallen a people in the history of humanity. Dare to Survive, the third volume in The Holocaust Diaries, is the amazing and deeply inspiring memoir of Chaim Shlomo Friedman, a young Belzer chassid from Cracow who survived the holocaust through a combination of resourcefulness, cunning, tenacity, sheer endurance and an indomitable spirit buttressed by unshakable faith. His powerful narrative, written with deep humility and a very convincing authenticity, evokes countless disturbing images of a world gone mad. Flight along refugee-choked roads. Running through the fields before a hail of German bullets. Conscription into forced labor battalions. Frightening arrests and brutal beatings in the heavily guarded ghettos. Concealment in makeshift bunkers during murderous ghetto liquidations. Hazardous midnight flights across the mountains. False senses of security in Slovakia and Hungary as late as 1944. And throughout this interminable ordeal, the author is strengthened, inspired and consoled by his faith in the Creator and his adherence to the holy Torah. Dare to Survive also features vignettes of the author's personal encounters with the saintly Belzer Rebbe, who was constantly being moved from one precarious hiding place to another by his devoted chassidim, as well as a first-hand account of the Rebbe's dramatic escape from Poland, an audacious operation in which the author played a major role. The publication of Dare to Survive, closely following the highly-acclaimed volumes that preceded it, Late Shadows by Moshe Holczler and They Called Me Frau Anna by Channa Marcus Banet is a significant milestone for the Holocaust Diaries collection. A fourth volume is alredy scheduled for release, and two more are in advanced stages of preparation.
by Chaim Shlomo Friedman
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