By Martin Goldsmith
A story of 2 journeys...
On may possibly thirteen, 1939, the luxurious liner SS St. Louis sailed clear of Hamburg, Germany, sure for Havana, Cuba. On board have been greater than 900 Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany. yet an detached international conspired opposed to them. After being denied touchdown rights in Havana, the refugees have been grew to become away through the U.S. and Canada and compelled to sail again to Europe, the place the collection hurricane of the Holocaust awaited them.
Two of these refugees have been Alex Goldschmidt, a sixty-year-old veteran of global struggle I, and his seventeen-year-old son Klaus Helmut Goldschmidt. After their trans-Atlantic voyage, they landed in France. they'd spend the following 3 years in a single French camp after one other earlier than being shipped to Auschwitz in 1942.
Sixty-nine years later, Martin Goldsmith, Alex's grandson and Helmut's nephew, retraced their unhappy trip. starting in decrease Saxony the place Alex was once born, Martin spent six weeks at the highway and lined greater than 5,700 miles, atmosphere foot on the planet Alex and Helmut trod in the course of their ultimate days. Alex's Wake is Martin's eyewitness report.
The booklet deals a compelling background of the voyage of the St. Louis, together with testimony from these on board, a story of espionage, and the courageous unravel of Captain Gustav Schroeder. It additionally bargains a harrowing chronicle of the significant community of camps in France, a lot of which have been equipped through the French themselves with very little encouragement from the Germans.
But Alex's Wake is usually a modern travelogue and a heartfelt memoir of a second-generation American Jew attempting to make experience of his history and to flee the load of guilt and worry he lengthy notion was once his sole inheritance. environment forth with the irrational, very unlikely wish to store participants of his family members who have been murdered ten years sooner than he was once born, Goldsmith concludes his trip by means of coming domestic to a relocating image of remembrance at one of many scenes of the crime.
Read or Download Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance PDF
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Extra resources for Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance
He spoke about a master race, the Aryan race, Arbeit macht frei (work gives freedom), the victory of the Germans, and how Germany had won for Europe. He also vowed to get rid of the Jews. We turned the radio on and off, but it seemed as if this speech lasted forever. That night I found that I hated the German language; it seemed harsh and distasteful to me. We had a number of German collaborators in Holland, called the Nationaal Socialistische Beweging, or the NSB. The most notorious of them was a man named Mussert, a civil engineer.
A few days went by. We were in agony. We could see Rotterdam burning and could even smell the smoke. Still no Felix. We heard h o l l a n d i n va d e d 47 on the radio that The Hague had been hit, that the Germans had ruined a great deal of the west coast, and that thousands of people in Rotterdam had lost their lives. We also heard that Belgium and Luxembourg as well as France had all been attacked on that tragic day of May 10, 1940. Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands surrendered after five days of relentless bombing and destruction.
I remember the day Felix arrived at Miss Morling’s. In spite of his physical limitations at the time, Felix resorted to his old active self. He wasted no time trying to get in touch with the authorities to obtain a permit to stay in England. But this was not to be. Felix was a native of Germany, and that was enough reason for the British to refuse him a permanent stay. Even though Felix was at the board- the odyssey of the ss S I M O N B O L I VA R 39 inghouse, he was still under the doctor’s care every day.
Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance by Martin Goldsmith