Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs

A Candle and a Promise

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
196 Pages
Reviewed on 01/04/2019
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite

Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs by Deborah Donnelly is an extraordinary narrative by a survivor of the Holocaust, now in his 90s. His daughter, Deborah Donnelly, gives voice to her father’s very painful and vivid memories of his years growing up in poverty and a growing hostile environment leading to his internment in not one but five concentration camps. As a Jew in Poland growing up with poverty and anti-Semitism in the little town of Boryslaw, Poland, Hank Brodt found a way to adapt and survive. Well written, this memoir touched me with Mr. Brodt’s disturbing and vivid recollection of the suffering endured by him and the people around him in the camps. While I have seen pictures, documentary film clips, and read third-hand accounts of this horrible time, there is something concrete, immediate, and personal in reading the words of a man who experienced these horrors first-hand.

Hank Brodt Holocaust Memoirs is divided into simple chapters that are easy enough to follow. There are photographs that enhance the written word as well with each chapter. It is apparent after reading the book that Mr. Brodt was reluctant to reveal the terrible experience of his time as an inmate in the camps. Despite this, the same resolve that enabled him to live through it all serves as incentive to tell the tale for future generations. We must never forget that the Holocaust was real and it is our obligation to listen to the testimony of the living witnesses. In clear, concise language, Hank Brodt describes how the Nazis, with the collusion of some Poles and Ukrainians, persecuted the Jews living amongst them, with laws taking away property, jobs, and the freedom to even leave their homes.

We learn of his suffering at five concentration camps, including Auschwitz. His descriptions are almost too unbearable to read. However, Hank keeps his promise to his mother, whom he never sees again, to not lose hope and survive. That is the theme of this book. Hank Brodt ultimately refused to give up when it would have been easy. He chose life. He defies the plans of the “master race” and their “final solution”. Instead, he lives a full life. He immigrates to the United States after being liberated by the U.S. Army from the last concentration camp. He marries, raises a family and later he even becomes a soldier in the U.S. Army. His children grow up to do important work and there is a happy surprise ending as described in the final chapters. This book is an inspiration. To those who say the Holocaust never happened, I say read this book. I recommend this book for anyone interested in the Holocaust. It should be required reading for high school and college students.