Leap into Darkness Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe

ISBN-10: 0385497059
ISBN-13: 9780385497053
Edition: N/A
List price: $15.95 Buy it from $1.49
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Description: A harrowing, action-packed account of the author's series of audacious escapes from the Nazis' Final Solution--"riveting...a fascinating and moving piece of history" (Library Journal). Young Leo Bretholz survived the Holocaust by escaping from the  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.95
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/14/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.528

A harrowing, action-packed account of the author's series of audacious escapes from the Nazis' Final Solution--"riveting...a fascinating and moving piece of history" (Library Journal). Young Leo Bretholz survived the Holocaust by escaping from the Nazis (and others) not once, but seven times during his almost seven-year ordeal crisscrossing war-torn Europe. He leaped from trains, outran police, and hid in attics, cellars, anywhere that offered a few more seconds of safety. First he swam the River Sauer at the German-Belgian border. Later he climbed the Alps on feet so battered they froze to his socks--only to be turned back at the Swiss border. He crawled out from under the barbed wire of a French holding camp, and hid in a village in the Pyrenees while gendarmes searched it. And in the dark hours of one November morning, he escaped from a train bound for Auschwitz. Leap into Darkness is the sweeping memoir of one Jewish boy's survival, and of the family and the world he left behind.

Leo Bretholz was born in Vienna, Austria on March 6, 1921. He left Vienna at the age of 17 amid the growing menace of Nazi control. For the next seven years, he evaded Nazi concentration camps by living as a fugitive from 1938 to 1945. He assumed aliases, slept in ditches, and found sanctuary with relatives, in Jewish ghettos, and among orders of Roman Catholic nuns and priests. He jumped from a transport carrying him and a thousand other Jewish deportees to Auschwitz on November 5, 1942. The transport was a French train operated by the state-owned railway, the Soci�t� Nationale des Chemins de fer Fran�ais (S.N.C.F.). Toward the end of the war, he joined a Jewish resistance group known as La Sixi�me. He wrote about his experiences in a 1998 memoir entitled Leap Into Darkness: Seven Years on the Run in Wartime Europe. After the war he settled in Baltimore, Maryland. He found work in the textile business, then as a partner in a liquor store, then in the book selling business. Recently, when S.N.C.F. became involved in commuter rail contracts in Maryland, he became a witness at congressional hearings on the proposed Holocaust Rail Justice Act, which would allow Holocaust victims and their families to sue S.N.C.F. in the American courts. He died on March 8, 2014 at the age of 93.

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