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The Dentist of Auschwitz

The full text of this book is available online. I got it from my local library. I’m always interested in Holocaust memoirs, especially if they add new information to what I already know about concentration camps and the lives of Jews in Europe before and after World War Two. Jacobs, who lives in Boston, lived in the camps for almost five years. He had dental training before he was interned and so was able to keep himself alive with larger rations and better work assignments doing dental work in the camps. His story discusses his family’s life in Poland before the war, the gradual encroaching Nazism and anti-Semitism and his internment in Auschwitz and other camps, culminating in being loaded onto a cruise ship with thousands of other Jews as the allies were streaming into Germany only to have it be sunk by the British -- killing 15,000 Jews freed from the camps.

All Holocaust memoirs are tough to read and this one is no exception. Jacobs is a talented writer and actively engaged in Holocaust studies to this day. He does not mince words or try to downplay the horrors he and his family suffered at not only the hands of the SS officers, but also the complicit Germans and Poles and even other prisoners.